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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.268

March 13, 2002

Mr. Paul Gelinas, Vice President
COMASEC Safety, Inc.
Post Office Box 1219
8 Niblick Road
Enfield, Connecticut 06082

Dear Mr. Gelinas:

Thank you for your April 10th, 2001 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Please accept our apology for the delay in responding. Your letter brought up new areas of interpretation and much time and care was taken to fully research your issues.

This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any question not delineated within your original correspondence. You requested information regarding 29 CFR 1910.268, Telecommunications, and 29 CFR 1910.137, Electrical protective equipment. Your paraphrased questions and our responses follow.

Question 1:Is the website version of the 1910.268 standard considered the official version?

Reply: No. The web site versions of OSHA standards are electronic copies of the standards as published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). OSHA intends for these versions to be exact copies of the standards as they appear in the CFR. OSHA's support staff tries to keep information on its website accurate. Error reports and general comments regarding OSHA's website can be submitted at

Point 1: Section (f)(3) of the Telecommunications standard refers to (f)(5) of the standard, which no longer exists.

Reply: On June 18, 1998, OSHA published a final rule in the Federal Register, "removing and revising certain standards which were out of date, duplicative, unnecessary, or inconsistent" (63 FR 33450). In this final rule, 29 CFR 1910.268 was amended to, [r]evise paragraph (f)(1), remove paragraphs (f)(2) through (f)(4) and (f)(7) through (f)(9) and redesignate paragraphs (f)(5) and (f)(6) as (f)(2) and (f)(3)." When OSHA made these changes, it inadvertently failed to change the reference in paragraph (f)(3). The second sentence of paragraph (f)(3) should read: "Gloves found to be defective in the field or by the tests set forth in paragraph (f)(2) of this section shall be destroyed by cutting them open from the finger to the gauntlet." OSHA intends to correct this error in the future.

[Correction 7/15/2004. On June 8, 2004 the amendment to correct this reference error was published in the
Federal Register.]

Question 2: Must insulating gloves be proof tested before first use?

Reply: The retesting intervals table in section 1910.268(f)(2) provides that if a new natural rubber glove has not been tested within 12 months then it must be tested before issue. If a new synthetic rubber glove has not been tested within 18 months then it must be tested before issue. The table also gives the maximum testing intervals for reissued gloves. If an employer cannot determine the date a glove was last tested, the employer must presume the glove has not been tested within the time frames of 1910.268(f)(2). In such a case, the employer must test the glove before issue or reissue. It is also worth noting that paragraph 1910.137(b) requires electrical protective equipment to be maintained in a safe and reliable condition and outlines requirements for the care and use of rubber insulating gloves, including storage and inspection.

Question 3: Do the initial test date and due date have to be printed on the glove?

Reply: OSHA standards do not require that the initial test date be printed on the glove. An employer may comply with the certification requirement in §1910.137(b)(2)(xii) or the marking requirement in §1910.268(f)(3) as a means of recording test dates.

Question 4: Does 1910.268(f)(3) require that old test dates and due dates remain on gloves to indicate compliance with the retest schedule?

Reply: No. Section 1910.268(f)(3) does not require that old test dates and due dates remain on gloves. Employers may remove these dates at the appropriate time.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope this provides the clarification you were seeking. OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the [Office of General Industry Enforcement] at (202) 693-1850.


John L. Henshaw
Assistant Secretary

[Corrected 7/15/04]

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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