Shockingly Vital: The Importance of Electrical Glove Testing

To ensure their effectiveness, electrical gloves should be tested at regular intervals. Read on to learn more...

electrical glove testing


Electrical gloves, also known as rubber insulating gloves, are a critical tool for individuals working with electrical systems. To ensure their effectiveness, electrical gloves should be tested at regular intervals.


Electrical Glove Testing FAQs

How often should electrical gloves be tested?

According to guidelines, OSHA requires that electrical gloves be tested every 6 months. Once the gloves are tested, they should be date stamped and the 6-month clock restarts.


This 6-month rule does not apply to new gloves that are not being used. New gloves that have been tested but not issued for service can sit on the shelf for 12 months before they are required to be retested.


That being said, electrical gloves should also be tested if they undergo any form of damage, such as cuts, punctures or other visible signs of wear. Additionally, gloves should be tested if they are exposed to chemicals or substances that could potentially compromise their insulating properties.


Related: Click here to learn more about why safety in the workplace is important.


What are the classes of electrical gloves?

There are six classes of electrical gloves.


Typically, low-voltage gloves refer to class 00 and class 0 gloves and medium/high-voltage refers to classes 1-4. Rubber electrical gloves are made with a dipping process to create the necessary thickness. Low voltage gloves are thinner, while medium/high voltage gloves get thicker as the voltage rating increases.


Simply select the class you need based on the voltage you will be encountering. OSHA lays out all of these guidelines in standard 29 CFR 1910.137.

  • Class 00: Maximum 500 volts AC and 750 volts DC
  • Class 0: Maximum 1,000 volts AC and 1,500 volts DC
  • Class 1: Maximum 7,500 volts AC and 11,250 volts DC
  • Class 2: Maximum 17,000 volts AC and 25,500 volts DC
  • Class 3: Maximum 26,500 volts AC and 39,750 volts DC
  • Class 4: Maximum 36,000 volts AC to 54,000 volts DC


Do I need leather protector gloves in addition to electrical gloves?

Yes, the extra layer of leather is necessary in most cases.


Wearing electrical gloves is really a two-part system. The rubber electrical gloves protect you from electrical shock, while the leather protector gloves protect the rubber electrical gloves from wear and tear.


If your electrical rubber gloves have imperfections, cuts or pinholes, they cannot be used. The leather protectors help prevent wires and tools from damaging the rubber gloves.


It's important to note that leather protector gloves do not provide any electrical protection and cannot be worn alone.


Why are leather protector gloves more expensive than other leather gloves?

Leather protector gloves are engineered with a specific purpose in mind – to enhance the safety of individuals working with electricity. They are designed with added reinforcement in high-wear areas and enhanced sizing/dexterity that accommodates the underlying rubber electrical gloves. These specialized characteristics contribute to a more tailored manufacturing process, increasing the overall cost.


How do I choose the right size electrical gloves?

  • When choosing electrical gloves, measure your hand as you would other gloves – measure the circumference of the widest part of your palm.
  • For half sizes, it is usually best to go up to the next size.
  • If you use a glove liner, you might want to consider going up one size.
  • For leather protector gloves, choose the exact same size as the electrical glove they go over.


Related: Electrical safety month is right around the corner in May. Get prepared for it now!


Does Wesco offer electrical glove testing?

Yes, we are pleased to provide this service! These tests verify the integrity of your gloves so that the electrical safety of the person wearing them is ensured, and that the product meets or exceeds ASTM standards and OSHA regulations.


Electrical glove testing options include:

  • Cleaning
  • Visual Inspection/Air Test
  • Electrical Test
  • Re-Certification Sheet/Packing Slip


What are some of your most popular styles of electrical gloves and leather protector gloves?

Superior Glove® Line Pro Class Rubber Insulating Gloves


Rubber insulating gloves protect electricians and linesmen from electric shock while working with live electrical equipment.

  • Gloves offer protection against voltage hazards
  • Natural rubber produces excellent durability, flexibility and reliability
  • Straight cuff maximizes air flow in warm weather
  • Ergonomic fit reduces hand fatigue


Superior Glove® Endura® Leather Cover Gloves


These premium goat grain leather cover gloves are tailored to fit over rubber insulating gloves when working with energized equipment.

  • Keystone thumb maximizes durability and dexterity
  • Adjustable nylon black strap provides a custom fit
  •  ANSI level 3 puncture resistance


Salisbury® Canvas Glove Bag


Folds and creases strain rubber and cause it to crack prematurely. By storing rubber gloves in the right size bag, and never forcing more than one pair into each bag, equipment will lie flat and last longer. These bags are constructed of heavy-duty canvas and are double stitched and riveted at stress points for extra durability. Bags feature a D-ring for hanging in trucks or on work belts.


Salisbury® Ten-Four® Glove Dust


This cooling, frictionless powder absorbs moisture and perspiration when wearing rubber gloves. The dust provides extra comfort, while preventing your gloves from getting sticky. The 5-ounce bottle fits easily in a coat pocket or glove bag.


Feel free to contact our Safety Support Team to facilitate electrical glove testing and/or to help you select the right electrical gloves for your particular workplace. In almost any situation you have, we can offer you options that best fit your budget or specific needs, allowing your employees to work safely and comfortably.



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