Can You Get Electrocuted Wearing Latex Gloves?

When dealing with jobs involving electricity, we must constantly exercise extreme caution. Whether we are using equipment and machinery on the job site or repairing any electrical system at home, it is important to wear appropriate protection during the process. 

When we are working and are not aware of the hazards around us, incidents occur that can harm us or people around us. 

Electricity is intangible, which means you can’t see, hear, or smell it, so it’s tough to recognize when you’re in danger near electrical hazards. 

You need protective gears so that you are well equipped to handle any electrical hazards coming your way. And what better than a thick, strong pair of insulated latex gloves? 

Can You Get Electrocuted Wearing Latex Gloves

Well, you must be wondering why I mentioned latex and not rubber. That is because latex is rubber, it is made from rubber. But not all gloves are appropriate to work with electricity.

Latex gloves that are thick and made of rubber operate as a barrier against electric shocks, protecting you against getting electrocuted. But disposable latex gloves that are usually seen in medical sectors are not at all appropriate for electrical work. 

These gloves are heavily favored by linemen and electricians as they’re reliable around electricity and electrical hazards. 

So what do you need to look for in your safety electrical gloves? 

Often, the only thing between you and a high-voltage shock are your thick latex gloves. When working on charged electrical equipment, choosing the correct electrical-insulating gloves can give protection against electrical current. 

Check out these crucial electrical safety glove tips to avoid electric shocks-

1.) As per OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), all electrical gloves must be checked on a regular basis and prior to use. All glove manufacturers employ some form of manufacturing code or date coding to reflect the date of initial testing.

That means your latex rubber insulating gloves must be checked before usage and every six months thereafter. Gloves should be examined again at a reputable laboratory.

2.) Electrical protection equipment is defined by OSHA in 29 CFR 1910.137. Gloves that protect you against electric shocks are classified according to the degree of voltage protection they give and whether or not they are ozone resistant. 

The voltage distribution is as follows:

Class of Equipment Maximum Use Voltage (AC) Proof Tested (VAC) Proof Tested (VDC)
00 500 2,500 10,000
1 7,500 10,000 40,000
2 17,000 20,000 50,000
3 26,500 30,000 60,000

To guard against cuts, abrasions, and punctures, a leather protector should always be worn over your latex rubber insulating glove. However, several exceptions are indicated in OSHA 1910.137.

1.) Under limited-use situations, when small equipment and components manipulation need extremely high finger dexterity, then your latex gloves do not need to be used with Class 00 or Class 0 gloves if the voltage does not exceed 250 volts AC or 375 volts DC. 

2.) It also states that under limited-use conditions, when small equipment and parts manipulation necessitate unusually high finger dexterity, any other class of latex gloves may be used without protector gloves. 

3.) OSHA mandates that ‘protective equipment be kept in a safe and dependable condition.’ Before each usage, examine your latex gloves for tears, holes, ozone wounds, and other defects.

Refer to the ASTM F 1236-19 (https://www.astm.org/f1236-19.html) standard guide for the visual examination of electrical protective rubber gloves for further information. 

Gloves should also be checked for swelling, which is usually caused by chemical contamination. Even a little swelling might cause problems in giving you maximum protection.  

4.) According to OSHA guidelines (29 CFR 1910.137), an air test must be done in conjunction with insulating latex glove inspections.

ASTM F 496-20 also defines air tests for the maintenance of insulating gloves and sleeves in service. The glove is essentially inflated with air, manually or with a power inflator. and then examined for leaks. 

Conclusion

Knowledge is power when it comes to electric safety, and this is especially true when it comes to electric power. When dealing with electricity, you can never be too careful, thus protective gloves should be worn to avoid electrical shocks as our hands are the first point of contact with electricity. 

So your choice of a good quality latex glove, made of genuine rubber can actually protect you from dangerous electric shocks. And that is why they are most commonly used by linemen.