What Should You Not Wear When Working with Electricity?

Working with electricity is no kids play!

Electricity is the most dangerous element of nature and any contact with it with bare skin or inappropriate work gears can be hazardous.

Yes, you heard it right!

Not just bare skin, but wearing the incorrect PPE when working with electricity can prove to be fatal too.

Wearing the wrong work wear is like wearing nothing at all or just providing fuel to the fire to ignite!

You should NOT wear silk, nylon and silk-blend clothes, wet apparels, steel and iron equipment, apparels made from animal skin, etc. will help to conduct electricity to your body. On the other hand, rubber, plastic, wood, dry clothing are all bad conductors of electricity and will help to prevent electrocution and shock.

What Should You Not Wear When Working with Electricity

While these might seem to you as known facts, the products that are made from these materials might be the ones that you are still using while working with electricity and it’s important to stop their use ASAP!

This article will help you to find out about all such equipment that acts as a trigger for electricity and might still be using them on a daily basis.

So, shall we learn about them?

11 Things you should not wear while working with electricity

Following are the dangers that you should avoid while working with electricity:

1.) Wet clothes and equipment:

Water is a very good conductor of electricity and touching electrical source with wet hands or gloves or boots will act as a medium for the transfer of electricity to the body from the source.

2.) Leather apparels and gloves:

Leather is made of animal skin and therefore will conduct electricity to the body. So, you should never wear gloves and apparels that are made of leather while handling electricity.

3.) Leather soled shoes and boots:

Though leather soles are not common in work boots, yet if you own one, you should never wear them while dealing with electricity.

4.) Nylon and silk clothing:

Even if nylon and silk clothes are not proven to conduct electricity, yet wearing them can invite other risks such as sparks from electricity can ignite them in seconds and cause burns in the body.

5.) Steel toe boots:

Though many steel toe boots are EH rated, yet why take a chance when you are an electrician? There are safer options like alloy toe boots that do not conduct electricity at all. 

6.) Steel ruler/scale:

It so happens that in electrical works, you might need to use scales for measurements. Steel is a good conductor of electricity and using steel scale can increase the chances of electrical conduction in case you happen to touch electricity with the steel scale in your hands.

7.) Metallic pens:

This is one of the most unnoticed items that we all use and is the one that might be the cause of electrical conduction to the body while kept in the pocket or held in hand while handling electricity. 

8.) Vented helmets/hard hats:

Vented hard hats fall under Class C Type 1 ASTM standards and they are just for protecting against impacts and cannot help in the prevention of electrical hazards.

9.) Metallic tools not coated with plastic:

Tools that are made of iron or steel like pliers, screw drivers, nuts and bolts, knives, etc. can be the source of electrical conduction to the body. While you their usages are inevitable while fixing electrical, boards, poles, and appliances, yet you should keep in mind two points: either they should have plastic handles or you must have switched off the main power supply before using them.

10.) Non-EH rated boots:

Even if your boots are made of rubber soles, yet they don’t guarantee protection against electrical hazards unless they are EH rated. Also, keep in mind that EH rated boots need to be waterproof too.

11.) Bare and wet skin:

Though this is known to all, yet I did not want to miss mentioning it in my list too! Do not and I repeat do not ever tough electrical appliances and boards with bare hands, feet and also when any part of your body is wet!

What should you wear when working with electricity?

Now that you know the things to be avoided while handling electricity, let’s have a look at the things/equipment that you should be actually wearing for prevention against electrical hazards:

1.) Rubber gloves:

Your hands are the part of the body that will conduct electricity to your body at the first instance and therefore, wearing the right gear for your hand is the most crucial.

Rubber gloves are the best choice for this as rubber is a non-conductor of electricity and will prevent the flow of current from the source to your body even if you happen to touch live wires while working with electricity.

2.) Rubber soled EH rated shoes and boots:

Your feet are the second source of conductor of electricity to your body. The EH rated shoes and boots are mostly made of rubber soles and they are the best in preventing electrocution and electrical shock.

3.) Wooden and plastic tools and equipment:

Wood and plastic are non-conductors of electricity too. Therefore, you should use tools and equipment that are made from these materials such as wooden scale, pencil for marking, screw drivers with plastic handles, etc.

4.) Class E hard hats that are approved by OSHA:

Class E hard hats are the ones that are built to prevent against electricity. So, while buying a hard hat, just confirm that it meets the ASTM standards of Class E hard hats.

5.) Cotton apparels:

Cotton is the material to be used in apparel when working with electricity not because it will not conduct electricity, but because it will not ignite easily in case of sparks from electricity.

And it’s a wrap!

I hope I could help you in providing the necessary information for safeguarding against electricity and if so, stay tuned to my site for more such useful posts!

Till then, take care and have a great day ahead!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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