Rubber insulating gloves are one of the most important articles of personal protection for electric line workers. To be effective, the rubber gloves must meet the highest standards. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires the rubber gloves to be tested before each use.
Evan Garber, from Mid-America Testing & Supply, gives a refresher course for testing grounds, jumpers, tools, trucks and rubber goods to several electric cooperatives from Eastern Montana.
The focus was on rubber glove testing. There are two standard ways of testing the rubber gloves. The first way is by using the rollup method. When using the rollup method, the line workers trap air in the glove by rolling up the bottom of the glove. This method makes it possible to visually inspect and listen for problem areas in the palm and fingers of the glove. According to Garber, the downfall of the rollup method is that many times the glove is compromised in the gauntlet area (bottom of the glove).
The second testing method is by using a glove inflator. This method allows the line workers to inspect the entire glove. It also frees up both hands to make inspecting easier and more thorough.
Garber demonstrated several different scenarios with compromised gloves through his demonstration. The smallest scratch, snag, debris or pinhole can be detrimental to our line workers. Lower Yellowstone Rural Electric Cooperative (LYREC) recently purchased an air inflator to aid in the safety of their employees.