Electricity bathes the world. This has been the case since its installation began in the 1880s. Every home, business and utility use this important energy source for anything and everything. Appliances, transportation, heating systems, computers and power tools are just some of the things we use on a daily basis. We have built up a dependence on electricity in order for our lives to operate well.
Because of this, we need people who work with electricity. They help keep things running and ensure it’s safe for us to use. Well-studied and knowledgeable electricians are who protect us. They prevent heart failure every time we turn on the light or plug something into an outlet.
Electricity is Very Dangerous
Working with electricity is a cautionary task. You must always be careful and you have to ensure you wear the right protection to prevent electric shock.
Electrocution is the sixth-leading cause of work-related deaths in the US. With almost 300 deaths per year, proper equipment is crucial.
Protective gloves are one necessity you cannot go without when handling electricity. They must be a part of your safety kit, especially if you work with electricity on a regular basis.
Determining the Why ; When of Electrical Gloves
Although any glove intended for use with electricity can shield you from electrocution and injury, it’s not guaranteed.
Working as an electrician or in the construction industry will warrant the mandated use of gloves with the specific intention of electrocution protection. So, if your gloves have damages, wear-and-tear or they are old, dispose of them. Even one hole signifies throwing them away. Do not attempt to repair them for the sake of safety.
If you’re working around the house, you actually shouldn’t have to use them at all. Turning off your power grid and circuitry will not only protect you from any danger but also be the safest every time.
But if you have to use gloves, use ones that incorporate leather into its system.
Leather Gloves as a Component to a Protective System
When determining which gloves you should wear, also consider the various types of material available. You might ask yourself: Do leather gloves protect from electric shock?
Yes, they do. But they aren’t the only material in a glove safe for electrical jobs. In other words, you can’t put on any old pair of leather gloves.
It’s unreasonable to expect any degree of safety that won’t end in your possible death if the gloves are of leather alone. So, no, don’t wear your gloves intended as a fashion statement in winter or an old pair you wore when you owned a hot rod.
Now, that said, you can wear a pair of gloves designed for auto mechanics, so long as they are also made of rubber and they’re durable. They must be free of any kind of holes.
About Materials ; Conductivity
Any materials used in your glove should be non-conductors. A conductor will increase the capacity for electrical energy to move between two or more points. The conduction of electricity depends on voltage size and current flow. The distance between conducive points and the moisture contained within materials are also factors.
Without a doubt, anything metal or water is a conductor and will increase the risk of electric shock. Also, electricity can pass through anything, even clothing. Things like chiffon, spandex, cotton or silk, albeit not considered conductors, can still pass an electrical current. This means you can still experience electrocution and severe injury.
Leather Can Be a Conductor
Leather is not excluded as a conductor. Fresh leather that isn’t completely dried yet will conduct electricity. Even if dry, leather alone will not protect you against electric shock.
This is why it is of the utmost importance to make sure you do your research and look up all gloves available on the market.
What You Should Look for in a Protective Electrical Glove
Your electrical gloves should incorporate and include leather along with pure rubber. The gloves should not have any holes, punctures or tears. Of course, the need for leather in your glove will depend on how much voltage will be part of your project. But you cannot squelch, pass over or simplify this for the sake of time and money.
Other components of the glove may also have ceramic, PVC, plastic or glass because these are also very effective barriers against electrocution.
Some More Important Information About Leather Protectors
Actually, a leather glove should be part of any effective gloving system. This means it’s more than likely that you will wear a couple of layers. Leather acts as an overcovering to the rubber layer and this is why they are so integral to an effective glove.
The leather protector also offers security from injuries associated with handling wires and sharp tools. They can guard your hands and fingers against abrasions, punctures and cuts.
Electrical gloves have regulations and several class divisions. This depends on the voltage you’ll be using:
- Class 00 – for voltage under 500
- Class 0 – for up to 1,000 volts
- Class 1 – for up to 7,500 volts
- Class 2 – for up to 17,000 volts
- Class 3 – for up to 26,500 volts
- Class 4 – for up to 36,000 volts
You don’t need a leather protector for the 00 or 0 classes, like when working with small parts and equipment. This is because the flexibility and dexterity of your fingers cannot have any obstruction. You want to make sure you have freedom of movement.
When in Doubt, Call the Professionals
Remember, if you’re doing electrical work around the house, you don’t need to have electrical gloves. If the job you’re undertaking is beyond your knowledge or it may be bigger than think you can handle, always call in a certified electrician. Don’t try to save money; you cannot put a price tag on your life and well being.