29 CFR 1910.137 - Electrical protective equipment.

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§ 1910.137 Electrical protective equipment.

(a) Design requirements for specific types of electrical protective equipment. Rubber insulating blankets, rubber insulating matting, rubber insulating covers, rubber insulating line hose, rubber insulating gloves, and rubber insulating sleeves shall meet the following requirements:

(1) Manufacture and marking of rubber insulating equipment.

(i) Blankets, gloves, and sleeves shall be produced by a seamless process.

(ii) Each item shall be clearly marked as follows:

(A) Class 00 equipment shall be marked Class 00.

(B) Class 0 equipment shall be marked Class 0.

(C) Class 1 equipment shall be marked Class 1.

(D) Class 2 equipment shall be marked Class 2.

(E) Class 3 equipment shall be marked Class 3.

(F) Class 4 equipment shall be marked Class 4.

(G) Nonozone-resistant equipment shall be marked Type I.

(H) Ozone-resistant equipment shall be marked Type II.

(I) Other relevant markings, such as the manufacturer's identification and the size of the equipment, may also be provided.

(iii) Markings shall be nonconducting and shall be applied in such a manner as not to impair the insulating qualities of the equipment.

(iv) Markings on gloves shall be confined to the cuff portion of the glove.

(2) Electrical requirements.

(i) Equipment shall be capable of withstanding the ac proof-test voltage specified in Table I-1 or the dc proof-test voltage specified in Table I-2.

(A) The proof test shall reliably indicate that the equipment can withstand the voltage involved.

(B) The test voltage shall be applied continuously for 3 minutes for equipment other than matting and shall be applied continuously for 1 minute for matting.

(C) Gloves shall also be capable of separately withstanding the ac proof-test voltage specified in Table I-1 after a 16-hour water soak. (See the note following paragraph (a)(3)(ii)(B) of this section.)

(ii) When the ac proof test is used on gloves, the 60-hertz proof-test current may not exceed the values specified in Table I-1 at any time during the test period.

(A) If the ac proof test is made at a frequency other than 60 hertz, the permissible proof-test current shall be computed from the direct ratio of the frequencies.

(B) For the test, gloves (right side out) shall be filled with tap water and immersed in water to a depth that is in accordance with Table I-3. Water shall be added to or removed from the glove, as necessary, so that the water level is the same inside and outside the glove.

(C) After the 16-hour water soak specified in paragraph (a)(2)(i)(C) of this section, the 60-hertz proof-test current may not exceed the values given in Table I-1 by more than 2 milliamperes.

(iii) Equipment that has been subjected to a minimum breakdown voltage test may not be used for electrical protection. (See the note following paragraph (a)(3)(ii)(B) of this section.)

(iv) Material used for Type II insulating equipment shall be capable of withstanding an ozone test, with no visible effects. The ozone test shall reliably indicate that the material will resist ozone exposure in actual use. Any visible signs of ozone deterioration of the material, such as checking, cracking, breaks, or pitting, is evidence of failure to meet the requirements for ozone-resistant material. (See the note following paragraph (a)(3)(ii)(B) of this section.)

(3) Workmanship and finish.

(i) Equipment shall be free of physical irregularities that can adversely affect the insulating properties of the equipment and that can be detected by the tests or inspections required under this section.

(ii) Surface irregularities that may be present on all rubber goods (because of imperfections on forms or molds or because of inherent difficulties in the manufacturing process) and that may appear as indentations, protuberances, or imbedded foreign material are acceptable under the following conditions:

(A) The indentation or protuberance blends into a smooth slope when the material is stretched.

(B) Foreign material remains in place when the insulating material is folded and stretches with the insulating material surrounding it.

Note to paragraph (a):

Rubber insulating equipment meeting the following national consensus standards is deemed to be in compliance with the performance requirements of paragraph (a) of this section:

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D120-09, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Gloves.

ASTM D178-01 (2010), Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Matting.

ASTM D1048-12, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Blankets.

ASTM D1049-98 (2010), Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Covers.

ASTM D1050-05 (2011), Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Line Hose.

ASTM D1051-08, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Sleeves.

The preceding standards also contain specifications for conducting the various tests required in paragraph (a) of this section. For example, the ac and dc proof tests, the breakdown test, the water-soak procedure, and the ozone test mentioned in this paragraph are described in detail in these ASTM standards.

ASTM F1236-96 (2012), Standard Guide for Visual Inspection of Electrical Protective Rubber Products, presents methods and techniques for the visual inspection of electrical protective equipment made of rubber. This guide also contains descriptions and photographs of irregularities that can be found in this equipment.

ASTM F819-10, Standard Terminology Relating to Electrical Protective Equipment for Workers, includes definitions of terms relating to the electrical protective equipment covered under this section.

(b) Design requirements for other types of electrical protective equipment. The following requirements apply to the design and manufacture of electrical protective equipment that is not covered by paragraph (a) of this section:

(1) Voltage withstand. Insulating equipment used for the protection of employees shall be capable of withstanding, without failure, the voltages that may be imposed upon it.

Note to paragraph (b)(1):

These voltages include transient overvoltages, such as switching surges, as well as nominal line voltage. See appendix B to § 1910.269 for a discussion of transient overvoltages on electric power transmission and distribution systems. See IEEE Std 516-2009, IEEE Guide for Maintenance Methods on Energized Power Lines, for methods of determining the magnitude of transient overvoltages on an electrical system and for a discussion comparing the ability of insulation equipment to withstand a transient overvoltage based on its ability to withstand ac voltage testing.

(2) Equipment current.

(i) Protective equipment used for the primary insulation of employees from energized circuit parts shall be capable of passing a current test when subjected to the highest nominal voltage on which the equipment is to be used.

(ii) When insulating equipment is tested in accordance with paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the equipment current may not exceed 1 microampere per kilovolt of phase-to-phase applied voltage.

Note 1 to paragraph (b)(2):

This paragraph applies to equipment that provides primary insulation of employees from energized parts. It does not apply to equipment used for secondary insulation or equipment used for brush contact only.

Note 2 to paragraph (b)(2):

For ac excitation, this current consists of three components: Capacitive current because of the dielectric properties of the insulating material itself; conduction current through the volume of the insulating equipment; and leakage current along the surface of the tool or equipment. The conduction current is normally negligible. For clean, dry insulating equipment, the leakage current is small, and the capacitive current predominates.

Note to paragraph (b):

Plastic guard equipment is deemed to conform to the performance requirements of paragraph (b) of this section if it meets, and is used in accordance with, ASTM F712-06 (2011), Standard Test Methods and Specifications for Electrically Insulating Plastic Guard Equipment for Protection of Workers.

(c) In-service care and use of electrical protective equipment -

(1) General. Electrical protective equipment shall be maintained in a safe, reliable condition.

(2) Specific requirements. The following specific requirements apply to rubber insulating blankets, rubber insulating covers, rubber insulating line hose, rubber insulating gloves, and rubber insulating sleeves:

(i) Maximum use voltages shall conform to those listed in Table I-4.

(ii) Insulating equipment shall be inspected for damage before each day's use and immediately following any incident that can reasonably be suspected of causing damage. Insulating gloves shall be given an air test, along with the inspection.

Note to paragraph (c)(2)(ii):

ASTM F1236-96 (2012), Standard Guide for Visual Inspection of Electrical Protective Rubber Products, presents methods and techniques for the visual inspection of electrical protective equipment made of rubber. This guide also contains descriptions and photographs of irregularities that can be found in this equipment.

(iii) Insulating equipment with any of the following defects may not be used:

(A) A hole, tear, puncture, or cut;

(B) Ozone cutting or ozone checking (that is, a series of interlacing cracks produced by ozone on rubber under mechanical stress);

(C) An embedded foreign object;

(D) Any of the following texture changes: swelling, softening, hardening, or becoming sticky or inelastic.

(E) Any other defect that damages the insulating properties.

(iv) Insulating equipment found to have other defects that might affect its insulating properties shall be removed from service and returned for testing under paragraphs (c)(2)(viii) and (c)(2)(ix) of this section.

(v) Insulating equipment shall be cleaned as needed to remove foreign substances.

(vi) Insulating equipment shall be stored in such a location and in such a manner as to protect it from light, temperature extremes, excessive humidity, ozone, and other damaging substances and conditions.

(vii) Protector gloves shall be worn over insulating gloves, except as follows:

(A) Protector gloves need not be used with Class 0 gloves, under limited-use conditions, when small equipment and parts manipulation necessitate unusually high finger dexterity.

Note to paragraph (c)(2)(vii)(A):

Persons inspecting rubber insulating gloves used under these conditions need to take extra care in visually examining them. Employees using rubber insulating gloves under these conditions need to take extra care to avoid handling sharp objects.

(B) If the voltage does not exceed 250 volts, ac, or 375 volts, dc, protector gloves need not be used with Class 00 gloves, under limited-use conditions, when small equipment and parts manipulation necessitate unusually high finger dexterity.

Note to paragraph (c)(2)(vii)(B):

Persons inspecting rubber insulating gloves used under these conditions need to take extra care in visually examining them. Employees using rubber insulating gloves under these conditions need to take extra care to avoid handling sharp objects.

(C) Any other class of glove may be used without protector gloves, under limited-use conditions, when small equipment and parts manipulation necessitate unusually high finger dexterity but only if the employer can demonstrate that the possibility of physical damage to the gloves is small and if the class of glove is one class higher than that required for the voltage involved.

(D) Insulating gloves that have been used without protector gloves may not be reused until they have been tested under the provisions of paragraphs (c)(2)(viii) and (c)(2)(ix) of this section.

(viii) Electrical protective equipment shall be subjected to periodic electrical tests. Test voltages and the maximum intervals between tests shall be in accordance with Table I-4 and Table I-5.

(ix) The test method used under paragraphs (c)(2)(viii) and (c)(2)(xi) of this section shall reliably indicate whether the insulating equipment can withstand the voltages involved.

Note to paragraph (c)(2)(ix):

Standard electrical test methods considered as meeting this paragraph are given in the following national consensus standards:

ASTM D120-09, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Gloves.

ASTM D178-01 (2010), Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Matting.

ASTM D1048-12, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Blankets.

ASTM D1049-98 (2010), Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Covers.

ASTM D1050-05 (2011), Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Line Hose.

ASTM D1051-08, Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Sleeves.

ASTM F478-09, Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Line Hose and Covers.

ASTM F479-06 (2011), Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Blankets.

ASTM F496-08, Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Gloves and Sleeves.

(x) Insulating equipment failing to pass inspections or electrical tests may not be used by employees, except as follows:

(A) Rubber insulating line hose may be used in shorter lengths with the defective portion cut off.

(B) Rubber insulating blankets may be salvaged by severing the defective area from the undamaged portion of the blanket. The resulting undamaged area may not be smaller than 560 millimeters by 560 millimeters (22 inches by 22 inches) for Class 1, 2, 3, and 4 blankets.

(C) Rubber insulating blankets may be repaired using a compatible patch that results in physical and electrical properties equal to those of the blanket.

(D) Rubber insulating gloves and sleeves with minor physical defects, such as small cuts, tears, or punctures, may be repaired by the application of a compatible patch. Also, rubber insulating gloves and sleeves with minor surface blemishes may be repaired with a compatible liquid compound. The repaired area shall have electrical and physical properties equal to those of the surrounding material. Repairs to gloves are permitted only in the area between the wrist and the reinforced edge of the opening.

(xi) Repaired insulating equipment shall be retested before it may be used by employees.

(xii) The employer shall certify that equipment has been tested in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (c)(2)(iv), (c)(2)(vii)(D), (c)(2)(viii), (c)(2)(ix), and (c)(2)(xi) of this section. The certification shall identify the equipment that passed the test and the date it was tested and shall be made available upon request to the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health and to employees or their authorized representatives.

Note to paragraph (c)(2)(xii):

Marking equipment with, and entering onto logs, the results of the tests and the dates of testing are two acceptable means of meeting the certification requirement.

Table I-1 - AC Proof-Test Requirements

Class of Equipment Proof-test
Voltage
rms V
Maximum proof-test current, mA
(gloves only)
280-mm
(11-in)
glove
360-mm
(14-in)
glove
410-mm
(16-in)
glove
460-mm
(18-in)
glove
00 2,500 8 12
0 5,000 8 12 14 16
1 10,000 14 16 18
2 20,000 16 18 20
3 30,000 18 20 22
4 40,000 22 24

Table I-2 - DC Proof-Test Requirements

Class of equipment Proof-test voltage
00 10,000
0 20,000
1 40,000
2 50,000
3 60,000
4 70,000

Note: The dc voltages listed in this table are not appropriate for proof testing rubber insulating line hose or covers. For this equipment, dc proof tests shall use a voltage high enough to indicate that the equipment can be safely used at the voltages listed in Table I-4. See ASTM D1050-05 (2011) and ASTM D1049-98 (2010) for further information on proof tests for rubber insulating line hose and covers, respectively.

Table I-3 - Glove Tests - Water Level 1 2

Class of glove AC proof test DC proof test
mm in mm in
00 38 1.5 38 1.5
0 38 1.5 38 1.5
1 38 1.5 51 2.0
2 64 2.5 76 3.0
3 89 3.5 102 4.0
4 127 5.0 153 6.0

1 The water level is given as the clearance from the reinforced edge of the glove to the water line, with a tolerance of ±13 mm. (±0.5 in.).

2 If atmospheric conditions make the specified clearances impractical, the clearances may be increased by a maximum of 25 mm. (1 in.).

Table I-4 - Rubber Insulating Equipment, Voltage Requirements

Class of equipment Maximum
use voltage 1
AC rms
Retest
voltage 2
AC rms
Retest
voltage 2
DC avg
00 500 2,500 10,000
0 1,000 5,000 20,000
1 7,500 10,000 40,000
2 17,000 20,000 50,000
3 26,500 30,000 60,000
4 36,000 40,000 70,000

1 The maximum use voltage is the ac voltage (rms) classification of the protective equipment that designates the maximum nominal design voltage of the energized system that may be safely worked. The nominal design voltage is equal to the phase-to-phase voltage on multiphase circuits. However, the phase-to-ground potential is considered to be the nominal design voltage if:

(1) There is no multiphase exposure in a system area and the voltage exposure is limited to the phase-to-ground potential, or

(2) The electric equipment and devices are insulated or isolated or both so that the multiphase exposure on a grounded wye circuit is removed.

2 The proof-test voltage shall be applied continuously for at least 1 minute, but no more than 3 minutes.

Table I-5 - Rubber Insulating Equipment, Test Intervals

Type of
equipment
When to test
Rubber insulating line hose Upon indication that insulating value is suspect and after repair.
Rubber insulating covers Upon indication that insulating value is suspect and after repair.
Rubber insulating blankets Before first issue and every 12 months thereafter; 1 upon indication that insulating value is suspect; and after repair.
Rubber insulating gloves Before first issue and every 6 months thereafter; 1 upon indication that insulating value is suspect; after repair; and after use without protectors.
Rubber insulating sleeves Before first issue and every 12 months thereafter; 1 upon indication that insulating value is suspect; and after repair.

1 If the insulating equipment has been electrically tested but not issued for service, the insulating equipment may not be placed into service unless it has been electrically tested within the previous 12 months.

[79 FR 20629, Apr. 11, 2014]

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Title 29 published on 2015-07-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 29 CFR Part 1910 after this date.

  • 2015-10-05; vol. 80 # 192 - Monday, October 5, 2015
    1. 80 FR 60033 - Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices; Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment; Corrections
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      DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, Occupational Safety and Health Administration
      Correcting amendments.
      These correcting amendments are effective on October 5, 2015.
      29 CFR Parts 1910, 1926