Testing is key to Lineman Glove protection

One of the first lines of defense when it comes to preventing contact with energized electrical components and/or electrical power lines are rubber insulating gloves, commonly known as Lineman Gloves. Like all PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), lineman gloves must meet the requirements of the current ASTM D120 specifications and NFPA 70E standards. OSHA enforces these requirements as a part of their CFR 1910.137 regulation. These standards dictate manufacturing criteria as well as testing and retesting requirements for Lineman Gloves.

OSHA requires the use of rubber insulated gloves for those persons working on or near energized circuits and/or other electrical sources that are considered either high or low-voltage applications. That means there are many other occupations that need to use rubber insulated gloves as well, such as HVAC Technicians, Automotive Technicians, Electricians, Maintenance Mechanics, Railway Technicians, and even Telecommunications personnel.

Types & Testing
Electrical rated rubber gloves are categorized by the amount of AC and DC voltage they have been proof-tested to, in addition to the designated maximum-use voltage. The voltage protection is referenced as a Class rating which is broken down starting with Class 00 having the lowest voltage protection up to Class 4 which has the highest voltage rating. The chart below indicates ASTM classifications and the specific proof testing voltage as well as the maximum use voltage ratings.

Class                             Proof-tested                             Maximum-use Voltage
                                    AC                      DC                              AC                    DC
Class 00                  2,500                 10,000                        500                   750
Class 0                    5,000                 20,000                        1,000                1,500
Class 1                    10,000               40,000                        7,500                11,250
Class 2                    20,000               50,000                        17,000              25,500
Class 3                    30,000               60,000                        26,000              39,000
Class 4                    40,000               70,000                        36,000              54,000 

For further information consult OSHA’s Electrical Safety Standards at