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Safety Tip – How to reduce perspiration when wearing Electrical Insulated (Dielectric) Gloves.


One of the key contributing factors in many electrical safety incidents is not wearing electrical insulated gloves. Usually an investigation will reveal one of three reasons behind the lack of gloves

  1. I thought it was dead
  2. I’ve done it a million times / it won’t happen to me
  3. They are uncomfortable and sweaty

Number #1 is a lockout/tag out issue, a topic for another day. #2 is a culture issue that is too deep for a short article like this, although we will address it in a future video series. So, let’s take a moment to specifically address #3, as it is such a simple fix.

Yes, latex rubber does not breathe well. Yes, latex rubber can be hot in switchboards on a summer day. No one would disagree with this, but what most don’t realise, is that there is a solution.

Cotton Inner Gloves, and Glove Talc, whilst not being a fix-all, provide a quantum leap in improved comfort, reduced sweat and general increased wear ability of rubber insulated gloves. Cotton absorbs sweat, as does talc. It also reduces direct skin-to-rubber contact, avoiding that ‘sticky’ feeling.

For a very low investment, comfort can go through the roof, and if that leads to increased compliance rates, that is a very sound investment. As an added bonus, insulated glove lifespan may even improve, as sweat can be corrosive over long periods. So the added cost of some cotton inner gloves and a bottle of talc, may even be outweighed by the extended lifespan of the much more costly rubber gloves.

Electrical Safety PPE – Why do I need to wear it, when I don’t work live?

On a regular basis, we have clients ask us why they need to wear Electrical Safety PPE when they do not work “live”. It is a fair enough question and the answer is quite simple.

Until a technician has tested to ensure the switchboard or piece of equipment is “dead” or “not live”, the untested item is considered “live” (energised) and the technician should use extreme care and don items listed in AS4836:2011 that are applicable to the situation.

Any parts of the Switchboard/Equipment which remain “live” should then be covered by an Insulated Cover, such as LV Busbar Covers or HV Blankets. This will reduce the risk of accidental electrocution and/or arc flash by the crossing of phases.

Extreme caution should be used when reaching around the back of de-energised Switchboards/Equipment as there could still be live parts uncovered. It is a must to re-assess what protective measures should be added to ensure you are protected.

There have been too many incidents whereby Electrical Safety PPE and Equipment was not used, which has caused severe injuries and death. Don’t become a statistic.

Industry Terms Explained – INHERENT


When it comes to Arc Flash protection, Volt Safety recommends, the use of Inherent FR Fabric. Inherent Fabrics such as DuPont Protera; Parvotex, Lenzing and Nomex do not lose their FR properties.

Fabrics that are treated with FR sprays or have FR thread woven into a cotton base, lose their FR properties over time and should be replaced after 50 washes.

This is not only difficult to monitor but costly to replace.