Wearing High Voltage Protectors Over Low Voltage Rubber Gloves

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Wearing High Voltage Protectors Over Low Voltage Rubber Gloves

Q: Could an end user wear a 12″ High voltage protector over a Class 00/0 14″ rubber glove?

The difference between a 13″ Class 00/0 protector and a 12″ Class 1-4 protector is the cuff color.

A: Some companies will not allow this because they want the protector cuff cover to indicate that the glove is HV.

But there is nothing to prohibit this practice. The prohibition is having the protector too long.  Higher class protectors do have ONE difference, thickness of the leather. Higher voltage gloves require the minimum thickness of the leather to be more.

For protector lengths see our NFPA 70E Low Voltage Training slide below.


If  a protector is too long the flash-over distance has been compromised and the rubber insulating glove meeting ASTM D120 has been compromised in providing protection from shock.

Wear protector gloves meeting ASTM F696 or the new ASTM AR Protector Glove standard when it is approved.  Check the length of the protector glove to assure it isn’t too long.

When we do onsite NFPA 70E Compliance Electrical Safety Audits or evaluate electrical safety written programs (required by OSHA law) we look for this since it is a common misunderstanding in training or something that doesn’t fully filter into the written program. Many workers think, “longer protector gloves will protect my rubber glove better”, not thinking about the flashover issue.  Makes sense when you think it out.

Have a question about electrical safety and standards? Ask us here OR on our forum!

Update Feb. 18, 2019: New Article

Specifying Arc-Rated and Flame-Resistant Gloves, by Hugh Hoagland and Stacy Klausing

Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Richard Rivkin

    The guiding document here is ASTM F696. There is nothing in this document about cuff color. There is, however, specific guidance regarding the leather thickness. In Section 4.1.1 it states “The thickness of the leather in the hand portion shall not be less than 1.00 mm (0.039 in.) nor greater than 1.60 mm (0.063 in.). For protectors for Class 0 gloves, the leather must be provided in a minimum thickness of 0.58 mm (0.023 in.),
    with the maximum thickness being 1.2 mm (0.04 in.). For protectors for Class 00 gloves, the leather must be provided in a minimum thickness of 0.40 mm (0.016 in.) with a maximum thickness being 1.20 mm (0.047 in.).” So only a high-voltage protector with leather between 1.00 mm and 1.2 mm could be used over a low-voltage rubber insulating glove, with the proper cuff clearance, and still be in compliance with ASTM F696.

    1. Hugh Hoagland
      Hugh Hoagland

      That’s right Richard. Nothing requiring cuff color but many use it to identify HV protectors. Using the HV protector would make the gloves harder to use but the length is often what people don’t think about.

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