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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 3
New Member
Does anyone know what the requirement in [2940.6 (a) 9] to water test insulating gloves means?

It reads:
"Rubber gloves shall be air and water tested at the beginning of each work"

I know how to perform an air test in the field but I thought that the water test was only performed in a lab as part of the 6 months test.

Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 101
At my shipyard we are required by OSHA to send our insulated gloves out every six months for testing. It must be tested by an certified testing .

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,869
Likes: 25
What is the cost of testing compared to new ones and what is the failure rate? I assume you pay the same to test failing gloves as good ones.

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
Originally Posted by gfretwell
What is the cost of testing compared to new ones and what is the failure rate? I assume you pay the same to test failing gloves as good ones.

My experience is that the cost of testing is quite low vs new gloves.
The thing is, if you keep your leather outers in top condition, by rights, the actual inners should last a lot longer.
Using things like leather care products (that are allowed by the manufacturers) on your outers, go a long way towards keeping the leather supple and this then means it doesn't damage the rubber inners.

We used to send a tonne of gloves away all at once, so it was done at a cheaper price per glove.

Having said that though, Greg, if you are field-testing your gloves, before they are worn, this cuts down on the number of "bad" gloves that are sent in for testing.
If you have a glove that fails a "roll-up" test here it is cut up and discarded.

Even so, keeping a close eye on your outers, can mean the difference between maintaining a decent pair of gloves and wrecking a perfectly good set of gloves when you get a wire strand through your inners, through a hole in your outers that you never noticed was there.

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 3
New Member
Thanks for the feedback, sorry I didn't get right back, was out of town for a few days.

We also send our gloves out every 6 month. But what I am confused about is Cal OSHA has language in their regs that says you need to do an air and water test prior to every work shift. I know how to do a field air test. you roll up the glove, making it like a balloon, then put the glove up to your face and check for air coming out that would denote a leak.

But I have no idea how to perform a filed water test. The only reference I can find to a water test is the one they do in the lab where they soak the glove (inside and out) in water for 16 hours and then high voltage test it. Obviously this can not be done in the field.

I think everyone just ignores this part of the reg because it is crazy. But I've had two of my electricians ask me about it now after attending training.

I have made two inquiries through the cal osha web site with no response.

Any thoughts would be welcome.

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