Electrical safety: PPE against shock

by Oct 23, 2017Electrical Safety

Electrical safety: PPE against shock


According to the CSA Z462-15 standard, insulating gloves and tools are required when an intervention is performed directly on the energized part or being located within 0.3m radius area from the live part (low voltage <750V). Being exposed to an energized part of an equipment should be perceived as equivalent to having access to machine dangerous area, thus the exposure should be subsequent to a risk analysis.

The CSA Z462-15 standard and the CNESST lockout guide, affirm that tasks such as reading, diagnosing performance etc., could be done after a risk analysis and wearing appropriate PPE against shock and arc flash hazards. In this blog, only the protection against shock hazard will be treated, another one will be dedicated to the protection against arc flash hazard.

There are several types of shock protection PPE including, footwear, hard hats, insulating gloves, electrical safety mat and sleeves. Electrical safety mat and sleeves are rarely used; therefore, in this blog we will focus on footwear, hats and gloves.

Safety footwear are subject to the CSA Z195 standard, they should have both the green CSA logo and the orange omega sign. The green CSA logo mean that the feet mechanical safety side requirements are meet (toes and sole protection) while the white rectangle with orange Greek letter omega, indicates electric-shock protection. The CSA electrical safety certification is given after passing a 18000V and 0.01 A test. For the mechanical side the footwear should pass an impact and perforation test. Footwear having those certification, provides a protection against some risks even if the lather is slightly cracked and are more adapted to the cold wheatear conditions. The SD sign (static discharge) mean that the footwear is designed to dissipate the electrostatic energy but no shock protection is guaranteed

The safety hard hats should meet the CSA Z94.1 and class E requirements (22000 V dielectric test). It’s also necessary to check that the plastic is not dry or colorless, and avoid using sticker that could affect the hats plastic or hide its weakness during an inspection.

For the insulating gloves, its important to protect them with lather gloves during the intervention, and always keep them in their protection bag, its necessary also to choose the right gloves class according to the maximum voltage.


The worker must inspect their gloves prior to each intervention, start with the lather protection gloves and looking for holes, crack or grease. For the insulating gloves, the test consists of filling them with air, either manually or by an inflator, and then checking for leakage. The leakage is detected by either listening for escaping air or holding the glove against the tester’s cheek to feel air releasing.

The rubber condition should be inspected by stretching it slightly, if a weak rubber elasticity is noticed, the gloves should be put out of usage immediately.

Finally, the inspection frequency should be respected, a period of 6 months between the date of issue and the re-test should not be exceeded. If new gloves are stored in normal ambient conditions (temperature, pression and humidity), they may be issued for use at any time within that 12-month period.

For the 0 and 00 class insulating gloves, the IEC 60903 affirm that the national requirements with reference to periodic inspection and testing my be considered adequate, therefor in Canada the CSA Z462-2015 is based on the American standard ASTM D120-14 for the insulating rubber gloves that requires a gloves inspection every 6 moths regardless of their class.

The tag shows several information’s such as the size (1), the maximum voltage (2), the class (3) and the ASTM D120 certification.

For more information, contact us!

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Intervention Prévention Inc.

Intervention Prévention concentrates its operations in the field of work safety, offering specialized services following Standards CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety, CSA Z460 – Control of Hazardous Energy: Lock-out and Other Methods, and CSA Z432 – Safeguarding of Machinery.


226-3275 rue de l’Industrie
Saint-Mathieu-de-Beloeil (Québec)
J3G 0M8