Welcome to Episode 2 of SHOCKtober – a month-long series focusing on electric shock hazards.
One of the key items in your shock PPE tool kit is safety boots because, as our VP of Technical, Scott Margolin, says in Episode 2 below, being safe starts from the ground up.
As Scott says, there are two types of electrically protective boots dielectric boots or overshoes which can be viewed as primary protection and Electrical Hazard or EH Rated boots which provide secondary protection.
Dielectric boots or overshoes are:
- Tested to high voltages
- Capable of being used in wet conditions
Dielectric boots are required for wet service and for step potential hazard.
EH Rated boots are:
- Used below 600 volts
- Used in dry environments
EH boots are isolating which means they provide a secondary source of protection from electric shock or electrocution. EH rated footwear is manufactured with non-conductive, electrically shock resistant soles and heels. And, the entire surface of the boot is made from non-conductive materials which means no electrical charge will pass through the body because you’re fully isolated from the ground.
EH rated safety boots have an EH rating on them, meaning they’ve been tested by ASTM 2413, the primary standard for safety boots, to provide protection against electrical hazards but it’s important to note that ASTM 2413 does not require an EH rating. Please be aware of labels and claims and if you need EH boots, make sure you’re getting them.
Lastly, there are a few things that could affect the performance of EH boots and their ability to protect you:
- Excessive wear to the sole – which can cause holes or thin spots which reduce electrical protection.
- If the boots get wet – in a shock environment, wet boots do not provide the protection you need.
Do you know the limits of approach, when to wear gloves with proper protection, and proper glove care and maintenance? Check out Episode 3 to learn this PLUS three simple, lifesaving practices to help reduce the likelihood of electric shock injuries with special guest Rich Gojdics of Enespro PPE.