EnergySafe Magazine Summer 2018/19, issue 52 - Page 19 The gloves are on—for electrical licensing assessments By Sue Sizer, Compliance Officer, Electrical Installation Safety ESV is introducing a new requirement for insulating gloves and fire resistant gloves during electrical licensing assessments. From 1 January 2019, candidates taking the Safe Working Practice (SWP) assessment and Restricted Licence Class 2 assessment will be required to use gloves during the assessment. This requirement includes low voltage (LV) insulating gloves compliant with AS 2225 and fire resistant outer gloves for mechanical protection. The use of gloves has already been a requirement of the Restricted Licence Class 1 Fault Finding and Switchgear Worker's Licence assessments for some time. Candidates must supply their own gloves for the assessment. Assessment centres will carry a small number of gloves for the rare occasions when a candidate supplies their own gloves which fail testing on the day. The candidate must provide their own gloves in good faith in the first place. Not supplying gloves at all, or bringing gloves that are blatantly incorrect or damaged is not acceptable. Inners are optional, and a matter of personal preference with candidate-supplied gloves. Both sets of gloves must be checked during the assessment each time the candidate intends to put them on. Checks include a visual check and stretch, checking for deterioration, cracks, cuts or holes. The LV gloves must also be air tested using a roll test or similar. Read more about electrical apprentice safety and appropriate supervision at Gloves are to be used when the risk of accidental contact with live parts is possible, including when live terminals are exposed for testing. Once isolation has been proven and the circuit locked out and tagged out (LOTO), the gloves may be removed. There is no penalty if the candidate chooses to leave their gloves on throughout the assessment. Use of gloves in the assessments was trialed at Federation University earlier this year. Candidates were given plenty of opportunity to practice working with the gloves beforehand and generally had no issues during their assessment. Additional time has been allocated for the assessment (10 minutes), to allow for testing and putting on the gloves. The trial showed that candidates generally did not require this extra time. This will be monitored once all centres carry out the updated assessment and may be adjusted as necessary in the future. Wearing gloves isn’t just for the assessment The practice of wearing gloves for licensing assessments should not been seen as the only time electricians should be wearing them. ESV strongly recommends that gloves are worn on the job where there is a risk of accidental contact with live parts, such as when testing or fault finding. Apprentices should be encouraged to use their gloves on site, both for safety and to familiarise themselves with their use before their licensing assessments. ESV emphasises that LV insulating gloves do not negate the need for correct isolation, and all circuits should be disconnected from supply before working on the circuit. The use of LV insulating gloves is a cultural change for our industry, and one that could save many electrical workers’ lives. 19