Protective Gear

Inspectors that are using protective wear, what type glasses, gloves and clothing are you using?


Hi to all,

Good question Dave, here’s my personal list:

  • Cotton only clothing
  • Standard wrapround clear safety/high impact glasses (Home Depot $25)
  • Leather Gloves (only if bone dry, Homedepot $25)


Hi, Dave.

Cotton Clothing, safety glasses, gloves, and for crawl spaces, a respirator and bump hat.

Same, plus coveralls in the crawlspace and electrical safety gloves when inspecting the electrical system.

Sometimes water-wings on some really leaky plumbing.:slight_smile:

When working in a panel or around any energized equipment, good boots are critical. During my apprenticeship I saw plenty of gory post mortem pictures of exit points out the foot from hand to foot electrical paths. Although the really bad ones were from higher voltage, it is still important to isolate all of your body parts. Don’t give the current a pathway through your heart ie, hand to hand or hand to foot.

Do the clear glasses protect you from arc flashes? The ones that GB recommend from Home Depot.

I usually wear tennis shoes or leather boots.

I need to start wearing a mask for the attic.

Thanks for the response. I voted no on my poll and I need to start protecting myself and make sure my clients are safe as well.




Dave, I sure as heck hope so as that is what I wear for panels :wink: The secondary use is in crawl spaces as I have got a face full of dust and rust of piping etc before.



True safety glasses that meet OSHA requirements will be marked “ANSI standard Z87.1” on the temple bar.

Thanks Joe, I never knew that. I just pulled mine out of my bag to check and that is indeed what they are marked. Mine show AOS + Z87 which apparently denote high impact resistance.

Good to know

BTW these are the ones that I use:



““Deenergized parts.” Live parts to which an employee may be exposed shall be deenergized before the employee works on or near them, unless the employer can demonstrate that deenergizing introduces additional or increased hazards or is infeasible due to equipment design or operational limitations. Live parts that operate at less than 50 volts to ground need not be deenergized if there will be no increased exposure to electrical burns or to explosion due to electric arcs.”

[quote=Mike Parks]
““Deenergized parts.” Live parts to which an employee may be exposed…”

What’s your point?

It seems that more than a 3/4 of the inspectors that took the poll were not using protective gear and that includes me.

I went to Lowes and bought a pair for about $15. They have a nice selection of approved glasses.

GB if anything the course got me to wear protective glasses. Thanks.

Now I need to invest in a safety cushion and install it below my ladder.:mrgreen:


20 some years ago (in high school shop class) we were shown a movie from the late 50s where a guy got a metal sliver in his eye. He drove himself to the hospital in something with huge fins. He ended up needing surgury which was very hard to watch since it was not edited and quite close-up.

The teacher, who had seen it before, left the room before the gore. Seems it wasn’t worth seeing again vs any carnage a group of unsupervised male teenagers could commit. It was shown about an hour before lunch and for some reason no one had an appetite that day.



I do not know a single inspector who will shut down the system to do their inspection of the electrical panel. I think their was a HUGE argument over this some time back........electricians versus Hi's but they are going into them regardless for visual inspection.

I also don't think the OSHA will play much effect on the HI's as they are not employee's bound by some of OHSA's requirements...HOWEVER....

While I read alot about Protective Eyewear and Cotton Clothing and such...if you are ever in a "REAL" ARC FAULT BLAST the third degree burns on the neck, face and arms just may be the death of you as well.

Protection is VERY important.....but please guys don't loose sight of the fact gloves, eyewear and so on will not protect you 100% from an ARC BLAST if you are in the middle of one.

Good news is lower voltage ( 600V ) or less and the typical 200A services are not as prone to the same high voltage arc blasts as you would see in an industrial setting.....but even (1) spec of molten conductor can BURN and BLIND you regardless of the smallest or largest ARC Blast..... I happen to wear safety glasses with a perscription....but I agree 100% with all protection  methods listed.

How many HI’s were hurt in the last 5 years inspecting the panel?

I do wear a dust mask in the attic, and am very carefull setting up my ladder.

Of course it is a metal ladder which poses another level of risk.:wink:

I usually wear mechanics gloves instead of cotten. The have a better feel to them I can easily pick up the panel screws to put them back on. As summer comes I also highly recommend them for the roof as we all know how hot the shingles can get.

For the crawl spaces I always get fully suited up in hooded coveralls, respirator, gloves and eye protection. I use disposable coveralls and carefully keep the contaminated items away from my respirator in my truck. Your respirator doesn’t do you much good if you threw it in with your dirty gloves and coveralls after the last job. Now the face cup has all the dirty contaminants that you were trying to keep out of your respiratory system. In HazMat we call that cross-contamination,


I agree the #1 piece of safety gear is a Z87.1 rated pair of safety glasses.
I keep a pair around my neck on a Croakie all the time. (UV-a,UV-b, IR rated sunglasses) I like Crews and I get them by the box at about $4 a pair so I don’t feel bad throwing them away when they get scratched up.
When I am working in low light situations I like the yellow ones.
I have a hard hat in the car for places where that is appropriate. Good shoes and natural fiber clothes is just a personal preference.

I am not in the habit of wearing safety glasses. Maybe I should start.
I wear mostly cotton.
I use to wear rubber gloves, but found them combersome and no longer wear gloves.
As to foot wear I have a pair of rubber sole deck shoes.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a residential licenced electrician wearing safety glasses and gloves, but they did have boots on. :slight_smile: