What is the arc flash protection offered by leather gloves and should they be arc-rated?
If rubber insulating gloves with leather protectors are required as per your shock risk assessment, additional leather or arc-rated gloves are not required. Leather protectors can be arc-rated, but it’s not required. The most important consideration when selecting hand protection is to first identify and understand your hazards.
If a shock hazard exists the worker shall wear shock protection. If no shock hazard exists, the NFPA 70E Standard identifies that heavy duty leather gloves or arc-rated gloves are required when an arc flash hazard is likely to exist. Heavy-duty leather gloves are described as being made entirely of leather with a minimum thickness of 0.03 in. (0.7 mm) and are unlined or lined with non-flammable, nonmelting fabrics. Heavy-duty gloves that meet this requirement have been shown to have arc ratings in excess of 10 cal/cm2ATPV.
Gloves not used for shock protection (i.e. not rubber insulating) can be arc-rated, including leather protectors. Refer to the ASTM F2675 Standard Test Method for Determining Arc Ratings of Hand Protective Products Developed and Used for Electrical Arc Flash Protection for more information.