What Do Electric Utility Workers Wear?

Given the potential hazards electric utility workers face in the course of doing their job, the requirements for protective clothing and equipment are strict and comprehensive. Different electric utility companies and local regulations have unique requirements for the protective clothing and equipment for electric utility workers, making it important for them to be aware of the specific requirements for their job. 

This article covers the common protective clothing electric utility workers wear and equipment requirements for electric utility workers, such as safety vests, hard hats, insulated gloves, and protective eyewear.

Types of clothing electric utility workers wear

  1. Safety Vests

Safety vests are part of the mandatory protective clothing for electric utility workers. These vests are designed to be highly visible to alert nearby workers and motorists of the worker’s presence and help to reduce the risk of accidents. Safety vests come in different colors and sizes, and should be worn in accordance with the company’s regulations. The vests are usually made of a material that is both breathable and durable. Some safety vests may also have reflective strips and pockets to store equipment.

  1. Hard Hats

Electric utility workers should wear hard hats when performing tasks that involve working at elevated heights or when there is a risk of falling objects. The hard hats help protect workers from impact and debris. The hard hats should meet the requirements of OSHA, ANSI, and ASTM. Hard hats come in various sizes and colors, and should be replaced when they become worn or damaged.

  1. Insulated Gloves

Insulated gloves are a must for electric utility workers, as they protect them from dangerous electrical currents and help reduce the risk of serious injuries due to shocks. The gloves should be made from a durable and flame-resistant material, and they should be inspected regularly to ensure they are in good condition. It is also important to wear the correct size of gloves, as wearing gloves that are too large or too small can lead to dangerous outcomes.

  1. Protective Eyewear

Due to the potential for electrical arcs and flying debris, it is important that electric utility workers wear protective eyewear at all times while on the job. The eyewear should comply with ANSI Z87.1, and should be checked regularly to ensure they are in good condition. Additionally, it is important to select the right type of eyewear for the job, such as eye shields for electric arc welding and face shields for chipping or grinding operations.

  1. Other Protective Clothing and Equipment

There are a number of other protective clothing and equipment that electric utility workers wear, depending on the type of work they are performing. These include fire-resistant clothing, steel-toed boots or shoes, fall protection equipment, ear protection, and respirators. It is important for electric utility workers to be aware of the specific requirements for their job and to wear the appropriate clothing and equipment at all times.

Advantages of Wearing the Proper Clothing for Electric Utility Work

Wearing the right clothing for electric utility work offers several advantages, including increased visibility, protection from the elements, and even improved safety.

Increased visibility is important when working in an electric utility environment. Wearing bright colors and reflective stripes on your clothing can make it easier for you to be seen by your colleagues and supervisors. This can help to prevent injuries due to accidental contact with electrical cables or equipment. Additionally, wearing the right clothing can help to protect you from the elements, such as wind, rain, and extreme temperatures. This can help to keep you comfortable while you work, and can also help to prevent heat exhaustion or hypothermia.

Finally, wearing the right clothing for electric utility work can help to improve safety. The right clothing can provide insulation against electric shock, which can help to protect you from potentially hazardous situations. Additionally, wearing the right clothing can also provide a layer of protection against dirt, dust, and other contaminants that might be present in the work environment. This can help to minimize the risk of illness or injury due to contact with these materials.


The proper clothing for electric utility work is essential for the safety of workers. Wearing the correct clothing and safety equipment not only helps to protect workers from the potential dangers of electricity, but it also provides comfort and protection from the elements. By adhering to the safety guidelines and wearing the appropriate clothing and protective gear, workers can be sure that they will stay safe and comfortable while working on the job.

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