Title:
Shockender sleeve
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a protective sleeve of left and right design to be worn on the respective user's forearms. The purpose of the sleeve is to protect the wearer from electrical shock while working on electrical power panels, where exposed electrical conductors are present. The sleeves allow the technician to make contact with live electrical conductors, and prevent the arms from making contact with any grounded surfaces nearby. This is essential in the prevention of electrical shock. In the telecommunications industry, technicians routinely work directly with live conductors; therefore insulating sleeves for protecting the arms, such as those of the present invention are an important part of any electrician's tool box. The present invention is fully adjustable from small to large sized arms using the uniquely flexible and adjustable Velcro™ fastening system. Additionally, the Velcro™ fastening system allows the technician to adjust the sleeve snuggly around the arm to prevent slippage and movement. A denim comfort liner is designed to provide comfort to bare arms in cold or hot working conditions. Rubber type protective sleeves that are currently on the market (also known as lineman sleeves) do not allow an adjustable fit or provide suitable arm movement flexibility during use. In addition, current art does not provide an internal liner for increased comfort when working in the warm environments typically found in telecommunications switching and router room facilities.



Inventors:
Fournier, James (Shepherdstown, WV, US)
Application Number:
10/818100
Publication Date:
10/13/2005
Filing Date:
04/05/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/08; A41D19/00; (IPC1-7): A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20100031415Utility Jacket for Dog WalkingFebruary, 2010Shadid
20090009882OPTICAL SYSTEM FOR ENHANCED VISIONJanuary, 2009Reichert
20070028358Facetent for avoiding solar radiationFebruary, 2007Baek et al.
20080078046APPLICATOR FOR DISTRIBUTING A SUBSTANCE ONTO A TARGET SURFACEApril, 2008Reed
20100005555REAR BREAK AWAY BALLISTICS VESTJanuary, 2010Osborne
20100095428Glove Incorporating A Silicone MaterialApril, 2010Fisher
20090077717Reflective safety sleeveMarch, 2009Luginbuhl
20080066216AUXILIARY SUN VISOR FOR HEADGEARMarch, 2008Yun
20090077715Protective sanitary ear coverMarch, 2009Jack
20080201826Laser Safety Goggles for AnimalsAugust, 2008Pryor et al.
20030229934Device for hooking the visor to a motorcyclist helmet capDecember, 2003Gafforio et al.



Primary Examiner:
DURHAM, NATHAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Zito, Tlp (26005 RIDGE ROAD, SUITE 203, DAMASCUS, MD, 20872, US)
Claims:
1. An electrically insulating forearm sleeve, comprising: a unitary sleeve shell that extends around a human forearm from a first area proximate to a wrist on a human arm to a second area between an elbow and a shoulder on said arm, wherein said unitary sleeve shell does not extend beyond said first area to cover a hand area on said arm and does not extend beyond said second area to cover a shoulder area on said arm, and wherein said unitary sleeve shell is constructed of an electrically insulative covering tested for protection of said forearm of up to 10,000 volts.

2. The sleeve shell of claim 1, wherein said electrically insulative covering comprises a two-part outer protective covering that is tested for protection of said forearm of up to 10,000 volts.

3. The sleeve shell of claim 2, wherein said two-part covering comprise two layers of electrically insulating material permanently laminated to each other.

4. The inner comfort liner of claim 2, further comprising: an inner comfort liner, attached to said protective covering, that is constructed of a fabric material such as a denim material.

5. The sleeve shell of claim 4, wherein said two part protective covering and said inner comfort liner are laminated together to form the sleeve.

6. The sleeve of claim 1, further comprising: a sleeve border which passes around the periphery of said sleeve shell and is folded over the edge of said shell.

7. The sleeve of claim 1, further comprising: a releasable fastening system, comprising: a loop fastening pad, connected to a first portion of said sleeve; a hook fastening pad, connected to a second portion of said sleeve opposing said loop fastening pad; and a set of elastic holding straps, connected to one of said first and second portions, for tightening said unitary sleeve shell around said forearm.

8. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein, said shell compromises left and right arm designs which are symmetrically opposite when taken about the long axis of the sleeve.

9. The sleeve of claim 1, wherein said electrically insulative covering is constructed of one of an approximate red and orange coloration that serves as a cautionary signal when providing protection to said forearm.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to electrically insulating protective apparel. More specifically, the present invention is an electrically insulating protecting sleeve meant to be worn in conjunction with and as a supplemental protective measure to industry standard electrically insulating gloves while working around electrical circuit breakers and other such devices wherein the danger of electric shock is primarily limited to the hands, wrists and forearms.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

For installation or repair technicians working on or around electrically live wiring or grounded power connection and distribution equipment, it is necessary to wear protective apparel to safeguard said workers from the dangers associated with accidental contact with said wiring or equipment, which may exist in a state of higher electrical potential than that of said technicians. A particular example might be in the telecommunications industry where technicians routinely work directly with live conductors in the switching and router room facilities, often exposing their hands and/or wrists and/or lower arms to possible electrical shock.

Existing prior art for hand and forearm protection includes insulating gloves which cover the hand or the hand and wrist only, and full-length insulating sleeves of the type linemen wear to protect themselves from high voltage work and which cover the entire surface of the upper and lower arm. Neither of these options is particularly well suited for work around the relatively lower voltages associated with the work inside a telecommunications facility, for example. In the case of the hand-only or hand and wrist covering gloves, the length of said glove is not sufficient to protect the lower forearm which on occasion may contact potentially live wiring or grounded electrical equipment situated adjacent to or surrounding the location of the work. In the case of the full-length lineman's sleeves, the stiffness and relative bulk of the material of the sleeve creates an unsuitable restriction on the movement of the arm for the nature and needs of the work, and in addition, the warm environment of the facility can make the use of such a heavy covering very uncomfortable.

There are other glove and/or sleeve combinations available which provide hand, wrist and lower arm coverage, but these are not designed or envisioned for, nor are they suitable for the purposes of protection from electrical current.

Addressing these shortcomings, and as a way to advance the state of the art in this field, the present invention is a protective sleeve designed specifically for use around the lower, but still dangerous voltages associated with certain types of electrical installations, and which is relatively unrestrictive, comfortable to wear, and purpose built for protection of the forearm when such protection is required in addition to the hand and wrist.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An insulating, lower arm protective sleeve is disclosed which shields a user from electric shock to the forearm. The purpose of the sleeve is to protect the wearer from electrical shock while performing installation or repair and maintenance work on electrical power and distribution equipment (for example bus bars in a panel box), where exposed electrical conductors and grounded surrounding or support structures are present in close proximity. The sleeve's double-layer, electrically insulating outer shell allows the technician to safely make contact with live electrical conductors with the hands while preventing the forearms from making direct contact with grounded surfaces nearby. This is essential in the prevention of electrical shock. In the telecommunications industry, for example, technicians routinely work directly with live conductors inside panel boxes or around a bank of batteries. Insulating sleeves for protecting the arms such as those of the present invention are therefore a welcome addition to any electrician's tool box.

The present invention is an improvement over the existing state of the art because unlike the existing models (e.g., lineman's sleeves), the sleeve of the present invention is purpose-built for comfortable use in and around power connection and distribution equipment in telecommunications and other relatively lower voltage electrical handling facilities. The innovative design contemplates both left and right forearm configurations suitable for all size wearers. The sleeve is able to adapt from small to large sized arms through use of an adjustable Velcro™ fastening system. Additionally, the fastening system allows the technician to secure the sleeve snuggly around the arm to prevent sliding and rotation during use without the need for additional straps connecting the sleeve to some other part of the user's apparel.

Also, unlike like full-length sleeves existing in the present art, the disclosed sleeve is not heavy, bulky or stiff across any arm joint. It creates no fatigue and imposes no restrictions in the movement or placement of the arms. This is particularly important in tight or congested spaces where arm mobility and flexibility are essential to efficiency and comfort. As an extra feature, a denim inner liner is provided to increase the comfort level when the sleeve is worn against bare forearms, particularly in the warm environments typically found under certain working conditions, such as telecommunications switching and router room facilities.

The design is sleek, attractive and lightweight. However the triple layer, laminated and fiber thread reinforced shell configuration is strong for exceptional wear and tear resistance. The outer covering of the sleeve is electrically tested for 10,000 volts and is designed for use around 7,500 volt installations. The sleeve is able to be produced in virtually any color, however, a florescent red or orange coloration serves as a cautionary signal to others nearby and makes the sleeve easy to find when not in use.

In the exemplary embodiment described above, the sleeve is disclosed as being tested and suitable for use under 10,000 and 7,500 volts, respectively; however the sleeve can be designed for any range of voltage without departing from the teachings of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Exemplary embodiments of the invention are discussed hereinafter in reference to the following drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view of the exemplary embodiment of the left and right sleeve designs shown in the fastened (Velcro™ pads engaged) configuration.

FIG. 2 is a view of the large end of the left and right sleeve designs shown in the fastened configuration.

FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 are end views of the left and right sleeve designs shown in the unfastened (Velcro™ pads disengaged) configuration.

FIG. 6 is a side view of the left and right sleeve designs shown in the unfastened configuration.

FIG. 7 illustrates the shape of the two-part outer protective covering for either the left (inside surface shown) or right (outside surface shown) sleeve design.

FIG. 8 illustrates the rolled and fastened position of a left sleeve design. FIG. 8 also includes a detail of the sleeve border.

FIG. 9 is an illustration of the Velcro™ fastening system with elastic holding straps.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

In the exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the sleeve (1) has left (1A) and right (1B) arm designs, as shown in FIGS. 1 thru 6, which designs are symmetrically opposite when taken about the long axis of the completed sleeve. Each sleeve (1) is comprised of a two-part outer protective covering (2), an inner comfort liner (3), a sleeve border (4), a Velcro™ loop fastening pad (5), a Velcro™ hook fastening pad (6) and a set of elastic holding straps (7). Said components of the invention are adhered and sewn together to form a single sleeve of the indicated left and right designs.

The two-part outer covering (2), as shown in FIG. 7, is comprised of two laminated layers of fiber thread reinforced electro-shield Class 1 synthetic rubber or any other pliable electrically insulating material. The material of the covering is electrically tested at 10,000 volts under—ASTM control test #10806, Type II. The shape of the outer covering includes areas designated as the upper closure flap (2A), the lower closure flap (2B) and the elbow protection flap (2C). The irregular shape of the cover (2) is designed such that, when rolled along its longitudinal axis (y-y), the cover forms the general shape required to wrap comfortably around any size left or right adult human forearm, with upper closure flap (2A) overlapping lower closure flap (2B) to the extent necessary to provide a secure but comfortable fit of the completed sleeve (1). The shape of the outer covering may vary from that shown in FIG. 7 without departing form the scope of the present invention.

The inner comfort liner (3) is a fabric layer made of denim or any other material suitable for use as a comfortable separation medium between the rubber of the outer covering (2) and a bare human arm. As indicated in FIG. 8, the inner liner (3) is adhered to the inside surface the sleeve (1) in both left and right designs. Adhesion may be accomplished by any manner common to those skilled in the art.

Surrounding the outer periphery of the sleeve (1) is a border (4). The border may be made of a thin strip of tri-fold braided polyester, or any other material suitable for use as a durable, protective edging. As shown in FIG. 8, the border (4) is folded over the outer edge of the main body of the sleeve, covering both exposed edges of the outer covering (2) on the outside of the sleeve, and the inner liner (3) on the inside of the sleeve. The border (4) is fastened to the sleeve by sewing and/or adhesion in a manner common to anyone skilled in the art.

Attached at the inside surface of the upper flap (2A) of the sleeve is a Velcro™ loop fastening pad (5) as detailed in FIG. 9. This pad is located on the inner surface of the inner liner (3) and is fastened by sewing and/or adhesion in a manner common to anyone skilled in the art. On the outer surface of the lower flap (2B), a Velcro™ hook fastening pad (6) is attached such that said hook fastening pad (6) will mate with said loop fastening pad (5). Said fastening pads are of a size and shape to permit fastening of the sleeve (1) around a variety of human arm sizes with sufficient strength development at any resultant overlap of loop pad (5) onto hook pad (6) to prevent the sleeve from opening in the event of incidental contact with the surroundings or from any range of arm and wrist positioning.

The fastening mechanism of the tightened sleeve is based on a Velcro™ system. However, the upper and lower flaps (2A and 2B), can be based upon magnetic, hook and eyelet or any other system of fastening without departing from the teachings of the present invention.

A set of elastic holding straps (7) are fastened across the upper and lower flaps (2A and 2B) in such a manner that said sleeve flaps do not separate farther than the free span of the straps (7) as the sleeves are being positioned over the forearm for use, or in case of accidental separation of the fastening pads (5 and 6) during use. One end of each elastic strap (7) is installed between the loop fastening pad (5) and the inner surface of upper sleeve flap (2A). The other end of each strap is installed between the hook fastening pad (6) and the outer surface of sleeve flap (2B) as shown in FIG. 9. Straps (7) are installed coincidently with the fastening hooks which are all fastened by adhesion and/or sewing, as suitable to prevent the pads or the ends of the strap from pulling free under normal use conditions.

Although the exemplary embodiment is illustrated with a set of three elastic straps (7), a differing number of straps can be used without departing from the scope of the invention.

It is envisioned that the sleeve (1) is to be utilized in conjunction with an electrically insulated glove (not included in the present invention) that covers the user's hand and wrist. To use the sleeve, the user separates the Velcro™ loop and hook fastening pads (5 and 6) to enlarge the diameter of the sleeve as shown in FIG. 3. The user slips the left hand, gloved or ungloved, across the inside surface of the elbow protection flap (2C) and through the larger, open end (8) of the left sleeve (1A). When the hand passes through the smaller end (9) of the sleeve, the user pulls the upper sleeve flap (2A) down over the lower sleeve flap (2B) until a snug fit around the forearm is achieved. If the hand was gloved, the wrist covering of said glove is overlapped by the smaller end (9) of the loose sleeve. The user then presses the two flaps together, interlocking the Velcro™ pads at that position. If the user's hand was ungloved, the user may slide a glove over the bare hand such that the wrist covering of said glove overlaps the smaller end (9) of the tightened sleeve. In this manner, the hand, wrist and forearm, including the elbow are all protected from the danger of electric shock through accidental contact with electrically live or grounded components while working around such components.

Because many varying and different embodiments may be made within the scope of the inventive concept herein taught, and because many modifications may be made in the embodiments herein detailed in accordance with the descriptive requirements of the law, it is to be understood that the details herein are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.