Arc Flash Clothing – More Than An Afterthought
Arc Flash is dangerous. As the name implies, the fact that electricity can “arc” from one point to another in the flash of a second makes it extremely dangerous to be around. Employees working in areas where electrical hazards are present are to be provided with and use Arc-Rated (AR) protective equipment that is designed and constructed for the specific part of the body to be protected and for the work to be performed.
A company called Creative Safety Supply has created a FREE Arc Flash Safety Guide that you can download here: Safety Guide (PDF).
Some of the issues discussed in the Arc Flash guide are:
– Arc Flash Boundary
– Required PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
– Hazard Risk Category
– Incident Energy
– Glove Class
– Shock Hazard
– Limited Approach
– Restricted Approach
– Prohibited Approach
– Assessment Date
The National Fire Protection Association has published the new NFPA 70E standard for Electrical Safety, which covers all of the guidelines relating to electrical work and maintenance. Pay special attention to the section on safety-related work practices, as it will soon be adopted by OSHA and will thus become mandatory.
Depending on the hazard, there is a different level of protection that is required against the devastating hazards of arc flash. When the level of protection that you require, to fulfill your job or duty has been ascertained, you will then need to appropriate the necessary and safety clothing. The protective clothing is usually identified with Level 1 to Level 4 designations – with Level 4 being reserved for the most extreme or dangerous situation.
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