Arc Flash Protective Clothing Explained

Arc Flash Protective Clothing

Arc Flash Protective Clothing
Typical work clothes made from fabrics such as cotton can be readily ignited and can add injury as a result of an electrical incident, such as an arc flash. For these reasons, employees working around electrical equipment are required to wear arc flash protective clothing that is flame resistant (FR), which meets ASTM International (F1506) standards. There are different types of arc flash protective clothing that provides different kinds of protection.

Electricians and all qualified employees working with live or de-energized electrical equipment must wear arc flash protective clothing as protection against electrical hazards. Electrical hazards, such as arc flashes, can seriously injure or fatally wound employees. All non-qualified employees require protection from electrical hazards by the use of barricades, attendants, enclosures, safety signs, and insulation.

Arc Flash Protective Clothing – Hear Loss Protection
Earmuffs and earplugs are used by electrical workers to prevent hearing damage. Workers exposed to high noise can lose some of their hearing permanently and suffer from psychological or physical stress. Earplugs are made from waxed cotton, foam, or fiberglass wool and self-form for the appropriate fit. Workers should be fitted individually for performed or molded earplugs. Earplugs should be cleaned regularly or replaced if the designated task at hand cannot be performed.

Hand Protection
Using gloves or other appropriate Arc Flash Protective Clothing can protect workers from injuries caused from harmful substances. Possible injuries include severe cuts, severe abrasions, skin absorption, chemical or thermal burns or extreme temperatures.

Body Protection
Electrical safety standards require that an electrical worker must have his/her body completely covered bu Arc Flash Protective Clothing as protection against arc flash hazards. Possible injuries can occur from scalding liquids, hazardous materials, body fluids, hot metals and other hazards. Fire-retardant cotton and fire-retardant wool, plastic, rubber, synthetics and rubber are among some of the materials used to make full-body personal protective equipment.

Respiratory Protection
When applicable, workers are required to use respirators to protect their respiratory system against air contamination caused from smokes, harmful dusts, mists, gases, sprays, among others. In general, respirators cover the mouth, nose, head or face to reduce the risk of serious injury. In order for respirators to work effectively, proper Arc Flash Protective Clothing is required.

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