Arc Flash Suits
In the entire scope of arc flash personal protective equipment (PPE), Arc Flash Suits should be the 'last line of defense' when protecting workers. When all other forms of arc flash protection have failed, then electrical safety clothing should be there to pick up the slack. And, for the most part, arc flash suits have done their job; however, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that 300 electrical workers still cease to exist due to electrical shock while at work. This statistic isn’t a way of pointing inadequacies in electrical safety clothing, but to point out how important electrical clothing is to protecting the worker on the job site.
In general, what can be done to reduce the risk of electrical hazards? Adherence to electrical safety standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Electrical Code (NEC/NFPA 70E) is a great start. Another important option is ensuring that your last line of defense is secured. One way to do that is by using appropriate arc flash suits.
What are Arc Flash Suits?
Arc flash suits protect electrical workers from serious injuries or sicknesses that are caused from electrical and other common at-work hazards. Arc flash suits consist of a variety of electrical safety clothing including coveralls, leggings, aprons, footwear, smocks, gloves, pants, hoods, jackets, and vests. Arc flash suits greatly reduce a worker's exposure to harmful and dangerous environments.
Regular work clothes made from common fabrics (such as cotton) can easily catch on fire by an electric arc flash. In the U.S., electrical workers are required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) to wear flame-resistant (FR) arc flash suits, which meet ASTM International safety standards (ASTM-F1506) whenever electrical workers are in an environment where exposure to an electric arc flash is high.
Arc Flash Suits -- Arc Flash Suit Materials
Arc flash suits have to withstand an electrical arc flash and in order to do that durable and tough materials must be used. Electrical arc flash occurs at different heat intensities, so arc flash clothing materials are used based on certain heat intensity levels. The materials in arc flash suits must also be able to provide resistance against blasts, crushing, abrasions, chemicals, crushing, radiation, and liquids.
MATERIAL: Rubber, latex, and nitrile safety clothing
TYPE OF PROTECTION: Resistance against a variety of industrial liquids
TYPE OF PROTECTION: Provides resistance to steam, water and oxygenated solvents
TYPE OF PROTECTION: Provides resistance against fuels and petroleum hydrocarbons
TYPE OF PROTECTION: This light-weight, yet tough, organic material is used in most protective garments.
TYPE OF PROTECTION: This synthetic rubber provides resistance from environmental degradation and used mostly with chemicals and oils