When to Wear Arc Flash Clothing

By | March 2, 2016

Life is about getting that work done, yet some work can be pretty tacky. Think of your personal protection, sometimes in your line of work you have to protect yourself from harmful elements. Thanks to electric shock and waves, chemical concentrations, heat and a variety of other harmful elements the arc flash cloth wear came to life. Just wearing normal day to day attire doesn’t cut it anymore when there is exposure to heat and electricity.

hoodArc wear is a form of personal protective equipment designed specifically to protect one from the heat and flame thereby minimizing the potential for total burns while giving extra protection allowing the wearer to get to safety. Arc wear includes flame resistant hats, long-sleeved shirts and pants, hearing protection, flame resistant neck protection, a face shield, suit, insulated rubber gloves with leather protectors and insulated leather footwear.
Due to the bulk of the layers of arc clothing, protection agencies have made recommendations that strike a balance between protection and practicality to provide easy mobility

Why should you use arc wear?

1. Arc wear helps reduce the need for severe medical treatment such as skin grafts due to its protective layer and also reduces chances of subsequent infections.
2. Arc wear increases the wearer’s chances of survival. The overall get up provides a head to toe protection gear ensuring your safety is well handled.
3. It also increases the quality of life of a worker who experiences exposure to electric arc events.
As you would probably imagine, constant exposure has long run serious effects which arc wear aims to deflect.

Here’s a list of instances when you should wear your arc flash clothing;
1. Areas where electric arc hazard is potential or present with a voltage exceeding 600V with an additional incident energy exceeding 2.0 Cal/cm squared.
2.Where there are open, uninsulated wires in live circuits which if they touch due to their electrical capacity would have large current possibly even large sparks that could cause a fire.
3.Electric connections which cannot be de-energized while working on them since they cause extended hazard. These live parts are areas that operate with more than 50 volts.
4. When handling areas with rack mounted circuit breakers that could fault during operations.
5. When handling energized electric equipment that could easily fail.
6. When installing or repairing major circuit connections. It important when handling circuits that carry a large current. Thereby wearing arc flash clothing will protect you from the risk of an arc flash.

Key things to note about arc wear clothing;

• Keep your arc wear clothing clean. Dirt, chemicals, and oils contribute to the wearing down of the flame fighting properties of arc flash wear. As soon as it gets soiled it’s important to get it all cleaned up before wearing it again. Dirt on arc wear clothing increases the risk of an injury and increases its wear and tear. This implies your arc flash clothing will only last for a shorter span if you do not keep it clean.
• When laundering arc flash clothing, gentle laundering is recommended. The lesser the friction impact, the less the wear and tear. This ensures your arc flash clothing lasts for a longer span of time. The basic procedure is to first to use a mild detergent with warm water then tumble dry on low. Remember; do not use bleach as it breaks down the arc flash fabrics. Consult with the manufacturer’s instructions for any specific additional washing directions.
• Inspect regularly for damage. Even a slight tear exposes you to the risk of an injury since it reduces arc wears protective ability. In case of damage repair it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instruction specifications using flame resistant fabric patches. Do not continue to wear damaged clothing as it greatly increases your risk while on the job.
• Air test your gloves before wearing them. Even just a tiny hole puts you at risk. Simply air test your gloves by holding the sleeve end of it closed trapping air inside. Roll the enclosed sleeve downward toward the fingers, the glove is fine if no air leaks out.

With the above guideline on when to wear arc flash clothing, you can be assured of a safer workplace both at home and at work.
As the saying goes, better safe than sorry. Arc flash clothing is important personal protective equipment that every workplace should provide for its employees. Since the detrimental aftermath is avoidable strap on an arc flash clothing and keep safe. Let that workplace be a haven for you.

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