These labels give an indication as to the level of PPE and arc flash clothing that needs to be worn in order to stay safe whilst working on or near a particular piece of equipment.
There are currently three different types of Arc rated flame resistant (FR) fabrics available on the market - treated inherently FR fabrics, inherently FR fabrics, and treated non-inherently FR fabrics. This is what the majority of protective arc flash clothes are made of.
It’s easy to think that as long as you’re wearing the correct level of arc-rated PPE and clothing, you’re covered against arc flash burns, but you would be mistaken. How you wear your PPE and arc flash clothing can affect the integrity, meaning you may not always be fully protected from harm.
Unlike those fabrics that have been specially treated, inherent fabrics do not have to undergo any type of process in order to make them flame resistant and are instead composed of fibres that are already innately flame resistant.
These properties cannot be diminished through use or laundering, meaning that the product will remain effective and wearable for as long as the user requires it.
Across many different industries personal protective equipment (PPE) is considered to be the last line of defense, and the difference between a near miss and serious, even fatal, injury. Depending on the situation, employers are required to provide their workers with a minimum level of PPE to ensure they remain safe at all times.
In order to make sure that the right type of PPE is issued to staff, it is important to understand the different Arc Flash PPE categories and the clothing requirements for each one of them.
By combining two or more Arc Flash garments into a layered system, it works to achieve a higher level of protection, performance, and comfort for the wearer. Additionally, layering up PPE can also greatly increase the total Arc Thermal Protective Value (ATPV) to a level greater than the sum of the individual garments.
In order for Arc Flash PPE to function correctly, it requires careful and regular maintenance, so that it keeps all of its protective qualities and works to save you from harm in the event of an electrical explosion.
By taking good care of your PPE, you’re ensuring that it takes good care of you. Maintaining Arc Flash PPE is actually pretty straightforward – all it needs is to be regularly checked for damage, tracked for how long it’s been in use, and kept clean.
Some engineers may think that as long as they’re wearing the correct level of arc-rated PPE, they are protected from being injured in the event of an Arc Flash occurring, but that is not always true. How a worker wears their PPE and what it’s worn with can affect the integrity of it dramatically.
Thousands of workers across the globe suffer electrical contact injuries each year, with millions more exposed to this danger on a daily basis. These incidents cost millions in insurance pay-outs and even more in lost operations. As it currently stands, there are no always-on, connected, ambient devices that detect electricity. Instead, workers have to follow lockout procedures and rely on processes to de-energize. However...
Safety in and around a Wind Turbine Generator is exacerbated for the following reasons:
- The remoteness of most turbines to medical facilities means that any accident that may require hospitalisation can quickly turn catastrophic due to the time taken from the time of accident/injury to the time of receiving professional medical assistance.
- The confined space. Within most wind turbines, the electro-mechanical parts of a wind turbine generator are typically in very confined spaces, further compounded by multiple people being in an area at one time and exit routes often tricky to negotiate. In the event of any incident, the path of escape/exit is not straight forward.
There are millions of electricity meters across each country around the world. The quality of these meters vary from very modern installations to very old assets which are deteriorating.
One important fact: there are certain activities undertaken by a meter operator that can only be conducted ‘live’ and it’s important if you are responsible for people working with electricity and gas meters for that matter of the inherent arc flash risks.
Anyone who has worked within the electrical services industry will be well aware of the physical dangers of an arc flash incident – around 40% are fatal. However, very few of these same workers are aware that a consequence of experiencing an electrical explosion is post-traumatic stress and even depression / anxiety.
Featured in this is a list of charities and support groups who focus on supplying engineers and construction workers with the advice, training and more.
We have compiled this Expert Advice Sheet to provide those purchasing PPE with the information that they will need now that the UK has left the EU and the transition period finished on December 31st, 2020.
We guide you through changes in Regulations, the standards, and assessment bodies and provide an overview of the introduction of the new UKCA marking.
Dedicated to its corporate and social responsibility of reducing the company’s carbon footprint, SKANWEAR is constantly looking to develop innovative sustainable solutions in order to minimize its impact on the environment. One such initiative that enables the company to take steps towards achieving this aim is their newly introduced Garment Recycling Scheme.
Before considering Arc Flash Clothing & PPE, having a clear understanding on Arc Flash Calculations and performing Arc Flash Risk Assessments will support the choice of protection you need.
There are actually a number of different things that can cause an arc flash to happen, including equipment not being sufficiently rated for the available short circuit current or accidental contact, to corrosion of equipment or deterioration or contamination. Learn more...
Within certain industries it is of vital importance that workers wear Arc and Flame Resistant personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to keep them safe whilst working on live electricity. This includes workers in the electrical engineering, thermal generation, wind generation, petrochemical, rail, and utilities industries.
We hope you enjoy this weeks interview with Sharon Incerti, Cable Development Project Manager at WSP, a lady who pushed for what she wanted right from the start of her career during a very different looking industry in the UK during the 1980s.
Sharon relishes the mentorship she can give others to achieve their full potential and after interviewing Linsey for last weeks spotlight, the warmth and appreciation for her Industry career mentor Sharon was so apparent. A big thank you to Sharon for such a great message and words of advice.
The second interview in our series to celebrate #INWED2020 shines the spotlight on Linsey, Project & Development Engineer for Wootton and Wootton.
A big thank you to Linsey for sharing such a fascinating journey to her current role in a smaller size business, with such a wide remit. Fantastic words of advice and also shows how important female mentors and role models are for inspiring and guiding future female generations “We can do anything a man can do…”
The first in our Series of interviews celebrating International Women in Engineering Day 2020 featuring our female colleagues in engineering is with Sandie Jones, IAMA Field Service Engineer at ABB UK.
For anyone considering an engineering pathway, a great piece of advice from Sandie: “grasp all of the Education that you can that is on offer with both hands – the key to success is Education”.
Global Zero Harm – An Achievable Goal for 2020
Despite the many challenges associated with achieving zero harm, SKANWEAR® are focusing their efforts in helping Global Energy Companies achieve this for their workforce as part of their brand new Global 2020 Zero Harm campaign. After all, no company wants to face the moral accusation in setting injury targets that mean they are effectively planning to hurt a certain amount of their workers.
It is our commitment to reduce the risk of the activities performed within the global energy industry that has seen SKANWEAR® innovate and become a leader in developing Arc Flash personal protective clothing and equipment.
Through our six Zero Harm Pillars, SKANWEAR® are helping Global Energy Companies achieve Global Zero Harm in 2020.
The risk is so pronounced within the Solar Industry due to the DC circuits found within typical PV installations, which can both generate and sustain arcs. DC circuits present a greater challenge than AC circuits due to the constant-current source rather than constant voltage, which makes calculating arc energies difficult.
So just what are some of the biggest Arc Flash risks for Solar Industry Personnel?
Electrical Workers, who are they, there are different types of electrical workers, they can be;
- Electrical Engineer (Various disciplines)
- Electrician (Domestic and light commercial)
- Electrician (Industrial and Mining)
- Cable Jointer
All of the above, at some time, could be exposed to arc flash hazards. However, many do not have the knowledge, skills and training to deal with arc flash hazards. The question is, what knowledge is required to be able to manage arc flash risks?