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.
Lighter weight layers actually achieve much higher levels of protection than what the more traditional solutions do. By wearing numerous different layers, quick adjustments can be easily made to suit the level of protection required at the time. However, it is important to remember that when layering Arc Flash PPE, 2 + 2 doesn’t always equal 4. This is because the layering process creates a small layer of air between each garment, boosting the overall level of protection.
What to wear under Arc Flash PPE?
The type of clothing worn under an Arc Flash garment is just as important as the PPE itself. Although the outer layers are a key component in providing the wear with protection, by themselves they are not enough to keep the wearer safe in the event of an Arc Flash, which is why base layers need to be always worn.
The wearer should always have on flame resistant garments, such as shirts and trousers, along with flame resistant underwear and base layers – these under layers must be non-melting, flammable fiber garments i.e no footballs shirts or polyester alternatives.
Wearing flame resistant undergarments is highly important because even though the flames produced during an Arc Flash are unlikely to come into direct contact with the skin thanks to the protection provided by the outer layers.
Wearing the right materials
Whilst layering is important, the level of protection the Arc Flash PPE provides can be compromised if the wrong type of materials are worn underneath. Any under layers that are worn need to be made from non-melting, flammable fibers!