by , on August 1, 2014


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August 2014
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It’s our anniversary and we are celebrating 10 years of electrical safety! Our office staff and 20 trainers in addition to our 600+ Train the Trainer graduates are
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Knowing the difference between Arc Rated vs. Flame Resistant
Arc flash photo

Arc Rated vs Flame Resistant

In 2012, NFPA 70E changed the terminology referencing personal protective equipment (PPE); what was formerly referred to as FR (flame resistant) clothing is to be called Arc Rated or AR, according to the standard change. The difference between the two and the reason for the change lies in the fact that ALL clothing with an arc rating (AR) is flame resistant (FR), but not all FR clothing has an arc rating. FR doesn’t have any standards applying to any particular hazard. FR traditionally was believed to be generically protective from flame at some level, but this is actually untrue of some fabrics. AR indicates a garment has an arc rating and the level of protection has been determined through testing.

Find out more about AR vs. FR
Arc Flash Testing 101

Q&A with e-Hazard/ArcWear: Standard changes and High Vis Vests

Burning Question

Q.I have a question about OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 Section (I)(6) “Apparel,” specifically (I)(8)(v) regarding the wearing and use of the safety vest.

(l)(8)(iv)(D):….for the employer to ensure that the outer layer of clothing worn by an employee is flame-resistant when the estimated incident heat energy exceeds 2.0 cal/cm2

We have always advocated the use of an arc rated, ASTM F1506-compliant material, thinking the employer can decide the level of protection to provide his workforce. One, he could write rules protecting the wearer from being exposed to an energized source and potential arc flash exposure and remain in compliance with OSHA and other best practices and with ANSI 107 traffic requirements. Or, two, he could prescribe the use of an F1506-compliant fabric and garment (no melt, no drip) for use in every situation regardless of exposure potential to arc flash, and provide the highest level of reasonable protection under any circumstances in which the worker may find himself.

So my question is: per the section cited above, does this mean now, for safety vests that may be exposed to arc flash, we must match the incident energy requirements just as we would for apparel such as shirts? That is, moving from 5 cal to 8+ cal fabrics in order to create that “blanket” coverage that has induced use of the F1506-compliant fabrics we have used to date?

A.That is not the intent. OSHA has differentiated between flame resistant (FR)-which is still non-melting but not necessarily AR-and Arc Rated (AR). The reasoning behind this is a little complex but makes sense.

The idea is that PPE has to be rated to the hazard (whether it is a single garment or a multilayered system). Other items worn for cold or rain or for other hazards (such as high visibility gear) do not have to be arc rated to the specific hazard, but they must be FR, non-melting and non-contributory. With those three qualifiers, OSHA functionally made them arc rated materials BUT left the employer free to choose an outer shell that isn’t rated with the underlying PPE system for arc protection. As long as the outer shell is FR, non-melting and non-contributory, the employer is not obligated to rate it as part of the system. They MAY rate the outer shell (say a winter ensemble or rain suit) with the underlying PPE assembly, but they are not obligated to do so. This means that ASTM F1506 vests for ANSI 107 hazards are not required to be rated with the underlying ensemble, though they will be arc rated as a single layer and non-contributory as a garment.

This allows compliance with the “FR” requirement without adding the cost of arc rating more systems than necessary to protect the worker.

Hugh Hoagland  

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Arc Flash Testing for Protective Apparel 

Testing Dates

Arc Flash Testing on Fabric
Arc Flash Testing on Fabric




August 18-22

September 22 – 26

ArcWear now provides ISO 17025 A2LA accredited testing for ASTM F1506 and F1891 along with our other arc flash standards.
NEW CLASS: Limited Offering to TTT Alumni 

We are offering an exclusive training opportunity to TTT Alumni to help them stay up to date on recent OSHA standard changes and the upcoming release of 2015 NFPA 70E.

There are three options for this training for TTT alum:

Option 1: TTT Standards Updates (8 hours)
November 5, 2014
January 26, 2015

Option 2: TTT Standards Updates and Strategies (12 hours)
November 5-6, 2014

Option 3:  Audit Protocol Training  (8 hours)

Registration must be complete 10 days in advance of course. For assistance with registration or information on other training opportunities, please call Terri Wettle at 502-716-7073 or email

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Read our Electrical and Arc Flash Safety BLOG
  • Municipal utility company responds to OSHA changes – 07-25-2014
  • Burning Question: PPE requirements inside of the arc flash boundary – 07-24-2014
  • New OSHA rules on electric power generation, transmission, and distribution – 07-18-2014
  • Product Recall: Schneider Electric Pole Circuit Breakers – 07-11-2014
  • 3 persons injured, one fatally in high voltage electrocution in India – 07-11-2014
  • Faulty component causes explosion at electricity substation in Sanvey Gate, Leicester – 07-11-2014
  • Aerojet Rocketdyne faces nearly $67,000 in fines from Cal/OSHA – 07-09-2014
  • Canadian company receives fines after apprentice injury from electrical explosion – 07-08-2014
  • Shar-Craft Inc. receives OSHA fines for injuries to worker in explosion – 07-08-2014
  • NRC classifies nuclear plant accident “substantial safety significance” – 07-07-2014 
See why over 18,000 people read our BLOG every week 
To stay up to date on the latest electrical safety news,
go to the e-Hazard BLOG

Job Opening: Electrical Safety & Arc Flash Consultant
Summary: e-Hazard is currently seeking an electrical safety consultant to join our team of experts. The primary objective of this position is to provide on-site electrical safety analysis, collection of arc flash study data and hands-on interaction at facility assessments. The right candidate with strong detail orientation and broad technical knowledge may be involved in arc flash testing. Must be willing to travel.
See responsibilities and qualifications.

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Upcoming Events: Hugh Hoagland from e-Hazard speaking

Health at Work 2014
“Electricity and safety in the 21st century”

Frankfurt, Germany

August 24-27, 2014

World Congress 2014 - your participation counts!
World Congress 2014 – your participation counts!



Hugh Hoagland of e-Hazard and ArcWear will speak on arc flash at the conference.
2014 National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo
San Diego, CA
September 13 -19, 2014

2014 NSC Congress & Expo - Putting the Pieces Together
2014 NSC Congress & Expo – Putting the Pieces Together


Hugh Hoagland will speak on the recent updates to OSHA 1910.269 and other electrical standards in 2014.


 Registration Open NOW


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ArcNews provides a quick update on arc rated and flame resistant clothing issues and news from OSHA and standards committees. The FREE e-newsletter reaches over 16,000 people, with contributions from expert trainers from e-Hazard with up-to-date news related to electrical safety training. For previous newsletters or to sign up, visit or
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Hugh Hoagland
13113 Eastpoint Park Blvd., Suite G
Louisville, KY 40223
Office: 502-716-7073




Hugh Hoagland
About author:
Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

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