The ArcWear™ Electric Arc and Flash Fire Newsletter is a quick update on Flame Resistant Clothing issues and news from OSHA and standards committees. This newsletter is FREE and will bring you up to date on the issues that surround flame resistant clothing for flash fire hazards and the electric arc. For previous newsletters or to sign up, visithttp://www.arcwear.com
ArcWear™ Arc Testing Dates
Need Arc Testing?
ASTM F1959, ASTM F2178, ASTM F887 fall protection arc testing and mannequin testing at the Kinectrics Lab in
Toronto on the dates above.
Ship materials or clothing to:
13113 Eastpoint Park Blvd.
PH: 502-314-7158 Hugh@ArcWear.com
We must receive one week before the test date for sample preparation or make arrangements to ship to lab. New and non US/Canadian Customers must make payment before test date. Testing is offered on a first come/first served basis with priority for consulting customers. New policy: $100 per material for prep/washing and cutting panels and $100 for international report shipping. No guarantee is made of when testing will occur.
New ASTM F2676 Arc Flash Blanket Standard Test Method
The new ASTM F2676 Arc Flash Blanket Standard is slated to be released in a few days. The new standard gives a method for comparison of arc flash blankets for helping protect workers in vaults and other work conditions. These blankets do not remove the need for flame resistant clothing since clothing ignition causes most of the arc flash fatalities but it can help better protect workers in high incident energy locations like city underground networks.
e-Hazard NFPA 70E/CSA Z462 Training class sponsorship
Many companies have only a few electrical workers at a site and want training so e-Hazard offers class sponsorship. The host can be a distributor or an end-user of arc rated clothing. The host provides a place for the training to occur and sends their folks who need training. e-Hazard will help publicize the class, pay for the day’s meal and invite outsiders to fill the class. If the class gets >20 attendees paying the tuition, the sponsor shares in the profits with a discount. Do you have a training room that will hold a min of 20 students? Can outsiders come to use that training room? Do you need arc flash or NFPA 70E training? Contact Hugh Hoagland at 502-314-7158. There is no cost to you other than for the individuals you have trained.
IEEE Paper Supports Arc Testing using ASTM F1959 Standards to protect workers against arc flash
The ASTM F1959 standard was final in 1999 and has been used all over the world. From the beginning it has been under attack by “consultants” and folks all over the world who don’t really want to protect their people from arc flash. Some have the attitude that arc flashes wouldn’t happen if people only followed the rules (not true, many are equipment failures), or they have the attitude that cotton is good enough (also not true since cotton gives about a 50% survival rate when it ignites).
Tom Neal Ph.D. and Dan Doan, EE (DuPont) did a survey of arc flash incidents and found that all the PPE in the survey which had been in compliance with ASTM F1506 and arc tested performed at or better than expected when IEEE 1584 arc flash calculations were compared to the actual incident. This supports our work at ASTM and IEEE and the new standards like NFPA 70E and NESC. Tom, Dan and I have proposed to have an update on this paper next year at the IEEE ESW.
Canadian National Standard for Utility Safety & Arc Flash Draft open for public comment thru June 17, 2009
On April 15, 2009, the proposed First Edition of CAN/ULC-S801, Standard on Electric Utility Workplace Electrical Safety, was issued for public comment. This proposed National Standard of Canada, currently in its Second Draft, focuses on the workplace electrical safety issues left open to electric utilities since CSA-Z462 excludes them. Similar to the NESC-2007 in the US, the purpose and aim of this Standard is to provide safety performance requirements for electric utilities, workers and contractors involved in work on or near electric generation, transmission and distribution systems. This Standard applies to the construction, operation, maintenance and replacement of electric utility systems that are used to generate, transform, transmit, distribute and deliver electrical power or energy to consumer services. The closing date for public comments is June 17, 2009, and if you wish to obtain a copy of the Second Draft, Proposed First Edition, send a request in writing to:
Standards Specialist, Standards Department
Underwriters Laboratories of Canada
440 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON. K1R 7X6
T: 613-755-2729 ext. 6227
Few companies are selling compliant, tested goggle/balaclava systems. Data on the goggle without a specific hood IS NOT compliant. Check with the manufacturer of the hood to be certain it has a report WITH the specific goggle. The goggle itself was originally tested by ArcWear.com for Paulson with a balaclava but many sellers have failed to test their balaclava’s to ASTM F2178. The fit of the balaclava is crucial to these systems. The NFPA 70E tables do not list goggle/balaclava’s as an option when using the tables. If calculations are done using IEEE 1584 formulas or under the NESC for utilities, these goggle/balaclava systems would be perfectly acceptable IF the system is tested.
NSA has two balaclava’s which have been rated as a system and they are one of the few who have a rating on a system. Most of have not tested because they didn’t know they could but be aware when specifying a goggle that you specify data has been obtained on BOTH the goggle and balaclava as a system. The report will be of ASTM F2178 and include a specific balaclava WITH the goggle.
In 2003, Salisbury by Honeywell took the lead in arc testing all their commonly used leather and rubber gloves. Most manufacturers have waited for a standard. Some have actually actively fought the final standard even though the test method have proven very reliable in the precision and bias work. One of the issues with the standard is a valid concern. No known incidents have occurred in which workers have been burned in rubber gloves with leather protectors (this is probably due to the fact that most of the gloves worn up until the last few years have been Class 2 gloves which are VERY hard to ignite). The concern of a slight majority of the committee (only utilities have historically voted on this committee) is that lower voltage gloves could ignite much easier and can inexpensively be rated so the end user can KNOW what they will do.
The two glove styles recently rated by Stauffer’s Mark English are: