by , on December 16, 2013

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December 2013

2013 is almost in the history books and the New Year is right around the corner. This is the last issue of ArcNews for 2013 and we already have new things in store for next year.

Make sure you see the article on changing fuses in a bus plug and don’t miss the ASTM Standards Update!

We’d love to hear from you! If you have an electrical safety question, let us know and maybe it will be in an upcoming issue.

Q&A with e-Hazard/ArcWear:

Burning Question

Q. Why does FR clothing include nylon? In four decades of high voltage line work, I was always told wearing nylon is a bad idea and to not do so. Would 100% cotton be better?   


A. Some FR clothing does have nylon, but not all. A small amount of nylon (mostly on the surface) adds to the durability of the garment and enhances the protection just a little.  The durability is the reason it is added as in military uniformsbut it actually improves the arc rating as wellIn jeans and VERY heavy cottons, which are usually 100% cotton, nylon might be used to reduce the weight.


The standard ONLY allows nylon in the blend if the material as a whole does not melt and is arc rated.  This requirement applies to all the testing in ASTM F1506, including a vertical flame test and a full arc rating which includes 20 exposures to an arc flash.  The material is taken to the level at which the worker would receive a second degree burn and above, to ensure that it doesn’t ignite in an arc exposure and that it won’t melt in that exposure.  Cotton nylon blends are among the most popular and protective materials on the market. 


e-Hazard and ArcWear do not sell these materials, but rather we do testing, training and consulting.  Let me know if we can assist further.


— Hugh Hoagland


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Read our Electrical and Arc Flash Safety BLOG
  • Wilson Construction Company Accident Investigation Report – 11-24-2013 00:19:14 AM
  • Electrical Arc Flash Conference held in Auckland, New Zealand in October11-23-2013 02:17:23 AM
  • UC Berkeley experiences power outage after electrical explosion11-22-2013 16:22:22 PM
  • Circuit Breaker Analyzer by A Group CBS Company11-21-2013 20:09:13 PM
  • NCBI Case Study: Electrical Burns11-19-2013 16:35:18 PM
  • Electrician burned by arc flash in Calgary11-18-2013 16:32:36 PM
  • Mesh pockets on arc rated clothing – 11-15-2013 10:03:56 AM
  • Man electrocuted at work site on West Lane Avenue Arlington, OH – 11-12-2013 12:41:34 PM
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This five-day workshop is an international event with participants from countries all

Hugh Receives Award 2013
Hugh Hoagland and Mikhail Golovkov receive
White Paper Award, ESW 2013

around the world, all with the goal of changing the culture of electrical safety. Attended by the most influential people in the industry, ESW features experts presenting the latest in electrical safety technology and practices. Attendees have the opportunity to learn the latest on the development and implementation of electrical safety standards, network with electrical safety experts and discuss solutions with industry-leading suppliers of products and services related to electrical safety.


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Changing Fuses in a Bus Plug – By Lee Hale, e-Hazard Consultant

A reader recently inquired about the safety of replacing fuses in an energized bus plug. e-Hazard consultant Lee Hale addresses the issue. 


“In the energized state the fused switch has an arc flash rating of “dangerous.”   My question is:   If the fusible bus plug is placed in the OFF position, can the door to the bus plug be opened and the fuses replaced without turning off power to the entire busway? ”   


“… as a member of NFPA 70E since 2000, I welcome these types of questions, because they really help me understand changes we need to make to add clarity to the standard.


The true issue in this scenario is the line-side exposure, as the task in question will be “interacting” with the device and your exposure is to a line-side fault condition.  If you are opening the door, you are interacting with the device; it makes no difference if the disconnect or breaker is open or closed, the exposure is the same.  If the device were arc flash rated–which it is not because no one makes one–possibly there would be a different exposure.


Read the full article.
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ALERT: ASTM Standards 1959 / F1959M – 13

Standard F1959 and F1959M-13, the Standard Test Method for Determining the Arc Rating of Materials for Clothing has recently been updated.

Significance and Use

  • 5.1This test method is intended for the determination of the arc rating of a material, or a combination of materials.
  • 5.1.1Because of the variability of the arc exposure, different heat transmission values may be observed at individual sensors. Evaluate the results of each sensor in accordance with Section 12.
  • 5.2This test method maintains the specimen in a static, vertical position and does not involve movement except that resulting from the exposure.
  • 5.3This test method specifies a standard set of exposure conditions. Different exposure conditions may produce different results. In addition to the standard set of exposure conditions, other conditions representative of the expected hazard may be used and shall be documented in the reporting of the testing results.

Read more on the update of this standard

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Hugh Hoagland
13113 Eastpoint Park Blvd. Suite G
Louisville, KY 40223
Office: 502-333-0510

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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