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Dear ArcLetter Member,
The ArcWear™ e-Hazard.com Electric Arc and Safety Newsletter provides a quick update on Arc Rated and Flame Resistant Clothing issues and news from OSHA and standards committees. The newsletter is FREE, reaches over 14,000 people 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, visit arcwear.com or e-Hazard.com.
Fines by OSHA on Electrical Hazards
|Burn Up the Myth: PPE Arc Ratings for Hi Vis and Rainwear|
PPE: Arc Ratings for Hi Vis and Rainwear
A customer at a utility had a question about wearing a Hi Vis vest or foul weather gear rated for HRC 1– minimum of 4 calories but up to 7.9 calories– when the arc flash assessment or company requirement is HRC 2, or minimum of 8 calories.
NFPA 70E – 2012 clearly states the clothing must meet or exceed the hazard to which the employee may be exposed. The company’s own requirement for arc rated clothing with a minimum rating of 8 calories (HRC 2) meets this requirement if it is matched to the hazard. Most utility work is not covered by NFPA 70E but by NESC and OSHA 1910.269 but the principles are still the same. Don’t contribute to injury (like wearing a melting rainsuit that doesn’t meet the standards. I agree that, if a worker is wearing daily wear of a shirt and pants, or coveralls, that meet NFPA 70E HRC 2 and then adds a HRC 1 vest, this could be considered added protection, as long as that vest is arc rated and meets ASTM F1506. You would still have that daily wear layer of the shirt and pants with HRC 2 protection.
The 2004 version of NFPA 70E originally allowed for layering of clothing to meet the adequate calorie rating, but this changed in the 2009 revision due to the inability to enforce under-layer clothing materials and the fact that under layers could at some point ignite causing greater energy. Who would they get to be the underwear police? Additionally some two layer systems are better than others. We have some 8 cal + 8 cal systems which only give 8 cal protection (even with two layers because of how the materials react in the arc.
In order to ensure the employee was wearing arc-rated clothing sufficient for their hazard exposure, NFPA 70E changed the rule to match PPE to the hazard. It is still “best practice” to wear layers of arc-rated clothing so no combustion takes place at all.
I have spoken to many utilities and most require the Hi Vis vests and foul weather gear to be arc rated. At this time these arc-rated apparel are not readily available in HRC 2, 3 or 4. Most high visibility rainwear products (meeting ANSI 107 and ASTM F1506) have an arc rating 4 to 7.9 calories; I personally have a Hi Vis vest and raingear with just under an 8 calorie rating.
The ASTM F1891-06 Standard Specification for Arc and Flame Resistant Rainwear establishes applicable test methods, minimum physical and thermal performance criteria, a suggested sizing guide, and suggested purchasing information for rainwear for use by workers who may be exposed to thermal hazards of momentary electric arcs and open flames. It also requires that the material response characteristics for rainwear material, including afterflame time, breakopen, charring, dripping, electric arc ignition, embrittlement, melting, and shrinkage, shall be reported for two typical exposures at least equal to the arc rating and also for two typical exposures at least two times the arc rating.
There is an exception to the above answer, however, in the NESC ®(National Electrical Safety Code) 2012. Under Section 41, General requirements, it states that employers must assess potential exposure to an electric arc for employees working on or near energized lines, parts, and equipment. If the assessment determines that a potential exposure greater than 2 cal/cm2 exists, the employer then must perform a detailed arc hazard analysis to determine the effective arc rating of clothing to be worn. The code requires employees “to wear clothing or a clothing system with an effective arc rating not less than the anticipated level of arc energy.”
The EXCEPTION to this is: If the clothing or clothing system required by this rule has the potential to create additional or greater hazards than the possible exposure to the heat energy of the electric arc, then clothing or a clothing system with an effective arc rating less than that required by this rule may be worn.
Several notes follow this exception. Note 1: Assessments performed to determine potential exposure to an electric arc consider the affected employee’s assigned tasks and/or work activities. Note 2: A clothing system (multiple layers) that includes an outer layer of flame resistant material and an inner layer of non-flame resistant natural fiber material has been shown to block more heat than a single layer. The effect of the combination of these multiple layers may be referred to as the effective arc rating (e.g., EBT, ATPV). Note 3: Engineering controls can be utilized to reduce arc energy levels and work practices can be utilized to reduce exposure levels. Rainwear wouldn’t meet this exception. It is normally used for conductive clothing for HV work which may not meet the arc flash protection values but has another purpose to prevent shock. – Pat Stagno
NFPA 70E Errata No: 70E-12-1
Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®
The National Electrical Code Correlating Committee notes the following in the 2012 edition of NFPA 70E®, Standard for Electrical
Safety in the Workplace®.
1. General Throughout the document: Wherever Annex B through Annex P have been referenced, add the word “Informative” before the word “Annex”. Revise all references to “Informative Annex A” to “Annex A.”
2. Page 70E-24 Table 130.4(C)(a): Revise 0.1 m in row 7, column 5 to 0.7 m
3. Page 70E-37 Note 3 to Table 130.7(C)(15)(a): Revise 130.8(C)(7) and 130.8(D) to 130.7(C)(7)(a) and 130.7(D)(1) respectively
4. Page 70E-37 Note 5 to Table 130.7(C)(15)(a): Revise the fifth sentence to read – Working distance was 18 in. (455 mm)
5. Page 70E-38 Note b to Table 130.7(C)(15)(b): Revise by deleting the phrase at the end of the note – “, and the rubber gloves chosen are required to be arc rated to the potential exposure level of the hazard/risk category”
6. Page 70E-40 Table 130.7(C)(16), Note 1: Revise Table 130.7(C)(9) to Table 130.7(C)(15)(a) and Table 130.7(C)(15)(b)
7. Page 70E-41 Title of 130.8: Delete “Uninsulated”
8. Page 70E-52 320.3(C)(3)(c): Revise 110.7(F) to 110.3(F)
9. Page 70E-62 C.2.1.2 Column 2: Revise “plus 102 mm (4.0 in.)” to read “plus 100 mm (4.0 in.)”
10. Page 70E-63 Table D.1: Delete row D.8 in its entirety
11. Page 70E-85 Table H.3(b), Category – Greater than 12 cal/cm2, , Other personal protective equipment, fifth row: Delete the words “Arc-rated gloves or” and capitalize the word “Rubber”
12. Page 70E-98 Informative Annex P: Revise OSHA 18001 to OHSAS 18001
|ArcWear™ Arc Testing Dates|
ASTM F1959, ASTM F2178, ASTM F887 fall protection arc testing and mannequin testing are scheduled at the Kinectrics Lab in Toronto on the dates above.
Ship materials or clothing to:
13113 Eastpoint Park Blvd.
PH: 502-333-0510 arctesting@ArcWear.com
We must receive materials or clothing one week before the test date for sample preparation, or make arrangements to ship to the lab in Canada. 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.
- $100 per material for prep/washing and cutting panels; ($200 for items arriving less than 7 days before test date to cover preparation overtime)
- $200 for shipping a signed hard-copy report internationally
No guarantee is made of when testing will occur; we do all in our power to test within one month of receipt.
All ArcWear.com testing is performed at Kinectrics High Current lab in Toronto, Canada. Kinectrics is an ISO 17025 accredited lab by the Standards Council of Canada.
|ASTM Standards Tracker Alert #1|
Newly approved is ASTM D1048 – 12 Standard Specification for Rubber Insulating Blankets.
This specification covers the acceptance testing of insulating rubber blankets that are used for the personal protection of workers from accidental contact with live electrical conductors, apparatus, or circuits.
Two types of blankets, differing in chemical and physical characteristics, are provided and are designated as: Type I, made from properly vulcanized high-grade cis-1,4-polyisoprene rubber compound of natural or synthetic origin that is non-resistant to ozone; and Type II, made of any elastomer or combination of elastomeric compounds that is resistant to ozone. Five classes of blankets, designated as Classes 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4, are assigned according to electrical protection characteristics. Styles of blankets are designated in accordance to construction characteristics, namely: Style A, blankets free of any reinforcements; and Style B, blankets incorporated with reinforcement(s). When evaluated in accordance with the test procedures detailed herein, the blankets shall adhere to the following property requirements: electrical properties such as phase-phase maximum use voltage, AC and DC proof-test voltages, AC and DC dielectric breakdown test voltages, and AC and DC clearances; and physical and chemical properties such as ozone resistance, moisture absorption, tensile strength, tension set, elongation, drape stiffness, flex stiffness, tear resistance, resistance to accelerated heat aging, and puncture resistance.
|ASTM Standards Tracking Alert #2|
New copies of the following ASTM Standards
and Work Items
descriptions are now available.
Just click on any new standard to view the document summary page and purchase the standard from ASTM
New approved ASTM Standards:
New ASTM Work Items:
WK39570 – Standard Terminology Relating to Care Labeling for Apparel, Textile, Home Furnishing, and Leather Products is a work item revision to existing standard D3136-04(2008)e1
ESW 2013 Registration Open
Dates are March 11-15, 2013, in Dallas, TX.
The IEEE IAS Electrical Safety Workshop provides a forum to enable and accelerate change in the electrical safety culture and push the envelope on what is possible in preventing workplace injuries from electrical hazards.
The IEEE IAS Electrical Safety Workshop mission is more about path finding and creating the future in electrical safety by changing how we think about what is possible, or in other words, changing the electrical safety culture.
|Race for the Cure|
In order to raise funds for breast cancer awareness, ArcWear/e-Hazard staff, friends and family took part in the 5k Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on October 13 in Louisville.
|Train the Trainer Class|
E-Hazard offers ‘Train the Trainer‘ courses several times per year. This 3-or-4 day intensive training program is designed to prepare qualified trainers to deliver instruction to others based on NFPA 70E and OSHA requirements. e-Hazard started this training to “raise the bar” in the electrical industry. Most of the safety training companies require you to hire their trainers. We offer this but we also provide training materials and trainer “training” and coaching so you can develop in-house expertise without “breaking the bank”. See what over 400 other trainers are saying about the e-Hazard TTT class and our materials.
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March 4th – March 7th, 2013 — Louisville, KY
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