by , on November 12, 2013

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November 2013

Be sure to check our articles on answering the question “Am I Qualified?” and our new “HOW TO” section on
properly laundering AR/FR garments.

Also, don’t miss our Q&A section this month with information on NFPA 70E 2015 and how those changes might affect your PPE decisions.

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. e-Hazard recently completed an arc flash study at our facility. Prior to that, our technicians used Hazard Risk Category (HRC) 1 PPE for removing bolted panel covers while energized on a on 480V 3 phase distribution panel based on NFPA 70E table 130.7(C)(15)(A).    

The completed Arc Flash Hazard Assessment report calculations state that this panel requires HRC4 PPE. Now if a technician turns on/off a breaker while the bus is energized, he/she has to wear HRC 4 PPE (according to the study)? NFPA 70E table 130.7(C)(15)(a) specifies HRC 0 PPE for this task. Is level HRC 4 PPE necessary or can the tech use the table levels to perform the operation?

In other words, can the tech use the lesser of the HRC if the label states HRC 4 PPE or can we use NFPA Table HRC 0 PPE?     

 

A. This is a common question.  The new NFPA 70E 2015 may have a little different perspective. The tables build in risk but also assume several things you cannot know until you have a partial study (i.e., fault current and clearing time). We recommend you take the study (cal/cm2) and use the Annex F to do a risk analysis using the common-but not so easy to calculate-formula below.

 

Risk Level = Level of Hazard X Probability of Failure (based on maintenance, installation type, age of equipment, type of equipment, sign of impending failure, internal history of failure, external history of failure, if available) You can use common risk models or develop your own based on your experience or IEEE standards.  
  

I would never lower the hazard unless you have a quality, documented maintenance program. Additionally, I would never lower the level for 480V-plus equipment below HRC 1 (because the risk and outcome of clothing ignition makes survivability decrease so much in the risk model to make it unjustifiable). However, the new NFPA 70E may require PPE for all applications, other than operation, unless you show the risk is VERY low, such as operation with doors closed with proper maintenance.

An example of failure probabilities is below from a paper posted on Jim Phillips www.arcflashforum.com.  The problem is that, at this level of hazard it is tough to justify a reduction in PPE.  The new version of NFPA 70E will not allow those reductions for removing bolted covers or any energized work but if you fall inside the tables, you might eliminate PPE for equipment operation, IF the equipment is properly installed, properly maintained and has no history and no sign of impending failure.

 

— Hugh Hoagland

 

Source: Paul Campbell Arc Flash Risk Assessment Paper Unpublished.

 

  

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until after the accident! 

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How to: Launder AR/FR Fabric

Tossing your arc-rated and flame-resistant clothing in with a random load of laundry won’t ruin it but may compromise some of its protective properties.  It’s important to closely follow the AR/FR garment manufacturer’s washing instructions to make sure the fabric can do its job.

 

Here’s why:

  • Washing with non-arc-rated fabrics can contaminate the  items with lint from flammable fibers. While this will have little effect on most fabrics it is not recommended by manufacturers.
  • Hard water may combine with soap film to deposit flammable contaminants on the fabric and in some cases Calcium and Magnesium in the hard water have been known to replace the Phosphorus in FR treated cottons in sufficient quantity to render the materials non-FR.
  • Chlorine bleach and even peroxide bleach will cause fabrics to weaken over time and can attack the FR treatment in some fabrics.
  • Fabric softeners or other additives (such as starch) may coat fibers and affect FR performance. Fabric softners can also attack FR treatments and weaken clothing shortening the life of the garment.
  • Heavy soil, especially if greasy, is a flammable contaminant and will reduce the FR performance unless properly laundered and removed. 

AR/FR clothes are made from a variety of fabrics, so there will be variations in the laundering instructions.  That’s why it’s important to closely follow the

manufacturer’s guidelines. 

 

For garments made of 100% Nomex, such as ArcStore’s hair nets and beard nets, these rules should be followed:

  • Wash separately or with other FR garments *
  • If water is very hard, use a water softener
  • Do not use chlorine bleach or fabric softeners (because Nomex is anti-static, fabric softeners are not needed for static control)
  • If heavily soiled, pre-treat stains and/or wash at extra high temperatures and with extra detergent
  • Light materials like the hairnet and beardnet will retain their elastic better if drip dried.

*If any hazardous chemicals has contaminated your work clothes, washing separately will prevent contamination of other items in the wash but always check with your employer, some contaminated clothing should not be taken home to wash.  You will want to follow NIOSH guidelines and may require an industrial laundry to handle the contaminated clothing or laundering at the site.

ArcStore Beard Net

 

Any laundry detergent sold for home use is generally fine for AR/FR garments,  and they can be washed in warm or hot water  or dry cleaned (again, check the manufacturer’s instructions).  Drying is best on Permanent Press cycle with cool down, and synthetic fabrics, such as 100% Nomex, will dry quickly and without wrinkling, as long as the dryer is not overloaded.

 

Following these steps will ensure that your protective garments perform as they should and last a long time.

 

More information on how to care for AR/FR clothing 

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IEEE IAS 2014 Electrical Safety Workshop

ESW logo IEEE IAS 2014 Electrical Safety Workshop

Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, San Diego, CA

February 4-7, 2014

The Electrical Safety Workshop (ESW) is ideal for the electrical safety professional with a passion for preventing electrical injuries in the workplace. 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.

The workshop is an international event with participants from countries all around the world, all with the goal of changing the culture of electrical safety.

 

Make your plans to attend today! Register before January 7, 2014 at a discounted rate.  

 

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This 3- or 4- day training program is designed to prepare qualified trainers to deliver instruction to others based on NFPA 70E and OSHA requirements.

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Hair and Beard Net Testing Demonstration
Hair and Beard Net Testing Demonstration

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Dec 16-20


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Am I Qualified? by Al Havens

NFPA 70E 2012 Electrical Safety in the Workplace According to NFPA 70E® Article 110.2(D)(1)(e), page 15, General Requirements for Electrical Safety-Related Work Practices, the specifications of a qualified and an unqualified person are defined. This is to specify the requirements of electrical safety training, retraining and certification.

 

The standard defines a Qualified Person as one who “shall be trained and knowledgeable of the construction and operation of equipment or a specific work method and be trained to recognize and avoid the electrical hazards that might be present with respect to that equipment or work method.
An unqualified person is said to be “trained in, and be familiar with, any electrical safety-related practices necessary for their safety.

Read more about what you need to do to be considered a qualified worker.

Coming Attractions… 

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Tuesday
November 12, 2013
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST
Join Hugh Hoagland for this free webinar as part of the
ISHN Virtual Safety Expo,
an online event designed to
place information, peers and solution providers at your
fingertips.

Register now…

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December 4, 2013
Webinar: Update on
OSHA Electrical Safety
Regulations
This webinar with Hugh
Hoagland will review
the changes OSHA is
making in regulations from
the 1910.269, 1926, and 1910.300 series.
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IMC-2013 International
Maintenance Conference

December 10 – 13, 2013 
Hyatt Regency
Coconut Point Resort 
Bonita Springs, Florida  

Hugh Hoagland of e-Hazard will be presenting Arc Flash
Research Update:
Practical
Application for
Meeting
NFPA 70E.
Details and Registration

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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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