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Arc Flash PPE Categories infographic

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Arc Flash PPE Categories

The Arc Flash Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Category is determined by consulting the PPE tables in article 130.7 of the NFPA 70E standard. PPE categories range from 1 to 4 (with four having the highest incident energy rating and requiring the most protective gear). Remember, PPE should be viewed as the last line of protection.

Category 1 - Minimum Arc Rating of 4 cal/cm2
  • Hard hat
  • Arc-rated face shield
  • Safety goggles
  • Hearing protection
  • Leather gloves
  • Arc-rated long sleeved shirt
  • Arc-rated pants
  • Leather footwear
Category 2 - Minimum Arc Rating of 8 cal/cm2
  • Arc-rated face shield
  • Safety goggles
  • Hearing protection
  • Arc-rated balaclava
  • Leather gloves
  • Arc-rated long sleeved shirt
  • Arc-rated jacket
  • Arc-rated pants
  • Leather footwear
Category 3 - Minimum Arc Rating of 25 cal/cm2
  • Arc-rated flash suit hood
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Arc-rated balaclava
  • Arc-rated flash suit jacket
  • Arc-rated long sleeved shirt
  • Arc-rated flash suit pants
  • Arc-rated pants
  • Leather footwear
Category 4 - Minimum Arc Rating of 40 cal/cm2
  • Arc-rated flash suit hood
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Arc-rated gloves
  • Arc-rated flash suit jacket
  • Arc-rated long sleeved shirt
  • Arc-rated flash suit pants
  • Arc-rated pants
  • Leather footwear

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NFPA 70E PPE requirements for arc flash

An arc flash is a dangerous electrical event that can result in serious injuries if proper protective measures aren’t taken. People working on electrical equipment where an arc flash could occur need to wear the correct level of PPE, which can include arc-rated clothing, gloves, face shields, hearing protection, and even a hood and flash suit. The types of PPE necessary are determined by what PPE category work falls into. Look at this infographic to learn what the four PPE categories are and what items each category contains.

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