Arc flashes are very dangerous and all facilities should take active steps to prevent them from occurring. No matter how careful a company is, however, it is impossible to eliminate all risk of an arc flash from occurring. In addition, there are times when someone needs to work an environment where the risk of an arc flash is elevated. Whenever someone is working in an area where these dangerous events could take place, they need to take the necessary precautions to stay safe. One of the best things they can do is to wear personal protective equipment.
Choosing Arc Flash PPE
There are many types of personal protective equipment that can help keep employees safe should they be exposed to an arc flash. The following are some of the most commonly used arc-rated PPE options that you should have available for employees.
- Arc Flash Gloves – These are insulated gloves that will allow you to work with electrical equipment with far less risk of shock. Those working with low to mid-range level voltage can benefit from this type of PPE.
- Arc Flash Bib – A PPE bib like this will provide your core with significant protection. This will provide you with safety against shocks to the chest, stomach, and upper legs. In many cases, a bib like this is used in combination with gloves and other equipment.
- Arc Flash Boots – If there is a risk of arc flashing due to water on the floor or other similar issues, these boots will provide you with the insulation to avoid shocks.
- Arc Flash Hood – A hood will protect your head and neck from an arc flash. When combined with other PPE to create a full body protection suit.
- Insulated Tools – Using special tools that are designed to not conduct electricity so it won’t trigger an arc flash.
Taking steps to make sure all employees have access to the appropriate PPE when working with any type of electrical systems will help to dramatically reduce the risk of shock and other injury.
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- How do I complete an arc flash hazard analysis?