Material & molten metal expelled at speeds exceeding 700 mph
Temps. in excess of 30,000 degrees F
It's clear that arc flashes can be a very real danger in the workplace, which is why there are standards to keep workers safe.
An employer's responsibilities are outlined by ANSI, NFPA and OSHA:
Conduct an Arc Flash Safety Study & Hazard Risk Assessment to identify potential hazards
Engineer out potential hazards
Provide the appropriate PPE for hazards that cannot be eliminated
Educate employees on potential hazards and the use of PPE
There are multiple electrical safety standards that employers should know:
NFPA 70E: Electrical Safety in the Workplace. The purpose is to provide a practical, safe workplace relative to the hazards associated with electrical energy. This acts as a guide to avoiding injuries and assists users in complying with OSHA.
OSHA 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V: Arc Flash Law for Power Generation; Transmission, Distribution
ASTM F1506: Performance Standard for Arc Related Fabrics
ASTM D6413: Test Method: Flame Resistance "Vertical Flame Test"
ASTM F1959: Test Method: Arc Rating Fabrics
ASTM F2178: Test Method: Arc Rating Eye & Face Protection
Determining AF Protection:
70E Tables: Minimum protection requirements
Calculations: Incident energy determined (arc rating)
FR versus AR FR (or Flame Resistant):
Tested per ASTM D6413 Vertical Flame
Self extinguishes within 2 sec. or less
Does not melt or drip
Has a char length of 6" or less
AR (or Arc Rated):
Must be rated as Arc Resistant per ASTM F1506
Includes Vertical Flame Test
Also includes ASTM F1959 to determine arc rating
An Arc Rating is a measurement of a fabric's ability to protect the wearer from second-degree burns. All arc rated fabrics are flame resistant, but not all flame resistant fabrics are arc rated!
Task Based vs. Daily Wear
Layering for Protection
In arc flash, 1 + 1 ≠ 2
Layered combinations must be arc tested together
Most importantly, you need proof
Different types of PPE must meet the requirements of different ASTM specifications in order to be labeled as AR (Arc Rated)
Remember, a hazard risk assessment needs to be performed in order to fully understand your specific hazard and the protection it requires.
Ritz Safety, a family-owned business since 1983, is here to serve you. Our 13 sales and distribution centers across the United States provide a wide array of PPE and safety solutions, promoting all workers' health, well-being, and protection. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-451-3077 for convenient, cost-effective, and customized warehouse industry PPE solutions.