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 Post subject: Hearing Protection
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:38 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:32 am
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At my facility we are issued a set of inside the ear canal plugs, but, from taking a safety arc flash course in columbus this week i learned that they have to be just the plugs, (two seperate pieces) we are issued a plastic head set with the plugs on each end. my question is where is it the Law so i can present it to my employer?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:40 am 
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They have to be plugs as the head set can be blown off by the arc blast.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:44 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:32 am
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Right, but in nfpa70e or nec or cfr where is it at? 1910.??? im looking for the information so i can present facts of the law to my boss


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:14 pm 
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Location: Tampa, FL
check NFPA-70E, Table 130.7(C)(16)


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:22 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:20 am
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Location: Texas
I would e-mail that teacher of the Columbus class and ask him where he found that requirement. Obviously ear muffs are unacceptable, but I have never heard that an ear canal inserted plug on one side of your head can't be linked to the ear canal inserted plug on the other side. If anyone knows where this exists in the 70E text I am another person who needs to know.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:27 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:31 am
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Location: Michigan
It would make sense that any and all things that will be exposed to the arc flash/arc blast will need to the matching ATPV for the task being performed.

This would include ear plugs, hair nets, beard nets etc..


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:06 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:20 am
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Location: Texas
MIControl wrote:
This would include ear plugs, hair nets, beard nets etc..


These items do not have an ATPV rating. The best you can do is get non-melting hair nets and beard nets, covered with the appropriately rated PPE.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:24 am 
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[url="http://www.salisburybyhoneywell.com/en-US/Pages/Product.aspx?category=face_head_neck&cat=HLS-HES&pid=HN-1"]http://www.salisburybyhoneywell.com/en-US/Pages/Product.aspx?category=face_head_neck&cat=HLS-HES&pid=HN-1[/url]


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:44 am 
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George wrote:
These items do not have an ATPV rating. The best you can do is get non-melting hair nets and beard nets, covered with the appropriately rated PPE.


http://www.shop.arcstore.com/product.sc?productId=4&categoryId=5


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:25 pm 

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Thanks, I stand corrected, but a little smarter now.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:30 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:15 am
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Location: St. Paul, MN
MIControl wrote:
This would include ear plugs, hair nets, beard nets etc..


Is there such a thing as arc rated ear plugs?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:52 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:04 pm
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[font=Arial][color=navy]As I understand (and I look forward to finding out if I'm wrong because I've gotten the same question), there are only arc blast rated plugs, which are double-sided with an arc-blast side and a red steady-state noise side. Many electricians do not want their hearing diminished when working on equipment, because they are listening for numerous things, including warning arcs and sparks. Therefore, these plugs are a good (albeit expensive) solution when hearing is of the essence during a task, since the yellow side can be inserted for electrical tasks where there are no noise exposures other than the potential arc blast. [/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=navy]As stated by others, although non-melting or arc-rated earplugs may be coming in the next year or two, as well as some sort of standard that dictates how they perform, NFPA 70E only states that ear canal inserts be worn (not earmuffs). There’s no background to explain this, so some who read NFPA 70E fear that the ear canal inserts will melt in the ear, but 70E requires the face shield or hood to cover the ears in all but HRC 0 conditions. Earmuffs or any hearing protection worn over the head might be blown off by the arc blast (I don’t have a source for this, but have heard it discussed).[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=navy]So to summarize, as far as I know, there are no arc flash hearing protectors yet.[/color][/font]


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:06 am 

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:34 am
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smak,

I answering your question about where it is at in OSHA/NFPA 70E-I can not find anywhere specifically that states you can not wear a plastic head set with plugs on each end. NFPA 70E does include ANSI and/or ASTM standards for the PPE required but does not address hearing protection. You could get a consultant to come in and give some good arguments why they should just require earplus/inserts (plastic melts, ear plugs usually have a higher NRR, etc) but as far as I know that is your best argument. Sorry!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:33 am 
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Location: Michigan
I think the primary reason for this recommendation is potential interference with other PPE (hard hat, face shield, balaclava) and in HRC 0 scenarios melting may be a factor.

2012 NFPA-70E 130.7(C)(5) only states that, "Employees shall wear hearing protection whenever working within the arc flash boundary."

The handbook notes go on to say that, "Ear canal inserts are the only form of hearing protection recognized in T130.(C)(16) because they cause less interference with the proper fit and application of other PPE intended to protect the head and face. If the Hazard/Risk table approach to PPE selection is not used, compliance with the requirement of 130.7(C)(5) can be achieved through the use of ear canal inserts, even though the specific type of hearing protection is not specifically mandated by this section. Hearing protection cannot adversely impact the performance of other items of PPE."


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:14 am 
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"because they are listening for numerous things, including warning arcs and sparks"

Warning arcs and sparks?? o_O


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:50 am 

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When we discussed purchasing these earplugs that are described above the main reason we purchased them is for communications between the individuals racking. ensuring that you are in the right place and if some one notices something going wrong then you have a better chance of hearing the other guys in the area.

i dont think listening for warning arcs is the best description. i have never seen warning sparks....


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:24 am 
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Zog wrote:
"because they are listening for numerous things, including warning arcs and sparks"

Warning arcs and sparks?? o_O

Warning arcs and sparks saved my tail years ago. I was performing testing on CV-67 (as a consultant) and a contact hung up when opening. The only warning was a terrifying arcing noise one phase. :eek:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:03 am 
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Whats the difference between ARCPLUG (EAR) vs other earplugs? Does it really works?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:44 pm
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Location: Southport, NC
I was at a conference in which this was discussed. As I recall testing had shown that the foam ear plugs would not melt, but they would actually shrival up. I have never seen that published though.


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