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 Post subject: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:40 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:20 pm
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What company usually does for old Arc Flash clothes which is given by employer to employee. Normally, throwing old Arc Flash clothes is not a good idea as non qualified people can reuse these which is dangerous. Please share your thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:10 am 
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Arc rated PPE is not a controlled substance. In some areas of the country, particularly oil fields and coal fields, it’s at the local work clothes store. So what you’re saying is someone that is undertaking some kind of work without any kind of training makes an extra effort to try and maybe do it right. Discourage the dangerous part (unqualified work) but never discourage any effort to do something safely. That’s just stupid. Example yesterday I was at a small waste water plant. They got rubber gloves and leather protectors but just started using them. I showed the guy a roll test and encouraged him to get them tested every six months per OSHA. Even “qualified” workers have work practice issues.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:22 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:20 pm
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Seems like you have no idea what I am talking about!


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 Post subject: Re: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:25 pm 
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abk453 wrote:
Seems like you have no idea what I am talking about!


Making a reply like that to someone who is trying to answer your question is not helpful. Perhaps if you re-worded your question or provided more details, you may receive answers more in line with what you are asking or trying to ask.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:20 pm 
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abk453 wrote:
Seems like you have no idea what I am talking about!


I guess the fundamental problem is that I disagree with your premise that giving away or disposing of PPE encourages unqualified workers to do qualified work and that this is a safety issue.

Breaking it down, first with regards to arc flash PPE E-Hazard did some testing on old worn PPE for a few potash mines several years ago. They found that unless it had holes through it, or it was saturated with grease or oil, or was a particular type where the fire retardant compound washes out ("greens"), it doesn't lose its properties and can be used indefinitely. However if you do have defective PPE, or any tools or parts for that matter, most proactive companies want to prevent accidental reuse. They mark "BAD" all over it with paint pens or Sharpies. They cut cords, ropes, slings, and fall protection harnesses in half to prevent reuse or misuse.

Second would be the issue of why unqualified workers take unnecessary risks in the first place. This usually happens for one of two reasons. The first one is just plain ignorance...nobody ever explained what the risks are to them. The second reason is where you have to look at yourself. If the maintenance crew can't get the job done to the point where there are impacting production crews in getting their jobs done, the production crews will often take matters into their own hands. In this case you need to address your maintenance practices...get out of fire fighting.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:56 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:20 pm
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The PPE recycle policy should be there where the company provide two sets of Arc Flash PPEs to more than 10 thousand employees every year. As employee get two sets every year , he can throw any where or it can be reach to any non-qualified people. It will be better to have the PPE recycle policy to the company and the supplier so that it will not reach the old PPE to the non-qualified and this can be solved environmental issue (not to use OLD PPE for landfill )


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 Post subject: Re: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:01 am 
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abk453 wrote:
The PPE recycle policy should be there where the company provide two sets of Arc Flash PPEs to more than 10 thousand employees every year. As employee get two sets every year , he can throw any where or it can be reach to any non-qualified people. It will be better to have the PPE recycle policy to the company and the supplier so that it will not reach the old PPE to the non-qualified and this can be solved environmental issue (not to use OLD PPE for landfill )


That seems crazy excessive and not effective. I can destroy a pair of pants in ONE job. I can also go for several years without a failure. The employer must provide PPE, that much is clear. Why is it not a policy of turning in defective PPE for repair/replacement like everyone else? That eliminates your issue. What if I destroy two pairs in a week? Is the employer not going to supply PPE as they are legally required to do?


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 Post subject: Re: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:06 am 
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PaulEngr wrote:
The employer must provide PPE, that much is clear. Why is it not a policy of turning in defective PPE for repair/replacement like everyone else? That eliminates your issue. What if I destroy two pairs in a week? Is the employer not going to supply PPE as they are legally required to do?


In the USA, due to OSHA, that is true on the PPE but the OP does not indicate where he is located, so that may not be true.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:17 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:20 pm
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I am talking about huge company outside of USA. The company named Sparlings in Canada, they do recycling old Arc Flash clothes from the companies who want to recycle. I just wanted to know any company is doing this kind of recycling or not. So that we can implement our company.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:34 am 
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Ok, that provides more information. What I been led to believe based on your initial posting was about old arc rated PPE was concerned with people getting rid of old arc rated PPE by disposing of them in the trash or in used clothing bins. It appeared your concern was about this old arc rated PPE, ending up in the hands of unqualified people who then believe they are protected.

However, it appears that you are referring to taking old arc rated PPE and sending it to a company like Sparlings Sportswear Manufacturing that will take the old PPE and recycle it by cleaning, shredding to make it into fibers and then weave it into cloth. This cloth apparently meets some standards on arc flash for PPE.

This quite different than what I thought your original post was about. I would think that if it meets standards then manufacturers of arc rated PPE would buy and use it. I don't know if anyone does this but perhaps Hugh will weigh in on this.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:01 am 
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The fire retardant property is inherent to the fibers in most PPE. With aramids like Nomex it is truly inherent. Treated cotton is a chemical process that is also supposed to be inherent to the fibers but if it's a chemical process, no reason to believe that it can't be somehow accidentally reversed. As such, there is no reason that it would not be possible to make recycled fabric that meets ASTM standards. So not only would I want to see third party testing on the resulting fabric in terms of initial qualification of the resulting recycled product but some sort of strict testing that validates the fire retardant properties on an ongoing/continuous basis. That obviously has to exist in a manufacturing plant such as Milliken or Westex but process variability is usually higher in recycling operations because they have less control over the raw material.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Arc Flash PPE
PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:42 am 
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Location: Louisville, KY
We have done testing on old AR PPE and I have only seen failures from two causes:
1. industrial washing processes when bleaches were accidentally used in large amounts (these failures were VERY apparent, in one case, arms were tearing off from the over use of bleach in a wash equipment/operator failure). VERY RARE
2. Mining contaminants, specifically metals contamination not getting washed out. Iron has been the presumed culprit on two occasions. This was in the range of 2% by weight Iron metal contamination that was not getting washed out.

Never seen an AR Suit fail from flame resistance failure.

Firefighter's Turnout gear has a 10 year replacement rule, this is a good rule of thumb but face shields and hardhats need to be changed more regularly.

Clothing washed every other wear will need to be replaced more regularly. ArcWear offers a service to evaluate clothing via destructive testing of sample garments, but we have rarely seen failures. Many of the clothing manufacturers will also offer this service, often for free for those concerned. We just recommend vertical flame testing of the fabric. Doing an arc rating provides no value in our opinion having done this many times.

Hugh Hoagland
ArcWear


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