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 Post subject: High energy combo
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:05 am 
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Anyone used this? >40cal head sock and goggles. Looks like a better solution than the hood. http://www.eswpco.com/store/2389459/product/H49H10


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:43 am 
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Hi Zog,

There are a few applications where a balaclava/sock hood (ski mask) and goggles are likely your best available option. However, neither 70E nor Z462 recognize these products and therefore they are non-compliant. If you work for a Utility or other industry exempt from 70E or Z462 then feel free to use this. Please keep in mind that just because the ASTM F2178 allows for testing/certification does not imply that a product is safe to use for all applications. Would you consider your face an area of your body worth protecting from shrapnel? The thermal energy created by an arc flash is only between 10-20% of the arc flash phenomenon according to the NFPA/IEEE collaborative committee findings. At our last Z462 Tech Committee meeting in Calgary Hugh explained at least one application where not using a hood allowed workers to perform their job task safer (low ceiling or head clearance type application I believe), maybe Hugh can elaborate for the group?

The major concerns I have with this type of face & head protection are as follows;
-No impact protection from shrapnel or flying debris for your face
-No air gap to further insulate the worker from the potential incident energy exposure which may in fact exceed your arc rated protection
-Convective type heat transfer will easily travel through the porous nature of the ski mask/balaclava and could significantly injure your worker(s)
-This system is very hot in warm climates with no option for a fresh air system (hood ventilation system)
-Inability to achieve proper attenuation while using ear muffs for dual hearing protection (earplugs + earmuffs)
-The "Superior VLT" listed on your web link reference is lower than Oberon's 57% VLT on their 7W shield used in all HRC4 hood applications

Furthermore, I would have the following questions for NSA/Paulson regarding the goggles;
-Are these constructed with Propionate or Polycarbonate?
-Do the goggles have Anti-Fog, if yes, what is the quality (longevity) of the coating
-Do the goggles have Anti-Scratch coatings available?
-Are the goggles rated for high impact according to ANSI Z87.1-2010 and marked accordingly with the "Z87.1+" symbol?

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
Jim


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:46 am 
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Great feedback Jim, thanks. I was just throwing this out there to see what others think, I realize it does not comply, yet.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:37 pm 
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Zog wrote:
Anyone used this? >40cal head sock and goggles. Looks like a better solution than the hood.


We started using them perhaps a year or so ago as an alternative to the hood, when level 4 protection is required. I've heard mixed responses, some people are still preferring to the hood, while others much prefer the balaclava and goggles combo. People whom wear glasses are still using the hoods.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:55 pm 
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Jim Pollard wrote:
At our last Z462 Tech Committee meeting in Calgary Hugh explained at least one application where not using a hood allowed workers to perform their job task safer (low ceiling or head clearance type application I believe), maybe Hugh can elaborate for the group?

The major concerns I have with this type of face & head protection are as follows;
-No impact protection from shrapnel or flying debris for your face
-No air gap to further insulate the worker from the potential incident energy exposure which may in fact exceed your arc rated protection
-Convective type heat transfer will easily travel through the porous nature of the ski mask/balaclava and could significantly injure your worker(s)
-This system is very hot in warm climates with no option for a fresh air system (hood ventilation system)
-Inability to achieve proper attenuation while using ear muffs for dual hearing protection (earplugs + earmuffs)
-The "Superior VLT" listed on your web link reference is lower than Oberon's 57% VLT on their 7W shield used in all HRC4 hood applications

Furthermore, I would have the following questions for NSA/Paulson regarding the goggles;
-Are these constructed with Propionate or Polycarbonate?
-Do the goggles have Anti-Fog, if yes, what is the quality (longevity) of the coating
-Do the goggles have Anti-Scratch coatings available?
-Are the goggles rated for high impact according to ANSI Z87.1-2010 and marked accordingly with the "Z87.1+" symbol?


I'm in agreement with several of your concerns. Unfortunately the only ones I can respond too right now are that they are impact rated to ANSI Z87.1-2003 and seem to have decent anti-fog/scratch coatings.

Certainly, it goes without saying that there is more protection afforded by hood style PPE. Unfortunately, with switch gear that's been in service since the days of Tesla and Edison... hood style PPE isn't always feasible when working on energized equipment.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Goggle/Balaclava

This thread raises some real good issues that must be considered when evaluating PPE for arc flash.
Always ask, “What are they selling?” when reading comments on forums.
I don't sell any of the options or receive any income from PPE items. My pay is based on testing and consulting services. I did have the idea of an arc flash goggle to solve several issues that had come up in training for industry and electric utilities and worked to evaluate them for several companies and tested them to prove to the ASTM F18 committee that these could be an option. I’m certain one of the largest utilities in the US who does substantial testing has also evaluated the goggles in question and balaclava systems and chosen to use them for their company too. This company actually tested the goggles in the exact scenario Jim describes as a concern with an ejected arc from a panel. They did see a reduction in rating but hoods had issue too. That company uses both systems for certain applications.
The ASTM F18 committee approved the change in F2178 by a large margin and NFPA 70E has voted to approve changes in the 2012 standard to allow goggle/balaclava systems to be used as arc flash hoods when a company has done arc flash calculations and evaluated them for PPE.
I think both hoods and balaclava/goggle combinations can be good when evaluated properly for the application.
1. Goggles with a balaclava are ONE option and should be considered for arc flash protection anytime you have an overhead SHOCK hazard which a hardhat is being used to prevent. To wear a hood with cloth on the head INCREASES the hazard in that case. One may still choose to use a hood but must realize they are INCREASING the risk of shock.
2. All PPE must be evaluated for additional hazards. Those who have worn goggle/balaclava combinations vs. hoods have expressed pros and cons.
3. Pro for goggle/balaclava is primarily the ability to have shock protection on TOP of the arc flash protection.
4. Con for goggle/balaclava is as Jim correctly pointed out that less of the face has projectile protection. The standards are a little ambivalent about this. There is a possible projectile hazard anytime you have an arc flash but I personally believe this is often overblown with little or no objective data most often to support a selling proposition. I question, how often do you have projectiles or "shrapnel" which goes even through clothing much less a dual or triple layer cloth in arc flashes? If the "shrapnel" hazard is so huge why don't we provide it for the chest since the chance of penetrating the heart is much more likely than penetrating the skull? If the eyes are protected isn't that going a long way toward saving lives? Most who oppose the balaclava/goggle (and there are very few I have ever heard from) don't recognize that the hood has less than 50% of the head and neck covered with projectile protection. One of the companies who doesn't sell goggles and vehemently opposes them, sold hoods without hard hats for many years (not sure if they still offer them). That seems a little hypocritical to me.
5. The goggle/balaclava's I have worn have as much breathability as most of the hoods I have worn. Additionally it is easier to have two balaclavas with different protection levels than it is to carry two hoods with different levels of protection.
6. Pro for balaclava/goggle. They do NOT depend on an air gap. Though in some arc assaults, specifically in the front attack in the ASTM test, the air gap is an advantage, if the arc comes while the head is raised, the hood’s dirty little secret is that the hood can allow energy UNDER the hood. Additionally, some hood materials afterflame for minutes in higher level arc flashes. The materials in today’s balaclava/goggle combinations have almost NO afterflame at any level. These systems also have almost no smoke production in arc flash unlike most hood combinations. I suggest asking for videos of the hoods you are evaluating and videos of the balaclava/goggle combinations. You might be surprised. The arc test must report afterflame time if you can’t get the videos. This is a good thing to evaluate on hood systems. The same window with different fabrics will perform differently. Please don’t take it that I’m for replacing hoods with balaclava/goggles. I just think a fair comparison is the best way to evaluate something.
6. Cost of the goggle/balaclava's have been used by some employers to provide each worker with a goggle/balaclava for low level arc flash exposure hazards and keep the hoods for the higher level exposures.
7. Goggle/balaclava's are easier to clean, eliminating hygiene issues.
8. The questions raised about the goggle are on the website which says they are:

Material: Silicone frame and strap. Polycarbonate outer lens and a propionate inner lens. Polymer alloy components.
Lens: Optically correct dual layer lens. Outer polycarbonate lens is hard coated and the inner propionate lens is anti-fog treated.

Hope this helps explain my opinion and give help in understanding the options.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Goggle/Balaclava "Approved"

Zog wrote:
Great feedback Jim, thanks. I was just throwing this out there to see what others think, I realize it does not comply, yet.


Actually they are "Approved" by ASTM F2178 since 2008. The NFPA 70E standard had a definition of arc flash hood which is unclear. It says "bee keeper's style hood". This isn't defined though, so if it passes F2178 and could be used by a "bee keeper" is passes. LOL.

I'm fine if the balaclava is thick enough. I don't like bees though but I have worked them once with a friend.

The AHJ also has the responsibility to pick proper PPE and their evaluation is allowed to deviate even if the standard seems to have a requirement.

See my other comments above for more info.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:29 am 
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elihuiv wrote:
Always ask, “What are they selling?” when reading comments on forums.


Would it make you feel better if they manufactured goggles as well? This is not a lack of "know how" but rather a difference in philosophy and a belief that certain protective systems are not appropriate for all users and can be applied incorrectly. An example of which is a long coat arc flash suit design, unless of course you're an advocate of crotch burns?! Please keep in mind that company was manufacturing goggles for WWII in the nineteen forties on contract with the US Government. Furthermore, that company has recommended to adopt ASTM F2178-2008 including goggles & ski mask type balaclava's to both Z462 TC and Z94.3 TC. Z462 TC voted to not accept this but Z94.3 TC will in the upcoming 2012 edition.


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