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 Post subject: Several PPE questions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:08 am 
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Must the base uniform worn under arc flash suits be FR rated, or simply non-melting?

Are hair nets and beard nets required to be non-melting, or is that simply desirable? What about ear plugs?

When working category 0, and wearing cotton uniforms, must the (name or company logo) patches and any sewing associated w/those patches be of the non-melting type also?

How can I be assured that any FR apparrel that goes out for commercial laundering is being laundered properly and segregated from other company laundry?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:58 am 
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CowSparky wrote:
Must the base uniform worn under arc flash suits be FR rated, or simply non-melting?

Are hair nets and beard nets required to be non-melting, or is that simply desirable? What about ear plugs?

When working category 0, and wearing cotton uniforms, must the (name or company logo) patches and any sewing associated w/those patches be of the non-melting type also?

How can I be assured that any FR apparrel that goes out for commercial laundering is being laundered properly and segregated from other company laundry?


1. Underlayers must be nonmelting.
2. Nonmelting hairnets , beardnets, and ear plugs are readily available. The hair and beard nets are very expensive, so it might be better to just have your techs remove their polyester nets prior to donning their PPE.
3. IMHO it would depend on the size of the logo patch. A small patch would probably be alright, but others in this forum that are more experienced than I am can probably address this issue. The sewing thread would be acceptable, as is an incidental amount of thread and elastic used in under garments.
4. I would seek a well established laundry service, get references and go observe their laundering process.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:32 am 
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cbauer wrote:
1. Underlayers must be nonmelting.


"underlayers" as far as underwear? Or, underlayers meaning anything worn under the arc flash suit?

I was under the impression that the category rating was the whole "system" of stuff you wore, and that relied on wearing non-melting underwear, FR clothing, with the arc suit on top? Am I mixed up on that or not? I'm trying to figure out, for sure, if the shirt and trousers worn under the arc flash suit must be FR, or may they be ordinary cotton?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:46 am 
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Anything under your FR clothes must be non-melting. Sorry for the confusion.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 2:22 pm 
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The current NFPA 70E or CSA Z462 requires that hairnets and/or beard nets must be non-melting and flame resistant. The term flame resistant will change in 2012 to arc rated, therefore buy arc rated hair nets and beard nets, the cost can be offset slightly by laundering them. Some products are best laundered in a mesh bag to avoid damage.

CBauer;
Where are non-melting ear plugs readily available? This is a problem in our industry, albeit a small one. The worker's ears should never be exposed to enough incident energy to create a concern assuming they are using the correct PPE and have conducted an arc flash hazard analysis. Be aware that your common ear plugs (ear canal inserts) are flammable and do in fact melt!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:25 am 
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This is an ear plug product we are considering going with.
http://www.aearo.com/pdf/ARC%20Plug%20Sell%20Sheet%2010-10-05.pdf


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:14 am 
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Can somebody point me (in NFPA70E-2009 or CSA Z462-08) specifically at an article for nonmelting ear plugs?

I see 130.7(C)(15), which reads:
"Clothing and Other Apparel Not Permitted. Clothing and other apparel (such as hard hat liners and hair nets) made from materials that do not meet the requirements of 130.7(C)(14) regarding melting, or made from materials that do not meet the flammability requirements shall not be permitted to be worn.
Exception No. 1: Nonmelting, flammable (non-FR) materials shall be permitted to be used as underlayers to FR clothing, as described in 130.7(C)(14), and shall be permitted to be used for Hazard/Risk Category 0 as described in Table 130.7(C)(10).
Exception No. 2: Where the work to be performed inside the Arc Flash Protection Boundary exposes the worker to multiple hazards, such as airborne contaminants, under special permission by the authority having jurisdiction and where it can be shown that the level of protection is adequate to address the arc flash hazard, non-FR Personel Protective Equipment shall be permitted.
"
I do not consider ear plugs to be clothing or apparel.

At the same time, in Table 130.7(C)(10), for each HRC, there's a list labeled "FR Protective Equipment", for PPE which are not clothing. That's where safety glasses or safety goggles, leather gloves and ear plugs are mandated (for HRC 0).

In article 100, Flame-Resistant (FR) is defined as "the property of a material whereby combustion is prevented, terminated, or inhibited following the application of a flaming or non-flaming source of ignition, with or without subsequent removal of the ignition source". It doesn't say nonmelting.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:24 am 
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I agree that 70E doesn't specifically require "non-melting" hearing protection. However, not really sure why a person would want something in their ears which has the potential to melt and destroy their hearing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:26 pm 
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Most people tend to get hung up on the non-melting vs. melting while discussing hearing protective devices (HPD). What about the NRR requirement for an arc flash?? The arc flash hazard has been measured up to 160dB, slightly louder than having a stick of dynamite blow up in your hands. One person earlier suggested using 3M EAR Arc Blast Plugs which at the best attenuation possible provides 22 NRR. In the US, OSHA recommends you derate the NRR by 50%, therefore you can only count on 11 NRR from this device..... can you say "instant hearing loss"! Noise induced hearing loss is a very serious injury without a cure. Move beyond the melting issue because if you have selected your PPE properly the HPD should not be affected. There is also some great information available such as audiometric testing that demonstrates how wearing an arc flash suit hood will reduce the noise hazard generated by an arc flash.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:51 pm 
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This is a great product for ear protection! They are comfortable and a good fit.

http://www.frsafety.com/product/Reusable_Arc_Ear_Plug


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:47 pm 
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CowSparky wrote:
Are hair nets and beard nets required to be non-melting, or is that simply desirable? What about ear plugs?


Our QA group allows the hair and beard nets to be removed and replaced with a balaclava (sock hood) as part of the 70e PPE.


We're required to wear earplugs that are connected with string/cord of some kind, so the earplugs that others have listed won't work. This is part of our food safety program. Any other suggestions?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:47 am 
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try these:
http://industrial.beanworthy.com/EAR-Arc-Plug-Arc-Flash-Earplugs/A/B003NUYU9G.htm


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:38 am 
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Don't you love these marketers? Cite the 70E requirement and your plug is suddenly an "ARC" plug. Like any good plug it attenuates sound levels, but no evidence of any arc flash testing is provided. The two sided design is innovative, but it ensures that half the plug remains outside the ear where it is more exposed to the energy.

According to the notes I have from Hugh's class, the classic disposable yellow foam plug has been tested to 50 cal/cm^2 while red foam should be avoided.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:08 pm 
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richxtlc wrote:


"NRR (dB): 22 dB for red side (yellow side is for arc flash situations)"

Does that mean the yellow side is not for use in loud work areas? I need to have earplugs in all the time due to overall noise levels so it sounds like the yellow side might not be useful.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:36 pm 
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I believe that the yellow side is for normal talk while doing arc flash and will close instantly the minute the loud bang from the arc blast starts.


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