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 Post subject: Face shield testing
PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 11:44 am 
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A question came up last week during some arc flash training: do face shields need to be tested periodically for adherence to the ASTM? If so, how often? If a face shield or any PPE is involved in an arc flash incident, should it be taken out of service?
Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 12:00 pm 
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uriah1 wrote:
A question came up last week during some arc flash training: do face shields need to be tested periodically for adherence to the ASTM?


I believe the ASTM test standard for face shields is a destructive test, so I don't think you can (re)test one (in fact, only a sample of all face shields of the same design are tested, else you'd see black stuff on them).

uriah1 wrote:
If a face shield or any PPE is involved in an arc flash incident, should it be taken out of service?


Yes. I don't recall if it's in 70E or the handbook, but since you can't recertify the arc rating of a PPE, don't take a chance. Same thing as for fall arrest PPE. Routine inspection is your friend on those.

Usually, PPE for shock protection can be retested non-destructively, but if you got an electrical shock wearing one, maybe it already failed the real test...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:04 pm 
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ASTM Arc Flash Shield Test ASTM F2178

I'm the taskforce chair for ASTM F2178 and Vincent is absolutely correct. It is a destructive test. The shields are never retested for arc flash just like the clothing. The experience we have to date is that the shields do well over time. Most of them will gradually change color but my experience is that this has made them a little more protective. Faceshields should be protected from light as UV and IR from sunlight will expend some of the dyes. How do you know when to replace a shield. Most of the signs of need for replacement fortunately relate to visibility. Film on the shield which cannot be cleaned off with a mild soap and water is a good sign to replace the shield. Also visible scratches or cracks are a signal it's time to replace. i'd use the hard hat rule of 5 years if you have no other policy. Always use the manufacturer's recommendations.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:10 pm 
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Vincent B. wrote:
Usually, PPE for shock protection can be retested non-destructively, but if you got an electrical shock wearing one, maybe it already failed the real test...


The test is roughly equivalent to hi potting. It is dramatically destructive if the glove fails. Visit a "glove shop" some time if you get the chance. Very interesting.


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