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 Post subject: arc flash clothing
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:57 am 
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Location: Naugatuck, CT
Can any arc flash ppe be worn in an area prone to oil, chemical and other contamination. The reason I ask is because my employer has given the electricians arc level 2 uniforms but we come in contact with all types of contamination because we are in a manufacturing environment. We belive it would be much better to use smocks instead that way we can change them as needed. Any ideas? Thanks :confused:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:29 am 
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ctsmiths wrote:
Can any arc flash ppe be worn in an area prone to oil, chemical and other contamination. The reason I ask is because my employer has given the electricians arc level 2 uniforms but we come in contact with all types of contamination because we are in a manufacturing environment. We belive it would be much better to use smocks instead that way we can change them as needed. Any ideas? Thanks :confused:


First off, "smocks" dont meet any 70E PPE requirements. Obviously if you get something flamable on your FR clothing that is a problem and they should be changed (Coveralls would be a good option). As far as the chemicals damaging the material, some fabrics hold up better than others, the FR treated fabrics dont hold up to chemical exposure compared to other inherently FR materials such as Nomex IIIA or PBI.

Hugh will eventually respond to this post, he has done extensive testing on all different fabrics under all different conditions and may have ome more insight so hold tight till he responds to your post.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:36 pm 
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There are some AF rated clean room type suits, which may be suitable, as well as less expensive, so may be more disposable if they were to get dirty. But I don't know much about them.

I would still wear the regular AF clothing underneath, however.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:21 pm 
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Well I guess I have another question, my employer wants us to wear the " uniforms ", as they put it, all day long. The only problem is that we dont do electricial work all day, we also do maintenance on the building and other construction. I was under the impression that being "PPE" that they were only to be used for the protection purpose not to be used for " uniform clothing ". If this is true, does anyone know where I can find it in writing? To prove to my employer.
Thanks for the help


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:50 pm 
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Zog wrote:
First off, "smocks" dont meet any 70E PPE requirements. Obviously if you get something flamable on your FR clothing that is a problem and they should be changed (Coveralls would be a good option). As far as the chemicals damaging the material, some fabrics hold up better than others, the FR treated fabrics dont hold up to chemical exposure compared to other inherently FR materials such as Nomex IIIA or PBI.

Hugh will eventually respond to this post, he has done extensive testing on all different fabrics under all different conditions and may have ome more insight so hold tight till he responds to your post.


When I said smocks I should of said long coats, here is a link to a site that sells them this is what I mean.http://www.70estore.com/product/11_cal_Level_Long_Coat_oz_Ultra_Soft
sorry about the confusion

I just dont think that a company should make you wear the AF clothing as a uniform , I mean, I wouldn't go and use the line gloves I have as work gloves so why should I use the AF clothes anywhere but in an electricial situation?
thanks for your input.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:58 pm 
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ctsmiths wrote:
Well I guess I have another question, my employer wants us to wear the " uniforms ", as they put it, all day long. The only problem is that we dont do electricial work all day, we also do maintenance on the building and other construction. I was under the impression that being "PPE" that they were only to be used for the protection purpose not to be used for " uniform clothing ". If this is true, does anyone know where I can find it in writing? To prove to my employer.


No, there is nothing to "prove" to your employer, nothing says they can't, in fact most large companies have already implemented the some thing. One of the reasons they do this is that it is easier for them to enforce, it covers them in case someone gets hurt not wearing the PPE (Hey, dont blame us,we have a policy here Mr. OSHA guy), and they dont have to hear that it took 1 hour to do a 5 minute task because the electrician had to go "All the way across the plant to get my PPE and on the way back the bossman over on line 2 had me look at somethin for him, then I passed the cafeteria and grabbed some coffee, and then came back here", and yes that is an actual quote.

Bottom line, the employer is the employer can can make any policy they want as long as it meets or exceeds the OSHA standard, which wearing PPE all of the time does.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:01 pm 
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ctsmiths wrote:
When I said smocks I should of said long coats, here is a link to a site that sells them this is what I mean.http://www.70estore.com/product/11_cal_Level_Long_Coat_oz_Ultra_Soft
sorry about the confusion


Actually thats what I assumed you meant, but read the fine print, you have to wear the "leggings" with the coat.

ctsmiths wrote:
I just dont think that a company should make you wear the AF clothing as a uniform , I mean, I wouldn't go and use the line gloves I have as work gloves so why should I use the AF clothes anywhere but in an electricial situation?
thanks for your input.


I would agree with you if I were in your shoes, however, it is easier (See previous post)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:23 pm 
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With the two category system in 70E and now Z462, the intent was to define "everyday" wear as the primary arc rated layer. You wear this everyday when you get work.

After that you have to ensure that the integrity of the clothing is maintained, no contamination. if it get damaged or contaminated before you are performing energized electrical work then you have to change out of the damaged or contaminated clothing and put on a new or clean ensemble e.g. coveralls, pant and shirt combination.

The clothing can have simple, small logos and names on it to personalize it and to allow identification if you use an industrial third party laundering company if your facility is large enough.

You wear this as your primary layer and for higher risk energized electrical work due to completing a hazard risk analysis, you then don the second layer or a separate Arc Flash Suits with ATPV rated greater than the incident energy at the assumed working distance.

Regards;
Terry Becker, P.Eng.
http://www.esps.ca


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:26 pm 
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Sorry, I forgot to add that you have to manage the performance of your arc flash clothing as well, for example the lab coat style, with the leggings, this type of Arc Flash Suit is not suitable for work where you have to bend over, as the bottom velcro section of the coat will open and expose you.

I have a picture of this from an Electrica Safety Audit I performed, the client has quite of few Arc Flash Suits this style used for racking in and out bottom cell breakers.

Regards;
Terry Becker, P.Eng.
http://www.esps.ca


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 7:57 pm 
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"The clothing can have simple, small logos and names on it to personalize it and to allow identification if you use an industrial third party laundering company if your facility is large enough."

Terry,

I do not understand how the process of using a third party laundering company should have a bearing on "simple, small logos, and names on the FR to personalize it if the facility is large enough."

I understand that if someone else is washing your clothes, you need to ID them to get them back, I do that at the dry cleaners, but it seems here that it is OK to comprimise safety if you need to keep track of your clothes? Did the clothing companies weigh in here?

What's up with that?

What am I missing?

Alan


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