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 Post subject: Arc-rated Harness & Lanyard
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:51 am 
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Does anyone working for an electric utility require your employees in buckets to wear an arc-rated harness & lanyard? How did you justify this to management? Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Location: Rutland, VT
The utility I just left did use arc rated harnesses. The lanyards were not arc rated. The justification was that it is against your body and could make the injury worst if it melted into the AR clothing and comprised that protection.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:35 am 
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Rich Brzezicki wrote:
Does anyone working for an electric utility require your employees in buckets to wear an arc-rated harness & lanyard? How did you justify this to management? Thanks!


Yes we use them.
We use the arc rated harness . If it is on the body and you are required to wear Arc Rated clothing for a task you just layered something over an arc rated system, you must take into consideration the added fuel loading and effect that a harness exposed to 10,000 degrees F will have. Our maint departments have several arc rated harnesses per shop. The justification is life safety! The better your management understands arc potential, the better your support will be.
[color=#141414][font=Tahoma]Bill[/font][/color]


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:38 am 
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Rich Brzezicki wrote:
Does anyone working for an electric utility require your employees in buckets to wear an arc-rated harness & lanyard? How did you justify this to management? Thanks!



I don't work for a utility, but our electricians all have and use them. We have great support from upper management and they have also supported our efforts to improve our electrical safety program. Upper management support is key to success.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:18 am 
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Location: Denver, CO
The electric utility industry established the need for Arc & flame resistant harnesses and lanyards several years ago. You have two options:
1. specify and purchase a harness that has ASTM 855 standard on the label. These treated nylon harnesses can withstand a 40 cal exposure and still suspend the maximum ANSI Z359 test weight for 5 minutes in order to effect rescue. These harnesses do not melt or drip and they meet the same 2 second flame-out criteria as arc rated clothing must meet.
2. You can purchase a Nomex/Kevlar or similar welders harness if you are going to be exposed to open flame or confined spaces. The arc test is the same. The price is 2-3 times what a lineman's utility harness is going to cost.
Lanyards should be likewise labeled with the ASTM 855 standard for use in energized work zones. Watch out for the self-retracting lifeline styles that use a very thin webbing. There is an SRL that uses heavier Kevlar web that is arc rated.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:48 am 
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ASTM F855 was written by many of the utilities on the F18 committee. Two manufacturers we're involved to help the utilities on the spec. I did the arc testing with Kinectrics.

The Nylon is not FR treated. The mass is thick enough to glaze on the surface and not ignite when new. Older harnesses (1year old) have been tested and nylon will ignite easier (around 25 cal/cm┬▓) when older. I recommend aramid harnesses if risk is high but sparks more is right that they are 2x. They are also a little lighter weight. They will never ignite and burn.

We have seen a few polyester and nylon unrated harnesses ignite. I know of no failures in F855 harnesses.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:13 pm 
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We do - essentially our pitch was that it doesn't make sense to put employees in FR clothing and then have non arc rated harnesses over that clothing. Most of our "old" harnesses were made with straps that would melt in a potential arc blast and defeat the protection the FR outwear provided. Yes they cost more money but they were generally better made and last longer, so the cost wasn't as much of a factor over the long haul. As a side note we went to all arc rated Self Retracting Lifelines as well - the standard tear away lanyards added another 8' to the fall distance. Essentially we couldn't adequately protect for a fall between 4 and 16 feet (4' lanyard + 4' tear away + 6' average height) and our guys constantly do work between 4 and 16'. Best of luck to you.


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