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 Post subject: Respirator
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 5:00 pm
Posts: 873
Location: Rutland, VT
What is everyone doing for areas where one has to wear a full face respirator and the work may require arc rated PPE? Is there any manufacturers of full face respirators that are arc rated?

Thanks in advance

Barry Donovan, P.E.

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 Post subject: Re: Respirator
PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:13 am 
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Location: North Carolina
70E specifically says that if conflicts arise, it is subordinate to other PPE requirements. Although a respirator may melt/burn in the event of an arc flash, the respirator takes precedent since most of the time where they are required, the likelihood of a possibly once-in-a-lifetime event (arc flash) compared to a risk that may be continuous or at least "once in a while" certainly trumps it.

I don't know about SCBA's because I was never trained for fire fighting and I'd assume that SCBA's for structural fire fighting use would be FR though not necessarily arc rated. But my experience with chemical respirators after trying different ways of wearing it and with different models is that the "blue ones" (forgot the brand name) fit kind of under the chin and will easily fit under a hood. The 3M brand ones with the rectangular cartridges tend to hug your chin line and also fit nicely but the round cartridges from some manufacturers as well as 3M P100 cartridges stick out and interfere with the hood. With a balaclava you can put it on first and cinch down on the respirator and you can make a seal but it's questionable at best. A better approach is to put it on first, put on the respirator, and then work the face opening up and around the mask of the respirator so that it stretches around it with the cartridges down under the balaclava. Again, it will probably melt anyways but this is a situation of doing the best you can.

So in other words, I'm not having a problem wearing both of them at the same time but that's not to say that it's easy.

I did look and never found an arc rated respirator on the market.

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 Post subject: Re: Respirator
PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:07 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:00 pm
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Location: Louisville, KY
A little tweak to Paul.

"Exception No. 2: Where the work to be performed inside the arc flash boundary exposes the worker to multiple hazards, such as airborne contaminants, and the risk assessment identifies that the level of protection is adequate to address the arc flash hazard, non–arc-rated PPE shall be permitted."

So you can have "non-arc rated" respirators but you must assure that the PPE is "adequate to address the arc flash hazard". We have tested for several DOE sites which have radioactive hazards and several mines and have found that a respirator under a faceshield poses low risk of ignition and firefighter's SCBA's that we have tested have been able to take 40 cal/cm2. This is the responsibility of the AHJ to decide and assure the criteria is met.

Doesn't have to be arc rated (there are none as of 2015) but must address the arc hazard in some manner.

Hugh Hoagland

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