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 Post subject: SITE SPECIFIC PPE
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:20 am 
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I'd like to ask if any of you have implemented a site specific PPE program or policy? If so, how it work out? Did you have any unexpected problems or issues? How was it received by your company or client? Did you end up jumping through any hoops to get it approved? And what, if anything did you do to make it easy or easier for people to use?
Thanks,


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 Post subject: Re: SITE SPECIFIC PPE
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:07 pm 
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wilhendrix wrote:
I'd like to ask if any of you have implemented a site specific PPE program or policy? If so, how it work out? Did you have any unexpected problems or issues? How was it received by your company or client? Did you end up jumping through any hoops to get it approved? And what, if anything did you do to make it easy or easier for people to use?
Thanks,


Yes. What you want to do though is two fold: simplify and make it more flexible. If you are following the tables, you must use the table-specified PPE which has minimum ATPV values. You can exceed these of course. So sticking with the tables, there is little practical difference between PPE 1 and PPE 2, and even less difference between PPE 3 and PPE 4. So simply get rid of the unnecessary categories reducing it to a 3 category system (0, 2, 4).

If however you used incident energy analysis then as per Code for several years now you can't use the table in Chapter 130 in the first place. You need to follow Annex H. This is where we can make the system more flexible and improve on the Chapter 130 table.

To start with, does your company already require FR clothing for fire reasons (working around molten materials or highly flammable ones)? If so, then 1.2 cal/cm^2 likely has little meaning. Start with the lowest "level" in your system as your company's minimum PPE. This would be the maximum cal/cm^2 before a face shield and balaclava are required. Depending on Codes and/or regulations this can be anywhere from 1.2 cal/cm^2 (some 70E editions) to 4 cal/cm^2 (other 70E editions) all the way to 8 cal/cm^2 (OSHA 1910.269 latest edition).

Second consider that the maximum ATPV value with single layer PPE and a face shield+balaclava is 12 cal/cm^2. Whatever your purchased single layer PPE may be, that would define a "middle" threshold. This likely to be something OTHER than 8 cal/cm^2 and the higher you can achieve, the higher the allowable PPE before getting into a clothing system that becomes a heat exhaustion hazard.
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Third, check with your vendor and/or Arcwear's web site to determine if there are allowable PPE layer combinations you can use or if you are changing PPE, adopt one. This reduces costs and makes it simpler to do certain things such as wearing a company supplied arc rated winter jacket or rain jacket over the top of an arc rated shirt to achieve a rating in the range of 15-35 cal/cm^2 without paying for the very expensive and special use "beekeeper suits".

Finally, consider keeping one or maybe two "beekeeper" suits somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-120 cal/cm^2. This should only be used for apecial cases and to cover the PPE 4 cases on the tables if you have to resort back to them.

Whatever you do in the past I've recommended using letters (A, B, C, D) for "categories" to avoid the prohibition against using the 70E table designations (H/RC) but this causes a problem with outside vendors. Outside contractors don't have their own system. So the easiest way to accommodate outside contractors is to simply use the incident energy on your labels. The second advantage is that when PPE gets changed, it doesn't require relabeling everything. So if in the future at some point you go from 8.6 ATPV shirts to 12 ATPV shirts, the labels won't need to change. Finally, round it off to one significant figure because IEEE 1584 isn't that accurate. There is no difference between "9.26" and "9" and only confuses things further except for "1.2 cal/cm^2".


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 Post subject: Re: SITE SPECIFIC PPE
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:42 am 
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wilhendrix wrote:
I'd like to ask if any of you have implemented a site specific PPE program or policy? If so, how it work out? Did you have any unexpected problems or issues? How was it received by your company or client? Did you end up jumping through any hoops to get it approved? And what, if anything did you do to make it easy or easier for people to use?
Thanks,

Paul, thanks for your input. Have you done a site specific program yourself? If so, how has it worked? Any unexpected issues or problems? Are you getting good buy-in from those who are using it?


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 Post subject: Re: SITE SPECIFIC PPE
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:42 am 
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"Finally, consider keeping one or maybe two "beekeeper" suits somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-120 cal/cm^2. This should only be used for apecial cases and to cover the PPE 4 cases on the tables if you have to resort back to them."

THe problem with this approach, becomes a matter of fit, and the ability of some one to perform the needed work in a suit that doesn't fit.


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 Post subject: Re: SITE SPECIFIC PPE
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:46 am 
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JKlessig wrote:
"Finally, consider keeping one or maybe two "beekeeper" suits somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-120 cal/cm^2. This should only be used for apecial cases and to cover the PPE 4 cases on the tables if you have to resort back to them."

THe problem with this approach, becomes a matter of fit, and the ability of some one to perform the needed work in a suit that doesn't fit.


Agreed up to a point. There is nothing wrong with a baggy outfit. In fact it's actually an advantage from an incident energy point of view.

At one facility where I have worked the production personnel were using arc flash PPE because they felt that it was lower cost to simply wear arc flash PPE for all operations than to spend money on maintaining the equipment properly. I'm not even going to get into what 70E says about incident energy if equipment isn't maintained properly.

They didn't issue the PPE per person but rather issued it to the equipment. So every switch house had arc flash PPE in it. And yes, they were nasty and not cleaned nearly often enough.


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 Post subject: Re: SITE SPECIFIC PPE
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:23 pm 
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wilhendrix wrote:
wilhendrix wrote:
Paul, thanks for your input. Have you done a site specific program yourself? If so, how has it worked? Any unexpected issues or problems? Are you getting good buy-in from those who are using it?
a

Site specific program myself: Yes.

Example was a foundry. I'd have to say that about 10% of the equipment was under 1.2 cal/cm^2 and the way we worked it out, nothing was above 40 or/cm^2 (after some easy modifications to procedures and changing a few fuses and breaker settings). About 70% was in the range of 1.2-8 cal/cm^2, and the rest was 8-40 cal/cm^2. So we started with making arc flash PPE mandatory for electricians so our "base" was H/RC 1 (this was prior to 2015) or 4 cal/cm^2. We could cover the rest by requiring a face shield (and later a balaclava). The "40 cal/cm^2 suits" (one "large", one "medium") covered the remaining 10%.

Buy-in was incredibly easy, not only because it was really easy to understand what to do. Everyone had free access to green FR welding jackets/pants that were essentially treated as community property (first come, first serve). Employees could get company uniforms but it was a voluntary program so there was a payroll deduction associated with it. Going to mandatory arc flash PPE meant that we issued uniforms per employee and since it was mandatory, there was no payroll deduction. We were probably paying for laundry service on the FR greens already so it was cost neutral to go this route.

At another site the previous policy was to use 40 cal/cm^2 suits for everything almost without regard for the incident energy. Going to implement a second tier similar to the above made it so that electricians could work the majority of the time without the 40 cal/cm^2 suits or would go through all kinds of crazy efforts to achieve this so again it made it fairly easy to get buy-in.

At a sister site a counterpart went to using "A, B, C, D" for site-specific categories. The biggest problem was educating outside vendors but they had dropped to almost a skeleton in-house crew so this was a bigger challenge. They managed it but especially considering changes over time it is probably better even if it's a 4 category system to use the corresponding incident energy for future proofing reasons. Again the simplification and ease of use/understanding was a big benefit although their goal was to simplify their voltages and incident energies down to a something easier to read than the usual mouse-print labels that you see everywhere.


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