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 Post subject: Metal Belt Buckles
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:41 am 
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The 2009 Handbook talks about but does not prohibit metal framed safety glasses. You can't substiture plastic frame because it is meltable. Does anyone know if there is an FR safety glass out, and it is available in just a frame for prescription lens.

Almost every electrician I know is wearing a metal belt buckle. Is this not considered a problem because of its location.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:32 am 
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Even the metal framed safety glasses have plastic nose pads, ear hooks, and (most likely) lenses.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:16 pm 
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The proper face protection should protect the frames from heating up or melting, thats the way I understand it.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 3:55 pm 
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But HRC 0 doesn't require any FR face protection. Without standards and testing, how do we know the glasses won't contribute to injury in HRC 0 use?

And the general rule is that meltables cannot be worn under FR. 70E seems inconsistent on this.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:13 pm 
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stevenal wrote:
But HRC 0 doesn't require any FR face protection. Without standards and testing, how do we know the glasses won't contribute to injury in HRC 0 use?

And the general rule is that meltables cannot be worn under FR. 70E seems inconsistent on this.


HRC 0 is less than 1.2 cal/cm2 and requires safety glasses (ANSI Z87 rated), not enough heat there to be a hazard.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:22 pm 
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What about the belt buckle, wearing of conductive articles is cautioned. Obviously NFPA meant jewelry, watches, chains, rings, etc. How far do you take it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:57 am 
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haze10 wrote:
What about the belt buckle, wearing of conductive articles is cautioned. Obviously NFPA meant jewelry, watches, chains, rings, etc. How far do you take it.


Take off the belt when working within the LAB of exposed live parts.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:18 pm 
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3-1/2 ft @ 480V?. I don't think many electricians will be removing their belts, expecially if they want to keep their pants up. I've also seen some metal zippers on AF coveralls, although their is a cloth flap overlay. The fly on my HRC2 pants is metal.

I tell my electricians to ignore it unless for some very strange reason they bring their buckle near live exposed parts. I think having the belt buckle break the Restricted AB would be more reasonable.

The code permits some meltable elastic for underwear and socks, so why not some acceptable metal for belt buckles.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:41 pm 
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OK...I expect that not too much data exists to support belt buckles being responsible for an arc flash. If it is a concern and the pants won't stay up, turn it around backwards. After all if the pants fall down, they now are not in the proper PPE, or at least not per the standard. Exposes some very vital parts!!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:00 am 
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As to the metal frame glasses, I have always assumed that they were not allowed for two reasons - falling off the face into hot gear (very possible) and for having someone get their head too close and get into the exposed conductors (not as likely but possible). The safety glasses provided by the safety equipment companies with arc flash gear are plastic so I'm not sure if they're considered meltable or not. Personally, I wear plastic safety glasses and have never seen an FR rated safety glasses.

I have enough issues with dangling keychains, watches and rings than to worry about belt buckles. Now maybe in Texas where the belt buckle is the size of a pie pan it might be a problem, but most normal belt buckles should not pose a problem or hazard to the electrician (IMHO). It would take an extreme move to get exposed to a hazard given that it fits very close to a part of the body that will not normally be inserted into the gear, and is somewhat insulated from the body by clothing.

TxEngr


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:46 am 
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OSHA 1910.333 (c)(8) "Conductive apparel." Conductive articles of jewelry and clothing (such a watch
bands, bracelets, rings, key chains, necklaces, metalized aprons, cloth with
conductive thread, or metal headgear) may not be worn if they might contact
exposed energized parts. However, such articles may be worn if they are rendered
nonconductive by covering, wrapping, or other insulating means.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:47 am 
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Just a quick question. I manufacture a belt that I am selling a lot to electricians and I have had many calls from large companies like Coors & Budweiser wanting a belt that complies with the NFPA 70E standards. As someone stated earlier, the descriptions of required apparel is very vague. If I could draw from everyone's vast knowledge of this subject, I was wondering if I could get some input as to if my belt would be compatible and/or marketable towards people worried about arc flash apparel.

Anyway, the belt I make can be seen at http://www.mechanicsbelt.com . This belt is non conductive and when buckled, has no metal parts visible or capable of arcing.

Thanks in advance for any help.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:19 am 
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Metal inside LAB

This is one of those things where the standards is a little fuzzy. Let's see if I can shed some light that we teach in our training.

1. ASTM F2178 does allow plastic safety glasses. You can test them to assure they don't melt up to the level you wish. I can say that most I have tested straight off the rack don't ignite at all and we see little melting below 40 cal/cm2.

2. OSHA allows metal framed safety glasses IF they are secured in such a manner that they can't fall off (eye restraints). This in a letter of interpretation found at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21350

3. NFPA 70E committee have rejected a few proposals I have offered on metal framed safety glasses like the OSHA wording and adding goggle requirements or faceshield requirements.

They really haven't considered these very seriously because they changed the wording ("unless rendered non-conductive") in 2009 to get rid of wedding rings on the hand but it also hurt other things they find OK. OSHA also has an interpretation allowing metal zippers.

Don't get too crazy with "conductive" wear. It CAN cause a problem but thinking you will eliminate ALL conductive wear is really being too picky. I do know some have been burned a little worse because of wearing things like rivet jeans but in the one instance I know of the worker picked up a live 12,500V cable. YES you will get hurt if you do this. Metal snaps if covered are NO risk UNLESS you make contact. These are things we should think about and I'm a fan of non-conductive zippers etc but the standard is still in need of a little openness or much more clarity.


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