Electric Arc Protection at SPIE, a Multi-Technical Services Provider


High quality protective clothing for all weathers equipped with the GORE-TEX PYRAD® and PYRAD® by GORE-TEX LABS fabric technology.

SPIE is the independent European leader in multi-technical services delivering solutions to the building, plant and infrastructure sectors. Its customers include energy companies, public works departments, electric utilities and car manufacturers. Workplace health and safety is one of the company’s main priorities. The focus is on safety workwear that is truly effective and offers the highest level of class 2 protection  against potentially fatal arc flash injuries. SPIE has placed its trust in Gore’s innovative PYRAD® by GORE-TEX LABS fabric technology. This technology provides maximum protection while offering an extremely lightweight and comfortable solution.

Switching Station

Working with electricity in any environment can be highly dangerous. SPIE technicians work at great heights on pylons supporting high-voltage overhead lines, maintain the electrical substations of regional network operators and install lighting or information systems on high ceilings. Operating giant data centres with their huge electricity consumption is no less dangerous. The work of these technicians can have potentially fatal consequences in environments in which they are at risk of exposure to arc flashes. Such incidents arise from electrical arching between two parts of an electrical system. They produce clouds of plasma reaching temperatures of 5,000°C, burning clothing and causing severe burns within milliseconds.

Electric power transformation substation

“The company has two guiding principles. Firstly, optimising workplace health and safety through leadership, good discipline and a culture of change. Secondly, no compromising when it comes to workplace health and safety. In situations in which personal protective equipment needs to be worn, it should have an ergonomic fit and be as lightweight as possible. Wearer acceptance is incredibly important when it comes to protective clothing. People will only wear it, if they feel comfortable in it.”

Dr Oliver Polanz, head of HSEQ (health, safety, environment, quality) at SPIE Germany and Central Europe

The fact that SPIE employees are given a say in health and safety issues is evident in the day-to-day workings of the company. The employees had become increasingly dissatisfied with their existing multinorm workwear. It had a poor ergonomic design and did not offer adequate protection in wet weather. Furthermore, it caused excessive sweating during strenuous work because of poor breathability. One of the outcomes was frequent workplace absences due to colds.

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