Utility workers need garments that not only provide protection from arc hazards and foul weather but also ensure that they can be seen by others, reducing the risk of visibility-related workplace accidents.
Every day, utility workers put their lives on the line. Operational conditions can pose serious threats. Heights are steep. Voltage is high. Weather is volatile. The risk of an electrical arc incident is ever looming.
The job requires skill, dexterity, and patience; in-depth knowledge of electricity, wire repair, and safety protocol; and clothing that keeps workers safe, dry, and protected in all conditions. The ideal garments for electric utility workers provide durable protection and exceptional comfort while meeting flame-resistant (FR) and arc-resistant (AR) requirements. For optimally performing rainwear, utility workers and safety managers should select garments that are waterproof, windproof, breathable, and highly visible. Yet traditional protective rainwear is often stiff, heavy, and not breathable. Protection comes at the sacrifice of comfort or vice versa.
Specialists in the science of comfort and protection are making life better for electric utility workers through new fabric technologies. These materials provide not only optimum protection, but also maximum range of motion, minimal bulk, and improved comfort. As a result, workers can stay on the job longer, maintain focus, and enjoy the freedom of movement and breathable comfort in all weather.
Protection from Arc Flash
Electric arcs pose serious safety hazards for electric utility workers. In an arc flash incident, temperatures can reach 35,000° Fahrenheit, with exposure to electrical explosion or discharge resulting in burn injury or death. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), every year, more than 2,000 people are admitted to burn centers with severe arc flash burns. Proper protective clothing is key to minimizing and possibly preventing burns.
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has developed a performance standard for Arc- and Flame-Resistant Rainwear, ASTM F1891-19. Passing this standard ensures that utility worker gear meets minimum thermal and physical performance when exposed to a laboratory-simulated electric arc. This standard also sets minimum requirements for waterproofness on the garment fabric and sewn seams.
For more information visit: ohsonline.com