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"Electrical arcing (sometimes called a ‘flashover’ or ‘arc flash’) can generate intense heat leading to deep-seated and slow healing burns. The intense ultraviolet radiation from an electric arc can also cause damage to the eyes." - www.HSE.gov.uk

The risk of arc flash has always been present, however, it is a growing hazard to be aware of within many industry workplaces. Advances in technology and material manufacture and production means we can provide a range of products that can provide the protection needed against an arc flash from clothing, to hand and eye protection.

A recent article by Health and Safety England network highlighted 5 top considerations when it comes to Arc Flash PPE, which we thought would be critical information to share with our customers and partners too.

1. Always layer your garments

Outer garments are crucial for proving protection against the risk of an arc flash but it is also equally important to wear protective clothing beneath. The experts at HSE say that protective base layers should be worn at all times.

2. Flame retardant does not mean the garment willwith protect you from an arc flash

There are separate safety standards for Arc resistant PPE which go further than those for flame retardant PPE. Arc Flash protective clothing and products are designed to resist fire and the thermal energy generated by an Arc Flash, the fabric used in these products must meet higher tear resistance and tensile strength.

3. Treated and inherent fabrics in Arc Flash PPE

‘Treated fabric’ and ‘inherent fabric’ are phrases commonly used for PPE clothing. The fabric that is treated is not flame-retardant by nature due to its fibres but have been made in a chemical process to ensure they have a fire resistance quality. The protection provided by this fabric relies on the treatment not being degraded or worn off during its lifetime. Inherent fabric does not need to undergo a chemical process to become fame-retardant as the polymers already contain flame-retardant properties. This fabric does not lose any of its protective qualities.

4. The risk of unisex Arc Flash PPE

An important consideration is how important it is for Arc Flash PPE to fit a person’s size and shape correctly. In increasingly mixed gender workforces, female workers face the risk of having to wear universal fit garments. However, if the PPE is ill-fitting this will hugely impact the level of protection.

5. It is important for Arc Flash PPE to be comfortable

As well as offering the ultimate protection, your team must be comfortable wearing it. The garment must be worn correctly at all times, should the wearer adjust the garment by for example rolling sleeves up or undo a jacket, this impacts the Arc Flash protection provided by the garment when skin is exposed.

You can view our updated range of Arc Flash PPE here: https://www.beeswift.co.uk/web/uk/itemsbybrand.htm?brand=Click%20Arc

Best wishes Beeswift Ltd.


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