Arc flash isn’t a new phenomenon that’s only arrived within the last ten years, and anyone who’s worked in the trades or construction will know that it’s an all-too-common occurrence on many sites.
But there has been a concerted push towards arc protect PPE and improved safety in the last decade, with a broader knowledge of the many, often devastating effects of arc flash. The reasons for this are varied, so we’ve put together a rundown of some of the prime motivators behind this move toward improved arc flash safety and awareness.
Arc Protect PPE Standards have Improved
Even a decade ago, the guidance around the best arc flash clothing was nowhere near the level of today.
Today, manufacturers and employers have access to a much-improved world of arc protect PPE clothing, both regarding choice and concerning the advanced materials used. For example, Tecwear ARC Protect Boilersuit utilise modacrylic, cotton and anti-static materials to protect the wearer from the extreme heat present during an arc flash – which can cause third-degree burns in an instant – while also offer flame-retardant protection.
Increased Employer Awareness
While arc flash is a hugely dangerous and potentially deadly hazard, it’s only really in the last ten years that many organisations have placed a greater emphasis on reduction of incidents and the resultant harm to workers.
This isn’t to say that organisations weren’t aware of the issue before, but merely that tackling arc flash has taken on greater importance in terms of emphasis. Much of the reason for this increase in employer focus on arc protect has, in truth, come from a lack of government guidance and input. The result is that employers have had to take proactive steps in training around arc flash and to provide the best PPE to workers.
The Risks Demand It
For many people, arc flash means the uncontrolled release of electricity, and while this is a huge safety hazard, the other dangers associated with arc flash demand robust art protect PPE and training.
More organisations are now aware that arc flash doesn’t just harm employers via burn or electrocution risk – it also carries risks concerning hearing damage, blast pressure and the violent expulsion of molten metal. As such, many organisations have taken on a much more robust, holistic approach to arc protect measures, and we’ve seen this trend in action over the last decade with a big spike in both arc flash training and improvement in arc flash PPE.