• • • ARC FLASH • • •

Electrocution and Arc Flash U

Mark Lant, technical expert at ProGARM, explains what happens when you’re electrocuted and how that differs from an Arc Flash

nderstanding the differences between electrocution and Arc Flash injuries is the first step in understanding why you need

different protection from the two types of incident.


Electrocution can cause a wide range of injuries, as it blocks electrical signals between the brain and the rest of the body. From just creating a tin- gling in the part of the body where the electric cur- rent enters, to causing death, the spectrum of injuries is broad. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that a

voltage as low as 50 volts which passes between two points in the body can cause any of the following symptoms. The first is electric shock – this can cause a person to stop breathing, muscle spasms (which can themselves cause bones to break), loss of muscle control meaning the operative can’t let go of what’s electrocuting them, and the heart to stop beating properly. Muscle, nerve and/or tissue damage can also occur, and thermal burns at the source of the current are common. Electrical burns caused by the current passing through the body, heating tissue as it goes. Electrical burns can be deep and often require major surgery. They can also be disabling.


There are big differences between Arc Flash and electrocution injuries. An Arc Flash incident throws both a huge amount of thermal energy out, as well as a strong blast that acts like an explosion. In- juries can result from getting hit by the thermal en- ergy or getting caught in the blast. The energy in Arc Flash incidents can generate

temperatures exceeding 35,000 Fahrenheit – hotter than the sun – and can affect people standing many metres away from the source. Arc Flash injuries can include burns to the body, but also to the throat,

mouth or lungs from inhaling metal vaporised by the heat. Burns to the body can be made worse by not wearing appropriate PPE as synthetic clothing can melt on to skin, even without outer workwear setting on fire. Another symptom is shrapnel injuries from flying debris, as well as broken bones, concussion or muscle injuries from being thrown back by the blast or falling, if the operative is working at height. Hearing loss or ruptured ear drums from the sound of the blast can also occur, as well as flash burns to the eyes, caused by the UV light emitted by the flash of the incident.


Good risk assessments, safe working practices and general health and safety awareness are essential first steps in preventing both Arc Flash and electro- cution injuries. But as either kind of injury could be life-limiting or even life-ending, specialist personal protective equipment (PPE) is also needed, espe- cially in the case of Arc Flash incidents. It’s also of paramount importance that those in

the field are aware of how to wear their PPE correctly – for example an unzipped jacket, won’t provide sufficient protection. In short, the more knowledge workers have around the dangers of an Arc Flash, the less likely it is that an incident will have serious consequences.


ProGARM launched a number of innovative light- weight PPE garments including a new coverall as well as waterproof trousers and jackets. The products will provide comfort and

durability to the wearer, keeping them cooler during the warmer weather whilst not compromising on protection. In fact, these products utilise an advanced

composition technique, which creates lighter fabrics that are still highly durable. The fabrics have also been tested to impressively still meet


anti-static and FR requirements after 100 industrial washes. Equally impressive was the results when the

coverall fabric was tested for durability through 100,000 abrasion cycles. These garments serve to extend ProGARM’s existing range of coveralls and waterproofs, with the key differences being that they weigh significantly less. These lighter weight options allow businesses

and operatives more choice in how they protect themselves, layering garments and not having to wear heavier and high protection garments when the job they are doing doesn’t need that. The waterproof jackets and trousers are available

in both two-tone yellow and navy as well as high-vis orange, meaning they are certified for the rail industry. The jackets also feature seamless shoulders to improve comfort for when workers are wearing a harness, and feature a removable hood. Mark Lant, technical expert at ProGARM, said of

the products: “This range shows just how committed ProGARM is to giving workers the best protection against an Arc Flash, whilst providing the ultimate in comfort. “Garments that are too warm leave operatives

tempted to roll up sleeves or undo their jackets – both of which compromise their protection against an Arc Flash. Our lightweight range is designed to combat this, providing long-lasting protection, whilst also helping workers stay cool and comfortable.” These garments are exciting new additions in

ProGARM’s growing collection of specialist Arc Flash PPE and demonstrate how we continually bring innovation and lead this market. These garments will be used across many different industries that are at risk such as power generation, petrochemical, rail and utilities to prevent serious harm or death. The coverall is the lightest we’ve ever produced and features inherent VXS+ fabric, providing the same tear and tensile strength, as ProGARM’s 6458.

PROGARM 01482 979 148

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72