Arc Flash Protection ●From previous page Arc Flash

protective clothing that is manufactured from inherent protective fibres

instead of a protective coating added post- production, allows breathability and moisture

management. 3. Comfort

Arc Flash protective clothing has historically been thought of as uncomfortable. This is primarily because in the past, the clothing was typically made from fabrics that provided great protection, but were often heavy and stiff, and that were rough against bare skin. A garment can offer the ultimate protection, but if it leaves workers feeling uncomfortable or affecting their ability to carry out tasks, they are less likely to wear it, or wear it correctly and, therefore, will be unprotected should an Arc Flash occur.

Bulky and rigid PPE is frequently worn incorrectly - it’s all too easy to wear an everyday belt, to roll sleeves up or undo a jacket when a garment is uncomfortable, but all this seriously compromises the safety of an individual against an Arc Flash. However, uncomfortable PPE can now be a thing of the past. Garments made with inherent fibres instead of a coating added post- production, allow movement, breathability and

moisture management, meaning workers can go about their tasks with ease.

4. Waterproof

It goes without saying that winter is the wettest season of the year, and therefore ensuring sufficient waterproof protection of your team is essential to keep workers warm, comfortable and safe. However, it’s important that workers have separate waterproof garments for winter and for summer, as jackets that are designed for the warmer seasons will not be sufficient for providing the warmth that workers require during the colder months.

Summer waterproof garments are specially designed to be extremely lightweight to help workers stay cool during the warmer weather. Instead, workers should opt for heavier garments which feature lining to provide an extra layer of warmth.

5. High-vis

While those at risk of an Arc Flash are already encouraged to wear full protective PPE throughout the year, workers crucially need to be very visible once dark mornings and afternoons become a daily occurrence. Yet highly visible Arc Flash resistant clothing is often disregarded in winter due to lack of flexibility and warmth. However, high-visibility clothing is essential in reducing the risk of accidents and fatalities on industrial premises, and in winter the need for highly visible clothing is only heightened due to the shorter daylight hours and poorer weather conditions.

When it comes to hi-vis clothing, it’s important to opt for long-lasting garments which can provide that protection doesn’t come out in the wash. Multiple laundry cycles should not remove the vivid colours necessary to keep your team visible while at work. To avoid rigid and uncomfortable PPE, garments should include innovative stretch tape that ensures the flexibility of clothing.

Tape applied to knitted clothes generally lacks flexibility and stretch, and can change the nature of the fabric, reducing the way the wearer can move whilst simultaneously becoming uncomfortable. However, innovations such as ThermSafe Stretch Tape means the reflective tape is far more flexible, allowing full range of movement for the wearer. 22 | electrical wholesalerOctober 2019

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