Electrical Safety Stories Blog

Heat-Related Symptoms and the Importance of Lightweight, Breathable Arc Rated PPE

Heat-Related Symptoms and the Importance of Lightweight, Breathable Arc Rated PPE

By: Mike Enright


Summer is right around the corner, and while many may be happy to sit in an air-conditioned room or office, electrical workers and those in the utilities industries are tasked with ensuring it stays cool. Summer heat puts additional stress on the electrical grid and if the electric goes out, people will feel it.

Knowing this, electrical workers still need to remain safe from arc flash and electrocution, which often means donning an arc flash suit, rubber gloves, and a hood to complete hot work. Sadly, this creates another danger—one that affects workers indoors or out—heat-related illness.

Heat stress, the “net heat load to which a worker is exposed, places workers at risk for illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or heat cramps.”

While there are multiple levels of heat strain (the body’s response to heat stress)—ranging from light sweating all the way to heat stroke—the combination of hot weather, hot work, and hot suits is notorious for putting electrical workers at risk.

Protect Your Workers with Enespro PPE

Heat-related illnesses can occur indoors or outdoors at any point of the year, especially when workers don extremely bulky, heavy PPE that fails to provide the breathability they need. Just as OSHA requires you to provide and maintain PPE for your workers, the General Duty clause requires to protect them from things like heat-related illness.

We hope these tips can help your workers stay cool and hydrated this summer, and if you’re looking for PPE that makes things better—not worse—we invite you to take a look at Enespro’s line of arc flash kits. Designed to be breathable, comfortable, and mobile without sacrificing safety, we offer a complete line of arc rated CAT 2 and CAT 4 PPE for a wide range of incident energy levels. In fact, we even designed a 40 CAL suit that’s lighter than most of the CAT 2 suits you own—perfect for the summer weather ahead.

Get to know about our 40 CAL AirLite™ kits, as well as our complete line of innovative products including 8, 12, 20, 40, 55, and 65 CAL suits, hoods, and other electrical safety products here.

In the coming months, we will continue to highlight the dangers of heat stress and if you want to be the first to see these articles, we invite you to follow our social profiles. For more information on protecting workers from the dangers of heat-related illness, please view the Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments, the OSHA guide on heat related illnesses, and view OSHA industry-specific resources here.

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