What’s In an Arc Flash Kit?
By: Rich Gojdics
Workers and electricians who service energized, or potentially energized equipment should wear Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) to protect themselves from electric arc flash hazards. Typically, the best practice is to provide PPE to employees in a kit. This approach enables the worker to be confident that he or she has a complete complement of PPE in a convenient form factor.
Why is PPE necessary for electrical work?
Electrical equipment presents a risk to workers when it needs to be serviced with the power on. While it’s highly recommended to de-energize equipment before conducting service sessions, there are certain unavoidable situations where PPE is required. This includes the task of voltage testing to verify the equipment is de-energized and, on occasion, it may be necessary to work on energized equipment.
An electric arc flash is a dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc. An arc flash occurs during a fault, or short circuit condition, which passes through this arc gap. The arc flash can be initiated through accidental contact, equipment which is underrated for the available short circuit current, contamination or tracking over insulated surfaces, deterioration or corrosion of equipment and, or parts, as well as other causes. An arc flash event can expel large amounts of deadly energy. The arc causes an ionization of the air, and arc flash temperatures can reach as high as 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hotter than the surface of the sun.
The energy is typically more than sufficient to ignite a worker’s regular clothing which can significantly add to the extent of injury.
PPE mitigates the risk of injury from an arc flash. PPE typically consists of a collection of arc flash suit, hood & face shield, gloves, safety glasses, ear plugs and so forth. All must be worn to achieve that optimal level of injury prevention.
What’s in an Arc Flash Kit?
Given the importance of wearing all necessary PPE at the time of providing services, companies often choose to provision their employees with an Arc Flash Kit. An Arc Flash Kit is a convenient carrying case (or “Gear Bag”) that contains the full set of PPE needed for safe electrical work. Though the specific contents vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, the Arc Flash Kit usually comprises the following:
- Arc Flash Suits - Typically either a jacket & bib overall or jacket & over pants combination or coverall.
- Hood & Face Shield OR Face Shield & Balaclava
- Hard Hat
- Safety Glasses
- Ear Plugs
- Electrical protective gloves are typically stored in their own canvas bag and include voltage rated rubber insulating gloves and leather protectors.
The kit and the gear bag allow the worker to have all the PPE he or she needs in one place, ready to go. Workers without a kit and kit bag regularly misplace PPE items and then work with sub-optimal protection. The PPE kit reduces this potentiality. Explore our line of USA made arc flash kits here.
Our Products in Action: LidCo Electrical Contractors Case Study
If you’re like many employers, you know the challenge: No matter how much you try, employees still seem to ignore the requirement to wear electrical PPE. In fact, this was a problem for LidCo Electrical Contractors—until they found Enespro.
For years, LidCo provided their employees with traditional arc flash PPE, only for employees to ignore requirements. Sick of seeing these risks, CEO Robert Liddy sought a better solution for safety, attending a recent Enespro seminar and ultimately opting to purchase an Enespro 40 CAL AirLite™ kit for each van.
The results were astounding. Not only did it increase use among workers, employees found the suit so lightweight, breathable, and comfortable that the company was able to move to a one suit approach. Ready to learn more? Read the entire case study below.
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