Case Study: LidCo Electrical Contractors
Difficulty getting employees to wear bulky, hot PPE with low safety program compliance as a result.
40 CAL Enespro AirLite™ Arc Flash KIT with Lift Front Hood
More frequent use of PPE when the work calls for it, translating into greater safety for employees.
A family-owned electrical contracting firm dramatically improves compliance with its safety program by providing comfortable PPE gear that its employees are happy to wear.
LidCo Electrical Contractors Inc. is a 35-year-old, family-owned business serving Central Massachusetts. They provide electrical contracting services along with design/ bid/ build for commercial and industrial customers. In 2019, LidCo decided to reassess its approach to worker safety, particularly regarding arc flash risk to employees.
The Challenge: Getting People to Wear PPE Gear When Required
LidCo considers itself a safety-conscious electrical contractor. “We take safety seriously,” explained Robert Liddy, the CEO of LidCo and son of the company’s late co-founder. “We prohibit energized work, for example.” The company also provided its employees with traditional electrical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suits.
The problem facing the company was the reality that its employees didn’t always wear the PPE when they were in a situation that presented the risk of arc flash. “The suits were too bulky and hot for my guys,” Liddy explained. “They had trouble doing their work when they were wearing them, so they often didn’t put them on when necessary.” This put the workers at risk, though Liddy understood the behavior. “You know, you have a job to do. You want to be safe, but you’re balancing a workload and your own comfort.”
For Liddy, though, preventing arc flash injuries is a very personal issue as he stated; “In 1995 I experienced 1st hand the heartache of my father being in a burn unit ICU recovering from second and third degree burns over 30% of his body from an arc flash explosion. He was wearing his 1000 Volt gloves but he did not own and was not wearing an arc flash suit. I want to make sure that my electricians and their families never have to suffer through such an experience.”
“He cared about safety, too,” Liddy said. “But he was of a generation that did things a little differently. I just wish that no one ever has to go through what he went through, and what we all went through as family members when he was in the burn unit.”
LidCo sought a better solution for safety. They wanted PPE that would be effective, but also comfortable enough for employees to wear without hesitation. As part of the process of researching their options, Liddy and his brother attended a seminar held by Enespro.
The Solution: 40 CAL Enespro AirLite™ Arc Flash KIT
The seminar made an impression on Liddy. They decided to move forward with Enespro and bought 40 CAL AirLite™ Arc Flash kits for each of the company’s vans.
The AirLite kits arrived a week later and Liddy put them in the field. He said “We had our 1st shutdown this weekend since we received the suits and the suits were a total success. My foreman texted me after the shutdown “money well spent. Thanks for keeping us safe”.
“We have been very impressed with our new Enespro 40 Cal PPE kits. The light weight suits are very breathable, and the lift front hood is a total game changer.”
Liddy shared. “People can lift up the hood when they need to. This makes it a lot easier to work in the suit.” Liddy further commented that his employees appreciated the suit’s light weight and flexible fit. “Even though it’s a 40 CAL, it still feels lighter weight than the old 12 CALs,” he added.
Results: Better Compliance with the Safety Program
The availability of the Enespro AirLite 40 CAL kits has made it more likely that LidCo employees will wear PPE when they need to. “Our guys are 100% more likely to put them on,” said Liddy. “When they’re not too hot and uncomfortable, they’ll continue to wear them throughout the duration of when they should be wearing them. It’s been a real no brainer for everyone.
The company has simplified their program by only providing the 40 CAL AirLite PPE kits now, but workers have told management that the higher-level protective gear is comparable in weigh and feel to the old 12 CAL suits. Having the kits available in the vans has turned out to be a wise move, too. “It’s those unexpected calls that seem to present the biggest hazards,” Liddy observed. “But now, they have the suits in the truck. We feel it’s very likely that they’ll put them on and work safely.”
Liddy has also noticed a shift in attitudes about safety since the introduction of the AirLite kits. “When employees see you making the commitment to safety, they take it more seriously themselves,” Liddy said. “And, I think they appreciate that we consider their safety important as well. It’s been a positive step toward a more safety-oriented work culture.”
LidCo is now working safer than before with AirLite 40 CAL kits. To learn how Enespro PPE can improve the safety culture at your business, visit www.enesproppe.com.