Electrical Safety PPE Explained





Electrical Safety PPE

Electrical Safety PPE

Electrical Safety PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, goggles, protective clothing, hats and any other electrical safety garments are essential to protecting workers from electrical hazards, such as arc flashes.

 

Electrical Safety PPE Selection
Employers usually choose the appropriate PPE based on the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 70E safety standard hazard category classification table.

Another method that’s used to choose the appropriate electrical safety PPE is by performing an arc flash hazard calculation to determine the incident arc energy. The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 1584 is one standard available that gives a guide on how to perform these calculations. When the incident energy calculation is complete, electrical safety PPE is selected with the protection level greater than the available incident energy.

 

Electrical Safety PPE -- Electrical Safety PPE Training
The U.S. governments electrical safety rules and regulations enforcer, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), says that both employers and employees are responsible for a safe work environment.

 

Employers are called on to:

  • Provide workplace hazard assessments to determine if any physical and health hazards are present
  • Provide adequate electrical safety PPE for workers
  • Train workers to properly use and care for electrical safety PPE
  • Maintain PPE, discard and replace damaged electrical safety PPE
  • Sporadically review performance of electrical safety PPE programs.

 

Employers are called on to:
Employees are called on to:

  • Wear electrical safety PPE properly
  • Attend PPE training sessions
  • Clean and maintain PPE
  • Tell a manager when electrical safety PPE needs replacement.

 

Electrical Safety PPE -- Eye Protection
Eye injuries happen on the job because workers are either not wearing protective eye wear properly or not wearing it at all. Employers must ensure that eye wear is worn and fitted properly to reduce injury and fatality. If using prescription corrective lenses, then employers are responsible for finding eye protection that fits the worker's prescription or find additional eye protection to wear on top of the corrective lenses. Employers and employees must note that any additional eyewear can't interfere with the prescription lenses so vision isn't impaired.

Employees should note the following tips when selecting adequate electrical safety PPE eyewear.

 

According to OSHA, eye protection electrical safety PPE must:

  • Protect against required workplace hazards
  • Fit on employee's face while providing a reasonable amount of comfort
  • Provide no limitations in movement and vision
  • Provide durability and cleanliness

Suggested eyewear includes face shields, goggles, and safety spectacles.

 

Electrical Safety PPE -- Head Protection
Head injuries can handicap or kill an employee, so hard hats or safety helmets are efficient ways to provide head protection on the job. Hard hats, in particular, can help prevent the human head from coming into live electrical equipment, which can result in electrical fire or electrical shock.

OSHA says that employees must wear hard hats with the bill facing forward to properly protect workers, so that:

  • Resistance exists against object penetration
  • The shock of a blow can be absorbed
  • Water-resistance and slow-burning properties exist

 

Hard hats are categorized into different industrial classes to provide different kinds of protection.

  • Class A hard hats give the lowest level of voltage protection (up to 2,200 volts).
  • Class B hard hats provide the highest level of protection against electrical accidents, with burn protection and high-voltage shock (up to 20,000 volts).
  • Class C hard hats provide no protection from electrical hazards

 

Electrical Safety PPE -- Foot and Leg Protection
Electricians or workers at risk to electrical hazards should wear non-conductive footwear, such as safety-toe shoes (up to 600 volts against open circuits in dry conditions). These shoes prevent the completion of an electrical circuit to the ground, which travels through the worker’s feet. These shoes should be worn with other insulation equipment and extra precautions should be taken to lower the risk of electrical hazard. Foot protection using safety-toe shoes might be compromised if the shoes become wet, metal particles are embedded at the bottom of the shoe, or workers touch grounded conductive materials. It's also important to note that nonconductive footwear must not be used in explosive or hazardous locations.

Electrical Safety PPE should also be worn to protect the rest of the body.


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