Learn more about electrical arc flash protection in the workplace and how to protect yourself and others in the process.
Electrocution is the fifth leading cause of workplace fatalities in the U.S. One to two fatalities occur daily due to arc flash in North America. 97% of all electricians have been shocked or injured on the job.
These are alarming statistics!
Are you doing everything you can to mitigate electrical arc flash hazards in your workplace? This informational page details the electrical-related NFPA 70E and OSHA standards and regulations, and also provides answers to commonly asked electrical-related questions, electrical glove sizing guidelines, and much more.
Make sure you’re taking the proper precautions to ensure your workers’ safety! Also, be sure to download our free arc flash whitepaper and take advantage of this month’s special electrical-related promotions!
Arc Flash Standards and Requirements
Inside the NFPA 70E 2018 Standard:
The NFPA 70E 2018 standard addresses electrical safety work practices and procedures for employees who work on or near exposed, energized electrical equipment. This standard requires employees to wear arc rated (AR) clothing that meets the requirements of ASTM F1959 whenever there is a possibility of an arc flash and the employee is within the restricted approach or arc flash boundaries. Prior to the performance of live work, employees must perform a risk assessment to determine the likelihood and severity of an arc flash to develop based on their work.
While OSHA has not formally adopted this standard, they have several comparable regulations to cite employers. See the table below charting these regulations.
|1926.97(c)(2)(viii)||Electrical protective equipment shall be subjected to periodic electrical tests. Test voltages and the maximum intervals between tests shall be in accordance with Table E-4 and Table E-5.|
|29 CFR 1910.132 (d)(1)||Requires employers to perform a personal protective equipment (PPE) hazard assessment to determine necessary PPE.|
|29 CFR 1910.269 (l)(6)(iii)||Requires that employers ensure each employee working at electric power generation, transmission, and distribution facilities who is exposed to the hazards of flames or electric arcs does not wear clothing that could increase the extent of injury when exposed to such a hazard.|
|29 CFR 1910.335 (a)(1)(i)||Employees working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards shall use electrical protective equipment appropriate for the specific parts of the body for the work being performed.|
|29 CFR 1910.335 (a)(1)(iv)||Requires employees to wear nonconductive head protection whenever exposed to electric shock or burns due to contact with exposed energized parts.|
|29 CFR 1910.335 (a)(1)(v)||Employees shall wear protective equipment for the eyes or face wherever there is danger of injury to the eyes or face from electric arcs or flashes or from flying objects resulting from an electrical explosion.|
|29 CFR 1926.28 (a)||Employer shall require employees to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) during construction work.|
One of the main things to remember is that, by adopting the use of flame resistant garments, compliance to OSHA requirements can be assured, and potentially more serious burn injuries from garment ignition may be avoided. Below some additional ASTM/OSHA guidelines that will help you stay compliant.
ASTM F1506 vs OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269:
OSHA has confirmed that garments which meet the requirements of ASTM F1506 are in compliance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 Electrical Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution, with regard to garments not contributing to burn severity.
ASTM F1958 Testing:
To address the industry’s request to utilize non-flame resistant clothing based on an analysis of their exposure level, ASTM developed F1958, whereby non-flame resistant garments, which do not meet the requirements of ASTM F1506, are tested on a manikin to determine the probability of ignition. The major problem associated with applying this test is that accidents typically do not follow a prescribed set of rules, so actual burn injuries could greatly vary from the results of the test.
Guidelines for Live Electrical Work
Frequently Asked Electrical Arc Flash Questions
Below we’ve provided answers to commonly-asked electrical arc flash questions.
What Happens to Clothing During Electrical Arc Flash?
Related: Need help selecting the right Arc Flash Suit? Read our selection guide on how to choose the right arc flash suit for your job.
What if My Job Task is Not Listed in Table 130.7(C)(15)(a) of NFPA 70E?
Is Compliance with NFPA 70E Mandatory?
Can I Be Cited for Not Complying with NFPA 70E?
What Are the Regulations for Labeling Electrical Equipment?
How Often Should Electrical Gloves Be Tested?
Why Are Leather Glove Protectors so Expensive?
Electrical Glove Sizing Guidelines
When choosing electrical gloves, you measure your hand as you would other gloves (circumference of the widest part of the hand). While we only stock size large (9), x-large (10), and xx-large (11), we can special order electrical gloves down to a size medium (8). For half sizes, it is usually best to go up to the next size.
- If you add a glove liner, you might want to have the customer consider going up one size.
- For leather protectors, choose the exact same size as electrical glove they go over.
Electrical Glove Classes
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Arc Flash Accident-Injury Statistics: An Alarming Reality
This whitepaper discusses the dangers of arc flash in the workplace, important electrical-related steps you should be taking to mitigate the potential for injury, and some scary alarming flash accident/injury statistics you should be aware of. Download it for free today!
Related Conney Services & Trainings
Below is information about a variety of electrical-related services and trainings. To learn more about these options contact our Certified Safety Professionals toll-free at 800-462-1947 or email@example.com!
Electrical Glove Testing:
OSHA requires the repeated inspection of rubber insulating gloves every 6 months, and we are pleased to provide this service. These tests verify the integrity of the gloves so that the electrical safety of the person wearing them is ensured, and that the product meets or exceeds ASTM standards and OSHA regulations.
Testing options include:
- Visual Inspection/Air Test
- Electrical Test
- Re-Certification Sheet/Packing Slip
Other testing services include hot sticks, blankets, sleeves, mats, and line hoses.
Arc Flash Assessments:
It is critical that sound arc flash risk assessment programs are in place to support employees in making appropriate decisions on a daily basis. Conney Safety partners with Faith Technologies to offer various package options to properly identify and label electrical systems and production control panels to both NFPA 70E compliance and OSHA expectations. Our focus is on safe work practices vs. some common national trends on performing “arc flash studies” which can sometimes leave employers searching for more help.
Properly conducted safety auditing programs can determine the minimum PPE workers must wear when they are near exposed energized equipment, and in many cases, our team can help recommend solutions to lower equipment hazards. We are here to help you build long-term programs that are based on real life practical applications of OSHA codes and NFPA 70E alike.
Electrical/Arc Flash Training:
OSHA regulations in 29 CFR 1910.332 require electrical safety training for any employees who may reasonably be expected to face risk of injury due to electric shock or other electrical hazards. This basic safety training must cover the safety-related electrical work practices that are mandated by other OSHA rules, as well as any additional safety practices that may be needed to keep workers safe.
Conney provides these Electrical/Arc Flash Trainings, which can run from 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending if “qualified worker” documentation training is required, along with the complexity of the team’s current work environment. OSHA considers any workers who will work on or near exposed energized parts to be “qualified workers,” and those individuals need specialized training to help prevent electric shock. Other workers are considered “unqualified workers,” and primarily need training to recognize hazardous situations and keep away from them. “Qualified workers” must be trained to deal with those situations safely, as part of their duties.
Check out the case study below to learn more about a recent customized NFPA 70E Awareness Training we delivered.
Download NFPA 70E Training Case Study
Conney also delivers Lockout/Tagout services and trainings. You can learn more about our services, by visiting our Safety Services page.