3-layer clothing provides improved protection against arc flash and flames
3-layer clothing with flame-retardant properties from the outer to the inner layer increases safety and flame, arc flash protection and comfort levels all year round. Wearing 3-layer arc protection work clothes is a smart way to stay warm and dry. It also makes a significant contribution to improved arc flash protection and a safer working day.
1. Flame-retardant wool underclothes give you better arc protection. They have the capacity to transport moisture efficiently away from your body, keeping you warm and dry. When it comes to arc flash protection the use of wool is important – using the wrong fabrics could result in the underclothes catching fire and melting onto your skin.
2. A second flame-retardant intermediate layer provides insulation against heat and improves arc flash protection. You should determine the thickness of the garments on the basis of your personal working conditions and working environment. An intermediate layer improves arc protection and adds to the volume of air trapped between the garments and provides insulation against energy in the event of arc flash.
3. The outer layer is the “shell” that provides extra arc protection. It is important that the arc protection garments are a good fit, allow you freedom of movement, and feature functional pockets and other details. In many cases, the garments need to be certified as providing arc flash protection and protection against multiple hazards, depending on your assignments and the environment you work in.
The “layer on layer” principle ensures improved flexibility for the wearer of arc protection clothing. You must assess and adapt the number of arc protection garments on the basis of wind and weather conditions – and depending on the level of risk that applies to your current work area.
Protection from head to toe
All garments of arc flash protection should be combined with other protective equipment designed to keep you safe from the dangers you encounter in your working environment. So always wear a helmet, face guard and safety footwear to ensure that you have the best possible protection where this is necessary.
At 50 % burns on the body, there is a major risk of the person losing his or her life. The chance of surviving burns is also affected by age, because as the body ages it becomes less able to cope with serious burns. 3-layer arc protection clothing can make a big difference – according to tests.
In addition to burns, bodies can also suffer scalding on account of moisture. If the body’s own moisture is allowed to remain in contact with the skin, it can actually become so hot in a fire that it starts to boil. That is why it is so important to use flame-retardant underwear with excellent moisture-transporting properties. The test demonstrated that wearing new Wenaas Offshore Daletec 350A coveralls together with Devold® Spirit flame-retardant underwear reduced the extent of second- and third-degree burns by 13%. It also revealed that wearing new Wenaas Offshore 220A coveralls together with Devold® Spirit flame-retardant underwear reduced the extent of second- and third-degree burns by fully 29%. 3-layer arc protection clothing is therefore highly recommended.
Why arc flash protection?
Arc flash protection is essential for everyone who works with electrical installations, performs maintenance of equipment in systems not secured against arc flash, and works with high-voltage equipment. Arc flash can occur in high and low-voltage electrical systems, and the energy in an arc flash can be powerful even in low-voltage systems on account of a high short-circuit level and/or a long disconnect time.
Arc protection clothing in relation to ATPV rating
The arc flash protection clothing must have an ATPV (Arc Thermal Performance Value) rating equal to, or greater than, the applicable value for the arc flash energy at the workplace. Layer on layer arc flash protection tested clothing will produce a minimum ATPV rating equal to the sum of the ATPV ratings for each layer. The combination can produce a higher ATPV rating than the sum of the ratings of each layer.
Stay protected from head to toe
When using arc flash protection clothing, you must make sure that the other safety equipment you are using – gloves, safety shoes, helmet, face protector, ear protectors – is certified to the same level. This is necessary and required to ensure the best possible protection of your entire body.
Required clothing for arc flash protection
The following combination of clothing must be worn while working on electrical panels with calculated arc flash energy:
- Helmet with arc flash protection-tested face protector
- Ear protectors/ear plugs (not containing unprotected metal parts)
- Arc flash protection-tested clothing
- Gloves (electrically insulated gloves where necessary)
- Undergarments should be made of wool/cotton
The right clothing for arc protection is extremely important.