Everything You Need to Know About ARC Rated Workwear

Posted April 9, 2019

An arc flash is an electrical discharge or explosion. It can travel through the air between conductors or from a conductor to the ground. Arc flashes can cause serious injury, and flame-retardant clothing may not offer adequate protection. ARC-rated clothing is both arc and flame resistant, so you get comprehensive protection.

Overseas studies have shown that up to 80% of all electrical worker injuries are not due to electric shock—they’re caused by external burn injuries from arc flashes.

Choosing the right ARC workwear is important, as there are different levels of specification depending on the work activity. Our high voltage workwear and switching suits are designed for work environments that demand the highest levels of protection. If you work as an electrical contractor—having the right ARC-rated PPE gear is a no-brainer. But many other work activities can involve close contact with electrical systems, including arborists clearing tree branches near power lines, construction workers, employees at utilities and power generation companies. Other industries where arc flash exposure might be a risk include the automotive industry, mining, petroleum refineries, data centres and manufacturing.

Face and head protection are vitally important when working in areas with a high-risk factor for arc flashes or explosions. For lower voltage scenarios a face shield may be sufficient, but a full hood is recommended for high voltage situations as arc flashes can penetrate under the shield or the back of the head when turning away. Glasses or goggles on their own do not provide enough protection and should be used in conjunction with an ARC-rated balaclava. Jaedon stock the BSD ErgoS Faceshield, which has a slight smoke tint preferred by most users. yellow tinted face shields can distort the colours of the wires. Eg. blue can look green.

The ArcGuard RevoLiteTM range of hoods are inherently flame resistant and come with many features including Lightweight, breathable RevoLite FR fabric and an anti-fog face shield. Some models include extra features such as a battery powered cross vent fan and liftable front shields that allow the wearer to breathe fresh air when out of the hazard risk zone.

We offer a range of workwear options categorised into layers: a base layer, including ARC-rated thermal clothing; mid-layers including polo shirts and sweatshirts and outer layers such as overalls and wet-weather jackets—all ARC-rated.

Owning and wearing the proper PPE is essential to be safe at work—but it's equally important to care for your workwear to ensure it continues to function properly. Items should be cleaned regularly, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Wash ARC Flash clothing gently, with mild detergent and warm water (not hot). This helps reduce wear and tear and prolongs the life of your kit. It would be wise to have more than one set, so you always have gear that’s ready to use. Bear in mind too that ARC-rated workwear does have a lifespan, and you need to routinely check items for wear or damage and replace as necessary.

So check out Jaedon’s excellent range of ARC-rated workwear, including overalls, skivvies and polo shirts, long johns, beanies, balaclavas, wet weather jackets, gloves, face shields, hoods and more.

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