At Rozel, we understand the importance of safety in the electrical industry. One of the most critical aspects of personal protective equipment (PPE) is the selection of the right gloves, especially when dealing with arc flash risks. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to choosing the right arc flash gloves for various situations, based on the standards set by NFPA 70E.
Understanding Arc Flash Categories and Glove Requirements
The NFPA 70E standard categorizes arc flash risks into different levels, each requiring specific types of gloves. The categories are determined by the minimum arc rating of clothing, measured in cal/cm2 (calories per square centimeter). The higher the category, the higher the risk, and the more protective the gloves need to be.
Category 1: 4 cal/cm2
For Category 1, where clothing must meet a minimum arc rating of 4 cal/cm2, the required glove type is heavy-duty leather gloves. These gloves are made entirely of leather thicker than 0.07 mm and can be either unlined or lined with a nonflammable and non-melting material.
Category 2: 8 cal/cm2
In Category 2, where clothing must meet a minimum arc rating of 8 cal/cm2, the required glove type remains heavy-duty leather gloves. In both Categories 1 and 2, using rubber insulating gloves with leather protectors also satisfies the arc flash protection requirement, provided both gloves meet ASTM D120 for rubber insulating gloves and ASTM F696 for leather protectors.
Category 3: 25 cal/cm2
As we move to Category 3, where clothing must meet a minimum arc rating of 25 cal/cm2, the required glove type changes to arc-rated gloves. These gloves are specifically designed to withstand higher levels of arc flash risks.
Category 4: 40 cal/cm2
Finally, for Category 4, where clothing must meet a minimum arc rating of 40 cal/cm2, the required glove type is also arc-rated gloves.
The Advantages of Arc-Rated Gloves
Arc-rated gloves, required for Categories 3 and 4, offer several improvements over the traditional leather-over-rubber approach. These gloves often incorporate materials such as carbon filaments and other proprietary materials and coatings that make the glove flame-resistant or self-extinguishing. These materials also provide properties such as anti-static, cut and abrasion resistance, oil and water repellency, and heat resistance up to several hundred degrees. Arc-rated gloves are tested under ASTM F2675, and it's crucial to pay attention to the rating of the gloves before purchasing or using them.
Rozel's Commitment to Arc Flash Safety
At Rozel, we are committed to promoting safety in the electrical industry. We specialize in conducting Arc Flash Studies to help businesses understand their arc flash risks and equip their personnel with the appropriate PPE. We believe that understanding the correct PPE for each arc flash category is crucial to ensuring the safety of all personnel working in or around energized electrical conductors or circuit parts.
Understanding the right gloves for each category of arc flash risk is essential for safety. At Rozel, we are dedicated to helping you navigate these standards and select the right PPE for your specific needs. Remember, there is no excuse for putting yourself or others in danger. Always consult the standards or seek advice from a knowledgeable coworker or a professional like Rozel if you are unsure about the arc flash risks associated with your work.
Stay safe, and remember, at Rozel, we are always here to help with your arc flash safety needs.