Arc Flash – Simplified Two-Category Clothing

The 2015 edition of NFPA 70E has a simplified approach to provide minimum PPE for electrical workers within facilities with large and diverse electrical systems.

The simplified clothing categogies listed in NFPA 70E 2015 Table H.2 fulfills the minimum arc-rated clothing requirements. The clothing systems listed in this table should be used with the other PPE appropriate for the arc flash PPE category. Table H.2 provides guidance on the selection of arc-rated and other PPE for users who determine the incident energy exposure.

Table H.2 Simplified Two-Category, Arc-Rated Clothing System
Clothinga Applicable Tasks
Everyday Work Clothing
Arc-rated long-sleeve shirt with arc-rated pants (minimum arc rating of 8) or Arc-rated coveralls (minimum arc rating of 8 cal/m2)
All arc flash PPE category 1 and arc flash PPE category 2 tasks listed in Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(a), Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(b), and Table 130.7(C)(15)(B) b
Arc Flash Suit
A total clothing system consisting of arc-rated shirt and pants and/or arc-rated coveralls and/or arc flash coat and pants (clothing system minimum arc rating of 40 cal/m2)
All arc flash PPE category 3 and arc flash PPE category 4 tasks listed in Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(a), Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(b), and Table 130.7(C)(15)(B) b

a Note that other PPE listed in Table 130.7(C)(16), which include arc-rated face shields or arc flash suit hoods, arc-rated hard hat liners, safety glasses or safety goggles, hard hats, hearing protection, heavy-duty leather gloves, rubber insulating gloves, and leather protectors, could be required. The arc rating for a garment is expressed in cal/cm 2.

b The estimated available short-circuit current capacities and fault clearing times or arcing durations are listed in the text of Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(b) and Table 130.7(C)(15)(B). Various tasks are listed in Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(a). For tasks not listed or for power systems with greater than the estimated available short-circuit capacity or with longer than the assumed fault clearing times or arcing durations, an arc flash risk assessment is required in accordance with 130.5

Source: NFPA 70E® - 2015 Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace

About the Author

Ver Pangonilo
A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) - Australia and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) - Philippines with extensive experience in concept select, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and waste water pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).
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