There are several different electric arc flash ratings and values assigned to flame-resistant clothing and, thus, too many opportunities to misunderstand their meanings. This can be a rather confusing industry, making it hard to keep your HRCs straight from your ATPVs. Combing through the different ratings can seem like someone threw letter grades, percentages and sticker systems onto one report card without explaining what they all mean. That’s why we broke everything down and are giving you a cheat sheet so you can understand the misunderstood.
There are two basic hazard risk assessment ratings that can be assigned to your FR clothing so that you can grasp how well it will protect your employees against electric arc flash dangers that come with the territory of your industry. Get to know, love and learn these safety standards:
If you are evaluating an FR garment based on the arc rating, simply match the rating to the expected arc flash energy level, from your hazard assessment. If you are evaluating an FR garment based on its HRC, it will fall into one of five categories. Each HRC is able to protect workers during a specific task, so use the NFPA 70E tables to find the one that matches the task performed by your employees.
The reason these different safety ratings and standards exist is for the protection of you and your employees, even though it may feel like someone created them for the sole purpose of confusing you. So perform the proper hazard assessment, research the hazard that applies to your situation, and purchase the appropriate PPE to keep your workers safe and sound.
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