Shocking Electrical Hazards

Whenever utilities employees encounter electrical hazards greater than 2 kCals or above 600 volts, OSHA requires full body flame resistant (FR) protection. This includes:

  • FR Shirts & Coveralls
  • FR pants
  • FR Boots, Gloves, & Face Protection

Furthermore, these garments cannot melt or ignite and burn when exposed to the heat energy released in a potential arc event.

Hazardous Industry, Strict Regulations

OSHA mandates that employers in the utilities industry must:

  • Survey the workplace to identify possible sites of exposure to flames or electric arcs
  • Estimate the heat energy of any potential electric arc hazards
  • Employees exposed to these hazards must have protective clothing of commensurate arc rating
  • Employees exposed to these hazards must have an outer layer of flame resistant clothing

Creating an Effective Protective Garment Program

A successful FR garment program will:

  • Be able to accommodate all body sizes
  • Coveralls should be fitted to ensure excess fabric cannot get caught on handles or impede movement
  • All equipment must fit the wearer to ensure comfort and mobility
Workers cannot roll up FR sleeves in a hot environment or add a non-FR layer in a cold one, which could prove deadly.