Energy & Utilities PPE
PPE for Linemen, Energy & Utilities Industry
The energy and utility industry face distinct hazard and challenges. PPE is the last line of defense after enhancing the safety of a worksite using the hierachy of controls. Flame resistant, fall protection, and hi vis clothing are all vital in protewction linemen and utility workers.
Arc Flash Hazards
Utilities workers and linemen work around potential arc flash hazards more than almost any other industry. Arc-rated fire resistant clothing that is NFPA70E is the last line of defense for utility workers, after following the hierarchy of controls and making arc flash hazard assessments.
Arc rated fire resistant clothing must comply with the ASTM F1506 Standard. To be ASTM F1506 compliant, a sample of fabric must self-extinguish with less than 2 second after flame and less than 6″ char length according to ASTM Test Method D6413. This flammability test applies to an initial sample and after 25 wash cycles.
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
Beyond arc flash hazards, utility workers and linemen that work on power lines and gas lines work outside, often times near roadways. Utility vehicles used by workers, pedestrian vehicles, or other motorized equipment can be struck-by hazards near roadways or anywhere on the worksite these vehicles may be. Hi-Vis clothing keeps workers in sight and out of danger.
Construction, maintenance, utility, emergency responders, airport ramp personnel and many categories of off-road workers are routinely exposed to potential injury hazards from their low visibility while on the job. ANSI 107-2015 defines the standard for both Flame Resistant and non-Flame Resistant Hi-Vis clothing.
If an arc-flash hazard is present, any Hi-Vis garment must also be flame resistant. Workers cannot roll up FR sleeves in a hot environment or add a non-FR layer in a cold one, which could prove deadly.