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Arc flash coveralls are a must when you and your team are working around or near potential fire hazards, including welding and electrical switchgear. At PK Safety, we sell a range of arc flash clothing and coveralls, so you and your team can work with more peace of mind. All flame-resistant fabrics are specifically manufactured to prevent the spread of fire. Our FR coveralls come in a range of different sizes and styles—you can find something for every team member. They fit comfortably over your clothes, so you can quickly protect yourself before stepping out into the field. You can also color-coordinate your flame-resistant safety gear for a more professional look.
From the materials used to the construction of the garment itself, arc flash coveralls are built to protect workers from the hazards associated with electrical arcs, flash fires, and other risks. Arc flash clothing is flame-resistant, but not all flame-resistant clothing is arc-rated.
When you’re shopping for flame- and arc-flash protective equipment, there are a few standards that you’ll want to meet.
Arc flash coveralls are just one type of personal protective equipment that protects workers from arc flash dangers. You’ll need to use several different garment types to ensure complete coverage. Arc flash coveralls can be worn over personal clothing or base-layer flame-resistant clothing. Depending on your job, you may also need head and face protection, hand protection, boots, and tools specifically designed for working on and around electrical hazards. Arc flash PPE should leave as few gaps as possible to avoid the entry of sparks, spatter, and other debris—elastic inserts, adjustable waistbands, lay down collars, and bar-tack reinforcements at stress points all help minimize this risk.
Most of the injuries that are caused by arc flashes are the result of wearing inappropriate PPE. If a garment that isn’t designed to protect against arc flashes gets exposed to an electric current, it will ignite and burn against the skin, leading to serious injuries. Therefore, arc rated (AR) clothing should be your outermost clothing layer when doing any kind of electrical work.
Arc flash clothing should only be worn if it’s clean, within its service life, and in good repair. Keep track of how old your equipment is, and regularly inspect each garment for signs of wear and damage. If your PPE is damaged, either repair it according to the manufacturer’s specifications or replace it immediately—damaged PPE should never be worn because it increases your risk of injuries. FR and AR clothing should also be properly cleaned before it’s worn because dirty garments are less effective than clean.
You can, and it’s a very good idea. Arc flash coveralls are just one garment worn to protect workers from electric arc hazards, and they’re worn over either personal clothing or a base layer of flame-resistant clothing. Coveralls protect a worker’s front, back, arms, and legs from spark and spatter, unlike an outfit that includes a separate shirt and pants that leaves gaps at the waist and in other areas where molten debris could enter. Layer your garments to get full protection from your arc flash clothing. Coveralls should be worn with boots, gloves, head and face protection, and other equipment necessary to keep you safe while at work.
Arc flash coveralls and other garments are usually made of flame-resistant cotton, nylon, or name-brand fibers like Nomex. This sets them apart from traditional coveralls worn in most other industries because they’re specifically designed to protect against electrical burns and flashes in addition to or instead of the hazards that other coveralls would. Arc flash clothing will require special care in laundering to ensure that it retains its protective properties, regardless of the material it’s made of.
Luckily, this is a simple process. Items should be kept clean, checked for damage before each use, and attention to how old each garment is. Most garments should come with care instructions from the manufacturer as well as an estimated service life of anywhere from 12 months to four years—when in doubt, follow those directions. Dirt, oil, chemicals, and other contaminants should be washed off of your garments as soon as possible as they can wear down the fire-resistant properties of the garments—and dirty garments are less protective than clean ones. When you launder arc flash clothing, treat it as gently as possible. Launder in a home machine rather than an industrial service if you have the option to save on wear and tear and keep the garment in better shape. Use mild detergent, warm (not hot) water, avoid dryer sheets, and tumble dry on low. Don’t use bleach or chlorine-based detergents because these are likely to break down AR fabrics.