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Heat wave heralds increase of arc flash incidents

ProGARM, an arc flash PPE clothing specialist, is warning workers to ensure the hot weather doesn’t compromise their safety.

27th July 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Gilberdyke

Protective

Recent academic data from the US reports those in the wind energy sector are likely to face a significantly heightened risk of electrical shocks and arc flash incidents during the summer months. This increase has been attributed to the fact that many workers are choosing to forgo their PPE garments in hotter weather on account of them being heavy, cumbersome and uncomfortable to wear in such heat. “And it doesn’t end there; those who choose to wear their PPE clothing are likely to suffer from moist, sweaty skin, a condition that offers less resistance to an electrical current,” said Mr Lant.

“Given the recent heatwave sweeping the UK, this is a trend we are likely to see in the UK too. So what is the solution? First and foremost, it is of the utmost importance to put wearer comfort first when it comes to choosing the appropriate flame-resistant protective clothing. For example, rather than a heavy coverall, a lighter more tactile two-piece item could be considered. Comfort factors such as the softness of a particular fabric, as well as its breathability and flexibility are also important, and there is now much more choice in the market in this regard, without necessarily compromising on the level of protection provided.”

“Carefully considering the wearability of an item of PPE clothing will ensure it not only avoids compromising an individual’s ability to carry out their particular job – for example, by restricting their movement and flexibility – but will ensure it is actually used as it is intended.  After all, how effective is an item of protective clothing if it’s not actually worn?”

The US study highlights just how much responsibility is placed on individuals to ensure their own safety in the workplace. While providing appropriate protective clothing may ‘tick a box’ as far as companies are concerned, something that quite often gets overlooked is that protective clothing has to be worn correctly at all times, even during a heatwave, in order for it to be effective. 

“We frequently see PPE clothing being worn incorrectly because an item is too bulky, rigid or uncomfortable – it’s all too easy to roll sleeves up or undo a jacket for example, which seriously compromises the safety of an individual against arc flash,” added Mr Lant. “Rather than defaulting to the bulkiest and heaviest PPE clothing option, in the misguide hope this will provide maximum protection, a more pragmatic approach to comfort and durability has to be taken.”

Based in East Yorkshire, ProGARM’s key goal is to provide flame resistant safety clothing, such as its arc flash clothing range that offers the ultimate protection from the risks and hazards in which the wearers have to work. The ProGARM UK brand focuses on continual improvement with arc flash and flame-resistant clothing and the company constantly develops the next new concept to protect its customers.

www.progarm.com

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