The Importance of Understanding Arc Flash Ratings Explained at Safety 2015

Scott Margolin of Westex gave an impassioned presentation regarding arc flash.

DALLAS -- A surprising fact about arc flash incidents is that workers in field may be better off at times wearing nothing at all than wearing the wrong clothing. Scott Margolin of Westex explained the important distinctions between different arc flash ratings at ASSE's Safety 2015 conference and how the material involved in FR and arc apparel can greatly differ.

With 7,000 workers suffering burn injuries every year from arc flash, that equates to one worker every 15 minutes. Margolin has made it his mission to bring that number down in the coming years by educating those in the field.

A number of variables determine the amount of danger one worker might face out in the field, such as distance from the source and the percentage of cotton in his or her clothing. All cotton blends burn, leading to burn injuries on employees regardless of how the clothing is advertised.

Fire-repellent clothing isn't foolproof, but it can be the difference between second- and third-degree burns – sometimes the difference between life and death.

One of the most important takeaways from the discussion is the effect laundering has on FR apparel. Although certain FR standards take into account a small number of launderings for every piece of clothing, they stop being accurate standards as soon as a worker surpasses that number, he explained. That is an important distinction, which is why it is better to leave a large margin of error when determining what standards a company's garments should meet, he said.

Download Center

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • Online Safety Training Buyer's Guide

    Use this handy buyer's guide to learn the basics of selecting online safety training and how to use it at your workplace.

  • COVID Return-to-Work Checklist, Fall 2021

    Use this checklist as an aid to help your organization return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe and healthy manner.

  • SDS Buyer's Guide

    Learn to make informed decisions while searching for SDS Management Software.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Industry Safe

Featured Whitepapers

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2021

    October 2021

    Featuring:

    • TRAINING
      On Route To Safe Material Handling
    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Normalization of Deviations in Performance
    • IH:INDOOR AIR QUALITY
      Arresting Fugitive Dusts
    • PPE:FOOT PROTECTION
      Safety Shoes Make the Outfit for Well-Protected Workers
    View This Issue