Cotton Clothing

My employer wants me to provide proof of some documentation where it is required for electricians to wear cotton clothing. I know about Arc-Flash category #1 but i am talking about T shirts, trousers, etc.

Please pass on any information you can.

Thank you
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
NFPA 70E and OSHA are very straightforward about that rule, actually it is non melting fabrics which pretty much is cotton or wool. Been a OSHA rule since 1979.
 

edward

Senior Member
I am not an expert at this, but I THINK it depends on the type of electrical work you do. So it may not be an easy "YES" or "NO" answer.

Residential or commercial,

If commercial, then to what level of energy are you exposed to, do you do energized testing, do you do de-energized work only.....

I did a quick check and this is what I found.

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21878

EDIT:posted a minute after ZOG.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
You don't want your tiger-stripe spandex briefs to become a permanent addition to your anatomy if an arc flash transfers too much energy through your outerwear. "Too much" means whatever melts the synthetic, which can be a temperature below the auto ignition temperature for cotton or wool. Wool especially can be effective for dissipating energy by charring and forming an insulating layer. However, if you're >100cal/cm2, you're pretty much toast no matter what.
 

wtucker

Senior Member
Location
Connecticut
I am not an expert at this, but I THINK it depends on the type of electrical work you do...

I did a quick check and this is what I found.

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21878

You seem to be asking about the work of an inside wireman, but the interpretation you referenced covers "the operation and maintenance of electric power generation, control, transformation, transmission, and distribution lines and equipment." It specifically does not cover construction.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Location
San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
My employer wants me to provide proof of some documentation where it is required for electricians to wear cotton clothing. I know about Arc-Flash category #1 but i am talking about T shirts, trousers, etc.

Please pass on any information you can.

Thank you
Hazard/Risk
Category Protective Clothing and PPE 0
Protective Clothing, Nonmelting or Untreated
Natural Fiber (i.e., untreated cotton, wool,
rayon, or silk, or blends of these materials)
with a Fabric Weight of at Least 4.5 oz/yd2
Shirt (long sleeve)
Pants (long)

Above PPE 0, it must be labeled as Arc Resistant now, just being cotton or even Flame Resistant (FR) is no longer enough.

Once you go to PPE 1 AR clothing, then you can use flammable (but still nonmelting) undergarments, as long as all exposure to potential arc energy is covered by the AR clothing, and the level of incident energy is not going to burn through that to the flammable underwear.

It's just easier to wear cotton underwear...
 
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