Is PPE for electric shock a concern if we are wearing proper PPE for arc flash?

Merry Christmas

Gary Gagnon

Member
Location
49461
Occupation
Electrical tech
I am auditing some electrical safety work instructions, and run across a couple bullets where we are asking qualified people to conform to the 70E table for electric shock restricted boundary (IE stay 1 foot away for 120-750 volts). Should we even bother to include the shock restricted boundary, when we are already wearing PPE for arc flash boundary (IE 3 feet up to 600V)? Seems like we are overly redundant. I cannot think of an application where we are exposed to electric shock, because we are already wearing PPE for arc flash.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
Arc Flash PPE does not protect against shock unless it has a voltage rating. Except for gloves and boots, I do not know of any PPE clothing that has been voltage tested.
 

Gary Gagnon

Member
Location
49461
Occupation
Electrical tech
My concern is we do not have each machine labeled as to PPE to be worn (hopefully soon). The safety standard says use PPE to cover contact, then it says use PPE to cover arc flash. Kind of confusing for our qualified guys.
 

jim dungar

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Wisconsin
Occupation
Retired Electrical Engineer - Power Systems
There are two different boundaries, where one is not always smaller than the other. Likewise there are two different PPE ratings.

You need voltage rated PPE when you are within the shock boundaries. You need arc flash rated PPE when within the flash boundary.
 

Gary Gagnon

Member
Location
49461
Occupation
Electrical tech
I should have mentioned we only have HRC 1 & 2, 480 volts max. I have not found any cases at this low level that the arc flash does not supersede the shock PPE.
 

ValeoBill

Member
Location
Wasaga Beach, Ontario
Occupation
Industrial Electrician
It may seem like overkill in some cases. Remember that you have two very different dangers with two sometimes overlapping means of protection. Most places have a policy of voltage-rated rubber gloves inside leathers as a means of shock protection. This protects only the hands. Accidental contact with any other part of the body could result in a shock. The arc-flash rated gear is a means of protecting the body from burns due to a sudden, uncontrolled release of electrical energy.
 
Top