Using the NFPA 70E Simplified Risk table to determine our Personal Protection Equipment shows that we fall in the “Risk Category 2*, work on control circuits above 120 volts, changing live breakers up to 600 volts; Voltage testing and parts at or above.”
Polytron approved PPE (includes)
Head, Face, and Neck:
- Hard Hat
- Face Shield with attached Neck guard (to protect a blast traveling under shield)
- Face Sock (with eyes and nose opening)
- Safety Glasses (required to be worn over prescription glasses if needed)
Body, Feet, and Legs:
- Coveralls that close with Velcro (to prevent conductivity of metal closures) at the wrists, ankles, and neck openings
Hands and Arms:
- Rubber Gloves (for protection from shock or contact with energized equipment)
- Leather Gloves (for protection of the Rubber gloves while working)
- Insulated, Rubber handled Tools are provided for teams safety when working on or around energized equipment
All of our supplied PPE equipment is Risk Category 2 rated, and each tool used is individually tested to 10,000 volts and certified to 1000 volt ac or 1500 volt dc. Team members complete the proper PPE requirements by purchasing and wearing steel toe work boots for foot protection. As added precaution, we ask that they purchase and use “EH” (Electrically Rated) boots for added protection (currently suggested, not a code requirement).
In our training, we focus on one of the highest risk areas, Electrical Power. Electrical energy is extremely powerful, and it has the potential to cause fatal injuries in the workplace.
The three most common Electrical Hazards that we can encounter are:
- Affects: Skin, Heart, Muscles and can cause destruction of Tissue, Nerves, and muscle
- Approximately 30,000 non-fatal electrical shocks occur each year
- National Safety Council estimates 1,000 fatalities each year due to electrocution
- More than HALF while servicing energized systems of LESS than 600 Volts
- Electrocution is 4th leading cause of industrial fatalities, behind traffic, homicide, and construction accidents
- Can reach 35,0000F, causes serious burns at 10 feet, and fatal burns at 5 feet
- Exposure to these extreme temperatures has a twofold effect on individuals;
- Burns the skin directly
- Causes clothing to ignite adding to burn injury
- Over 2,000 people are admitted to hospitals each year due to Arc-Flash burns, more than are admitted for shock-related injuries
Arc blast is the pressure produced by instantaneous heating of the air around the energy arc and expansion of the metal as it is vaporized. It produces enough pressure to propel people, switchgear, panels, ladders, and molten metal droplets through the air. The greatest dangers associated with this event are high pressures, high sounds, and hurtled shrapnel (broken shards of metal and other materials)
- High Pressure associated with this event can easily exceed hundreds and/or thousands of pounds per square foot.
- High sound associated with this event can easily exceed 160dB, more than enough to rupture eardrums.
- Hurtled Shrapnel can be expelled from the Arc-Blast at speeds exceeding 700 miles per hour, which is capable of blasting shrapnel completely through the human body.
Individual safety is the number one priority when working with electrical power sources. Personal Protection Equipment coupled with education and the awareness of potential electrical energy hazards greatly reduces workplace risks.