Arc Flash | Risk Reduction by Using Arc Flash Gloves
Published 22 Oct 2019
The following article has been produced by TraffiGlove – Arc Flash Gloves Specialists. Special thanks for the permission to re-publish your article.
UNDERSTANDING ARC FLASH
An arc flash is an electrical current that jumps from the intended path and travels through the air from one conductor to another. When an arc fault occurs, it causes the release of massive amounts of energy into the air, resulting in explosions which can reach up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit in an instant.
Such high temperatures can also vaporise metals, such as copper, which sustains the arc and amplifies its power.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS?
Arc flashes only last for several milliseconds, but this is more than enough time for the superheated air and vapourised solids to cause significant injury to nearby workers. The intense light from an arc flash can also cause damage to the retina.
Not only this, but arc flashes are accompanied by a pressure wave and sound blast loud enough to damage hearing or even brain function. This so-called ‘arc blast’ also sends any loose debris, tools or equipment flying out from the fault at supersonic speeds causing further injuries.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES?
An arc flash is a potentially fatal incident for any personnel in the vicinity.
Workers can suffer:
- First, second and/or third-degree burns, not only on the front but also the back
- Internal damage to vital organs from high amounts of voltage travelling through the body
- Blunt force trauma from the blast
- Shrapnel damage to the skin
- Damage to their sight
- Health effects from breathing toxic fumes
- Hearing loss
The consequences of arc flash incidents are often life-changing for the individuals involved, with treatment for burns, in particular, involving years of skin grafts and surgery.
REDUCING THE RISKS WITH ARC FLASH GLOVES
When an arc flash occurs, hands are usually the first body part to catch fire due to their close proximity to the fault. As such, workers should not wear gloves which may easily burn, ignite or do not provide any protection from heat.
Rubber insulating gloves have long since been the norm for tasks that carry an arc flash risk.
However, rubber gloves can be incredibly bulky and limit dexterity, making them difficult to work in. Due to this, many non-rubber, lightweight arc flash gloves are now entering the market.
Such gloves are made from material which is innately flame-resistant (leather, aramid, coated nylon, and glass) or treated.
These types of arc flash gloves are far more comfortable than their rubber counterparts and often provide more protection. These seamless knit solutions can also increase the level of cut protection of the EN 388 standard. However, you should always discuss your requirements with a safety specialist to ensure you wear the correct safety glove for the job.
TraffiGlove September best seller
September’s best-seller was announced as TraffiGlove’s TG5140. The glove is a close-fitting and flexible Cut C glove with a high tech MicroDex Nitrile Foam coating that provides excellent grip in wet, dry and oily conditions. The durability and glove life is also excellent.
Thorne & Derrick are Specialist Distributors of Arc Flash protective clothing, garments and accessories – should you require advice on the type of clothing and protection available please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thorne & Derrick
Thorne & Derrick are national distributors of LV, MV & HV Cable Installation, Jointing, Substation & Electrical Equipment – servicing businesses involved in cabling, jointing, substation, earthing, overhead line and electrical construction at LV, 11kV, 33kV, 66kV and EHV. Supplying a complete range of power cable accessories to support the installation and maintenance of low/medium and high voltage power systems:
- Slip-on Cable Terminations
- Cold-shrink Cable Terminations
- Heat-shrink Cable Terminations
- Cable Joints – Heat & Cold-shrink
- Separable Connectors (Euromold)
- Surge Arresters & Switchgear/Transformer Bushings
Key Product Categories: Duct Seals | Cable Cleats | Cable Glands | Electrical Safety | Arc Flash Protection | Cable Jointing Tools | Cable Pulling | Earthing | Feeder Pillars | Cable Joints LV | Joints & Terminations MV