Arc Flash PPE | 7 Top Considerations

Published 03 Feb 2020

ProGARM arc flash coveralls
  • uploaded by Chris Dodds | Thorne & Derrick Sales Marketing Manager


arc flash temperatures

Personal Protective Equipment  – There are lots of factors to consider when choosing and specifying the right arc flash PPE for your team. We highlight some of the areas that you might not have given as much thought, to help you make the best-informed decision for everyone involved.

This Blog gives an insight into some of the top considerations when it comes to PPE – delivered by experts ProGARM.


There can be serious consequences if arc flash protection (PPE) is compromised. All layers of clothing need to be considered when protecting against Arc Flash.

The material worn beneath an Arc Flash protective jacket is just as crucial as outer clothing.

PPE Personal Protective Equipment Safety

Arc flash protective undergarments – The risk of mixing non-arc layers with arc-rated clothing

Making the right PPE choices for your team can be a real challenge. You must weigh up several factors: comfort, fit, durability and value for money to name but a few. But what can happen when you start to mix a variety of garments that offer different levels of protection or meet different standards?

Arc Flash The Importance Of Base Layers

While flames caused by an Arc Flash may not actually come into contact with the skin through protective outer layers, the extreme heat from the Arc Flash can melt materials used to manufacture everyday undergarments such as nylon, cotton and polypropylene. This will inflict burns on an operative and potentially cause non-Arc Flash protective undergarments to melt into the skin underneath their PPE.


Flame retardant VS. ARC FLASH CLOTHING

Flame retardant doesn’t mean arc flash resistant.

With all the different safety standards surrounding safety clothing, it can be confusing understanding the extent to which each standard covers in terms of protection. We outline how Arc Flash clothing differs from flame retardant garments and the reasons why.

There are separate safety standards for Arc Flash clothing and fire resistance, meaning that the level of protection provided by fire-resistant clothing does not match that or arc flash resistant personal protective clothing.

Arc Flash Resistant PPE Symbols

Products certified from May 2019 onward will use the new icon, which is on the right.

Arc Flash Protection Inherent Treated Fabric


Not all Arc Flash clothing is made using the same fabric types, we help you identify the difference between inherent and treated fabrics so you’re up to speed with the clothing choices available to you.

The two phrases regularly used when shopping for appropriate PPE clothing are ‘treated fabric’ and ‘inherent fabric’. Treated fabric is made from fibres which are not flame retardant by nature but have undergone a chemical process to add a fire-resistance quality to them.

Download the full guide here for more tips on Arc Flash PPE considerations. 

Arc Flash PPE Top Considerations

ProGARM delivers ultimate arc flash clothing and protection, conforming with the relevant industry and EN standards ensuring protection from arc flash incidents for workers carrying out installation or maintenance of LV Low Voltage, MV Medium Voltage or HV High Voltage power systems.


Arc Flash Protection

The dangers of Arc Flash incidents and the importance of protection from these hazards has never been as significant as it is today. This prominence will continue to increase over the next few years.

With multiple cable strikes every day in the UK and numerous major Arc Flash incidents, businesses are looking at how best to protect their team with the right Flame Resistant garments and accessories, including arc-rated gloves. The correct clothing can significantly reduce injury and save lives.

ProGARM and Thorne & Derrick are committed to continual research and improvement to innovate and develop their range of arc flash clothing as quickly as possible to bring you the best Arc Flash protection for your team – this includes hand protection against flash incidents using arc-rated gloves.


An electric arc occurs whenever a circuit breaker, switch or isolator (Device) is opened and when there is current flowing in the circuit. However, most devices under normal operating conditions are designed to control the arc when opening or closing.

An arc flash may occur when the arc is uncontrolled and there is sufficient energy released to cause harm or damage.

Arc flashes occur both at high voltage and low voltage. There is little discrimination: low voltage arc flashes injuries are just as damaging at high voltage injuries.

Put simply: An arc flash is the light and heat produced from an electrical arc supplied with sufficient energy to cause significant damage, fire or injury.


An arc flash can cause minor injuries, third-degree burns and potential death as well as other injuries including blindness, hearing loss, nerve damage and cardiac arrest. Fatal burns can occur when the victim is several feet from the arc. Serious burns are common at a distance of 10 feet – arc flash can generate heat 4 times greater than the surface of the sun.

Arc Flash Dangers

The dangers of an Arc Flash

Arc Flash Learning & Resources

Arc Flash

Thorne and Derrick are proud to be distributors of ProGARM arc flash clothing and protection.

We can help – should you require arc flash calculators or advice on the type of clothing and protection available please do not hesitate to contact us.

Further Reading

Electrical Safety – Arc Flash Accidents & Electrocution In LV-HV Installations 

Arc Flash Calculation – Selecting Clothing & PPE To Protect Lives Against Arc Hazard

Arc Flash Clothing Protection

Arc Flash Clothing | Polo Shirts | Jackets | Coveralls | Trousers | Sweatshirts | Helmets

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 

Thorne & Derrick International