ProGARM

Arc Flash Clothing

Arc Flash clothing

Protection & Garments

ProGARM is a specialist UK arc flash garment and accessories manufacturer, delivering the ultimate in arc flash clothing and protection with a wide range of mens and womens garments available in high-vis yellow, hi-vis orange, two-tone yellow and blue and single colour blue.

With everything from FR baselayers to arc flash waterproofs ProGARM have a complete range of arc flash protection polo shirts, sweatshirts, trousers, jackets, softshells and coveralls as well as helmets, gloves and other accessories.

Their in-house team of arc flash specialists are constantly innovating to produce better and better garments that
lead the way in arc flash protection – ideal garments for substation, cable jointing, overhead linesmen, data centre and low, medium and high voltage electrical working.

ProGARM is the first choice for some of the UK and the world’s biggest brands because their garments really do lead the way.

  • Innovative design makes the garments comfortable to wear and because they fit well they are easy to work in
  • Garment fibres offer inherent protection. They are not chemically treated which can wash out and offer reduced protection
  • ProGARM has developed its own VXS+ fabrics that ensure that garments are durable as well as comfortable. They also offer excellent levels of protection at every weight of fabric
  • Thoughtful design features such as stretch panels, cargo pockets, detector loops, kneepad pockets and adjustable waistbands make the garments some of the most practical to wear
  • ProGARM garments have been proven to be long-lasting and triple stitched seams are backed by a Lifetime Seam Guarantee
  • ThermSAFE components made from specialist plastics have been tested to continue to function even after an arc flash incident
  • All ProGARM products conform to the European Directives regulating PPE and display the correct care labels to guarantee certification and traceability
  • Great availability from our warehouse or ProGARM’s UK stock

ProGARM is ISO 9001 accredited and its European supply chain is also Module D accredited, illustrating ProGARM’s commitment to quality right along the manufacturing process. All ProGARM arc flash garments are fully tested and compliant with a range of arc flash, FR, hivisibility, chemical splash and PPE standards. For exact specifications take a look at individual garment product pages linked at the bottom of this page

What Is Arc Flash?

An arc flash is the light and heat produced as part of an arc fault; a type of electrical explosion or discharge that results from a low-impedance connection through air to ground or another voltage phase in an electrical system.

In laymans’ terms, an arc flash occurs when electrical current jumps across an air gap between conductors,like when lightening jumps down to earth. That large instantaneous discharge of electrical current causes an explosion

  • Extremely high levels of energy, heat and light are released in fractions of seconds
  • Temperatures can reach up to 35,000ºF (19,000ºC) that’s 4 times the temperature of the Sun’s surface!
  • Cabinets and machinery can be instantaneously turned into molten metal or shrapnel
  • A blast and pressure wave that can damage eardrums and even strip away garments

Protection in layers

ProGARM provide practical and functional clothing designed to protect people and save lives with most garments available from stock.

ProGARM garments are given a Cal rating which indicates the level of protection that garment could provide. By combining multiple arc flash garments in layers they offer an enhanced level of protection. In the example below the 7cal polo shirt and the 14cal sweatshirt will give a combined cal rating of 31cal rather than just 21.

With an understanding of the levels of protection you need for your team, that can be achieved by specifying layers of protection and multiple garments.

The layered approach to worker protection involves building increasing levels of safety by wearing additional layers of arc flash clothing to provide cost-effective but life-saving workwear for everyday routine use.

Arc Flash Clothing Protection

“Layering” clothing to protect against electrical arc flash in accordance with NFPA 70E safety standard

NFPA 70E Arc Flash Clothing

NFPA 70E outlines the requirements for safe work practices to protect personnel by reducing exposure to workplace electrical hazards.

  • NFPA National Fire Protection Association (USA) – purchase copy.

It is important to note that the protection given by arc flash protective garments can be compromised by wearing non-arc flash garments underneath.

Arc Flash clothing & protection Category Requirements

Full range of arc flash clothing and protection for High Risk Category (HRC) working on LV, MV and HV cables, switchgear and electrical equipment under live load –  layering protective clothing achieves higher combined levels of worker protection with base, middle and outer garmets including arc flash gloves, polo shirts, coveralls, sweatshirts, jackets and head protection provided by arc flash helmets.

As mentioned above,layering protective garments achieves higher combined levels of worker protection. To determine the exact arc rating of multiple layers and combinations of garments the layers do need to be subject to an arc flash test in accordance with BS EN IEC61482-1-1 : 2019. There are various standards and test methods across the world, and it is important to understand these.
In the UK, EU and in fact internationally the arc flash standard for garments is IEC 61482-2:2018. This standard also discusses two test methodologies which are:

  • BS EN IEC 61482-1-1 : 2019 – the Open Arc method which delivers a calorific value (cal rating in cal/cm2) for the material or garment – both videos above show Open Arc tests
  • BS EN 61482-1-2 : 2014 – the Box Test method which categorises garments into either Arc Protection Class 1 or Arc Protection Class 2 (2 being the higher)

When clothing layers are combined the overall protection level can exceed that of the sum of the individual garments – the air gap existing between the clothing layers functions as additional insulation and protection.

Layering can be effective but to determine the arc rating the multi-combination layers of clothing should be subject to an arc flash test in accordance with IEC 61482-1-1: 2009 Method A to correctly attribute a rating to the textile combination.

According to NFPA 70E the arc incident energy levels are measured in calories per cm² and referred to as the cal rating – the cal rating provides the required minimum arc rating (cal/cm²) of PPE and clothing required to protect workers exposed to potential arc in a Hazard Risk Category (1-4) when working on live electrical equipment, such as MV-HV switchgear in energised medium/high voltage substations.

Layering clothing provides comfortable arc flash protection for maintenance tasks with differing threat levels according to HRC categorisation – worker comfort, productivity and safety are ensured.

Arc Flash Clothing

Arc HRC Risk Categories NFPA 70E Standard

Here ProGARM 4608 arc flash jacket is shown undergoing IEC 61482-1-2 Box Test Method.

IEC 61482-1-2 Box Test Method Or Arc Thermal Protection Value (ATPV) ?
Testing Arc Flash Clothing

The British Standard Institution Committee in its paper “PEL/78: Tools For Live Working” quote in their National Forward to BS EN 61482-1-2
“… the “Box Test Method” does not provide the end-user with a realistic and reliable test. A premise of this test is that the fault currents will not exceed 4000A or 7000A (4kA or 7kA) and the worker will not be closer than the specified distance from the arc – in reality this cannot be guaranteed.

The Box Test Method documents 2 testing conditions:

  • Class 1 Box Test – arc current 4kA with arc duration 500ms
  • Class 2 Box Test – arc current 5kA with arc duration 500ms

The energy on the worker’s body is directly proportional to the length of the arc, the current and the duration of the arc – therefore if a worker is positioned at 60cm from the arc and is exposed to 4 cal/cm2, at 30cm from the arc the energy will be approximately 16 cal/cm2.

Field experience has shown that arc flash hazards vary in strength starting from 3 or 4 cal/cm2 to levels higher than 40 cal/cm2.”

Concluding, PEL/78 advises that:

“IEC 61482-1-1 will provide the best way to determine whether a particular material will provide the
best protection for the worker for any given job.”

In the USA and Canada the arc flash standard is NFPA 70E-18 and their equivalent to our open arc test is ASTM F1959. That test provides a calorific value (cal rating in cal/cm2) which allows the garment to be given a High Risk Category classification. The minimum cal/cm2 Arc Thermal Protection Value for each High Risk Category is:

  • HRC 1 : 4 cal/cm2
  • HRC 2 : 8 cal/cm2
  • HRC 3 : 25 cal/cm2
  • HRC 4 : 40 cal/cm2

Quotation taken from the National Forward of BS EN 61482-1-2 

ProGARM arc flash clothing is tested to the European Box Test Method (BS EN 61482-1-2 ) – additionally many garments in the collection are certified to include the APTV or EBT Cal rating.

  • BS EN 61482-1-1 Ed.2.0 Live Working – Protective Clothing Against The Thermal Hazards Of An Electric Arc. – Part 1-1: Test methods – Method 1: Determination of the arc rating (ELIM, ATPV and/or EBT) of clothing materials and of protective clothing using an open arc
  • PEL/78 Tools For Live Working – British Standard Institution Committee

Can garments tested to IEC 61482-2 : 2018 be worn in the USA and Canada?

The good news is that they can. There is an equivalence that means that ProGARM garments that are CE marked to IEC 61482-2 : 2018 (which is all their arc flash garments) can be used. As IEC 61482-2 is an international standard it can be adopted by any company in the USA and Canada.

Calculating Arc Flash

End-users should carry out a site specific risk assessment using professional arc flash software calculators and undertake a workplace survey – the arc flash hazard risk is measured in incident energy values and expressed as cal/cm² units. The selection process for adequate worker protection concludes that protective clothing must be worn and PPE introduced to provide a protection level (as a minimum) against incident energy which exceeds the incident energy value provided by the end-users arc flash calculations and study.

Arc Flash Clothing Protection PPE

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

All ProGARM products conform to the European Directives regulating PPE and display the correct care labels to guarantee certification and traceability.

PROGARM – DISTRIBUTORS, STOCKISTS & SUPPLIERS

Thorne & Derrick provide competitive prices and fast delivery from stock for the complete range of ProGARM arc flash protection, clothing and garments.

View the complete range of ProGARM Arc Flash Clothing

T&D - ELECTRICAL SAFETY ♦ ARC FLASH CLOTHING ♦ PPE ♦ COVERALLS ♦ JACKETS ♦ POLO SHIRTS ♦ SWEATSHIRTS ♦ HELMETS ♦ GLOVES