The NFPA 70E Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces is a standard put out by the NFPA to help protect electrical workers from workplace hazards such as electrical shock, arc flash, and arc blast. The NFPA 70E is compatible with OSHA requirements and is used as a basis for evaluating and providing electrical safety in the workplace
Attaching embroidery and emblems that are not flame resistant
This question of the attachment of non-flame resistant embroidery and/or emblems is one that I am asked quite often from customers.
The 2004 edition of NFPA 70E has a new name, a new format, and a new look. The technical committee
worked diligently through the recent revision cycle to ensure that the standard contains the latest techniques to provide for maximum worker protection.
There are always many questions concerning flame resistant fabric. This list of short FAQ answers are what we hope will help you out with your concerns. There are always a basic set of questions that are asked about flame resistant fabric and the garments that are made from this material. We hope that you will find the answers here or please do give us a phone call if you would like a more in depth explanation at 888-440-4668.
Indura flame resistant garments are a 100% cotton fabric that has been treated with FR properties. The flame resistance properties are implanted in the core of the thread and can not be degraded by laundering.
Flame resistance in fabrics can be achieved either through the application of a flame retardant chemical to a fabric as with INDURA engineered fabrics or as an inherent property of the fiber, such as Nomex® IIIA synthetic fiber-fabric. Both INDURA and Nomex fabrics are acceptable for protective clothing because they each self-extinguish and pass the vertical flame test throughout their service life.
Westex’s INDURA Ultra Soft flame resistant fabrics are a blend of 88% cotton and 12% high tenacity nylon. The nylon fibers are intimately blended with cotton fibers in the warp yarns. The product is engineered to focus the excellent abrasion resistance of the nylon on the face of the fabric to enhance garment wear life, while the cotton fibers are focused towards the skin to optimize comfort.
Article on this new line of flame resistant cotton fabric that Bulwark has introduced which will replace their Indura fabric.
Nomex Fabric Characteristics
Guideline for evaluating the NOMEX® fabric for the use as a protective garment.
Nomex garments are are an inherently flame resistant synthetic fiber-fabric and has passed the vertical flammability requirements which is an essential criterion for protective clothing fabrics. Nomex fabrics are acceptable for protective clothing because they self-extinguish and pass the vertical flame test throughout their service life.
What is NFPA 70E Compliance
Workers in the electrical maintenance and electrical contractor Industry are being exposed to the risk of an electric arc flash fatality or injury.
Many workers are unaware of the potential hazards associated with the possibility of electrical arc hazards and must be made aware of the potential consequences.
Employees who are not properly protected through the 70E 2000 compliance standard may be subject to the affects and consequences of an electric arc flash.
An electric arc flash consists of a short circuit through the air that originates from electrical equipment sources. The results can be in the form of air born pieces of metal causing injury to workers and severe burns due to the amount of arc flash energy that is generated.
The general industry electrical installation standard has not been updated since 1981, so it is important that we update these requirements to reflect the most current practices and technologies in the industry,” said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. “These changes will strengthen worker protections and help eliminate inconsistencies and possible confusion between OSHA’s requirements and many state and local building codes which have adopted updated NFPA and NEC provisions.”
Proposed changes to OSHA’s general industry electrical installation standard (1910 Subpart S) focus on safety in the design and installation of electric equipment in the workplace. The changes draw heavily from the 70E 2000 edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces (NFPA 70E), and the 2002 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC).
The NFPA 70E 2000 compliance standard will help eliminate some of the risk to workers exposed to electric arc hazards.
Although the 70E compliance standard may seem a burden to some due to the costs of increased PPE it can be looked at as a type of arc flash insurance. Companies that do not comply with the 70E 2000 compliance standard may be subject to claims for personal injury and incidents resulting to death. This could therefore cost millions of dollars in legal costs.
Downtime may also come into affect due to the electrical arc incidents that have occurred through flashes resulting in thousands of dollars per minute.
Electric Arc Flash has become more of a concern through the requirement of increased power consumption for Industrial applications. For this reason the 70E 2000 compliance standard has that much more benefits for the applications involved.
Electrical arc flash hazards do not just occur in the presence of high voltage industrial facilities. Locations consisting of many low voltage equipment sources actually account for the most electrical arc flash ocurrences.
It may be that electrical personal do not realize this increased risk of electrical arc flash exposure through lack of information about the 70E 2000 compliance standards and the potential consequences of non compliance.
OSHA, enforces safety practices in the workplace. Its 29 Code of Federal Regulations Part 1910.333 states, in part, “Safety related work practices shall be employed to prevent electric shock or other injuries resulting from either direct or indirect electrical contacts…” Traditionally, many electrical contractors have guarded primarily against electrical shock and electrocution. Many of them believe that if they don’t touch something that can shock them, then they are protected from an electrical arc flash. Clearly however, arc flash doesn’t require an electrical worker to touch a piece of energized equipment in order to be harmed; it is an example of the “other injuries” included in OSHA 1910.333.
Due to the implications of the hazard of electrical arc flash the 70E 2000 compliance standard will help promote the requirement of employee safety training for arc flash hazards.
Safety programs should involve standard practices for employees that may come into contact with electrical arc flash hazards. The use of the appropriate PPE and standards for the operation of the electrical equipment must be implemented through guidance included in the 70E 2000 compliance standards.
Proper standard practices should be integrated into employee training programs to comply with the NFPA 70E 2000 standards. These programs should focus on such issues as on the job 70E 2000 compliance in the form of proper use of PPE associated to the electrical job task at hand.
Electrical contractors coming on site to work that may be exposed to electric arc flash must be informed of the local safety program in order to be in compliance with the 70E 2000 standards.
As most standard practice procedures will state that the best way to prevent electrical arc flash incidents from ocurring is to lock-out or de-energize the equipment. Industry standards are now focusing on the incidents where the electrical power can not be turned off. This is where the 70E 2000 compliance standard will help ensure the safety of the workers involved.
The NFPA 70E 2000 compliance standard states that electrical workers must de-energize equipment to be worked on except in critical situations where the power must be left on.
NFPA 70E 2000 also provides tables that will determine the PPE required for certain electrical arc flash situations based on the voltage involved with the equipment being worked on.
Also of note is the OSHA and NFPA 70E standards that require that equipment to be worked on must be put into a state of being de-energized as to avoid electrical arc flash exposure.
The use of proper PPE for the task of pre de-energizing of electrical equipment is a safety precaution that must never be over looked.
The fact that electrical arc flash protection apparel can some times be viewed as uncomfortable can be lead to the PPE not being worn by the electrical workers. The 70E 2000 compliance standards have been introduced to protect the worker for this reason.
Pre de-energizing of electrical equipment must be performed while still in an energized state. This can lead to the possibility of an electric arc flash occurring that could cause a fatality. The use of large uncomfortable electrical PPE is a small price to pay for the insurance that a worker can return HOME safely on any given day.
The 70E 2000 compliance standard considers the fact that the risk of an electrical arc flash may ocurr within a certain area surrounding the source of electrical discharge points.
This potential arc area is determined by a number of parameters those being the voltage, current and distance from the electrical equipment.
The proper electrical arc PPE required for the job task can be determined by the use of certain software or NFPA 70E provides a table that can determine the arc risk. The table will determine the calories per square centimeter which is how the potential of electrical arc is measured.
Once this is established the appropriate PPE can be issued.
Specific software programs are available that provide a much more accurate calculation compared to the NFPA 70E tables. The NFPA 70E compliance tables can sometimes under estimate the CAL rating due to fluctuations in energy source.
NFPA 70E has established the requirement of an on site safety program that ensures adequate electrical arc PPE is available and worn by workers.
Electrical arc can cause fatalities and/or serious burn injuries to those exposed to the area of concern.
For this reason every facility must conform to the NFPA 70E compliance for work place safety.
|The standard governing electrical safety in the workplace has been extensively revised. Here’s what’s new and different
necdigest™, Spring 2004
by Ken Mastrullo, Ray A. Jones, and Jane G. Jones
The 2004 edition of NFPA 70E has a new name, a new format, and a new look. The technical committee worked diligently through the recent revision cycle to ensure that the standard contains the latest techniques to provide for maximum worker protection. The content was a team effort that involved committee members, alternates, task group members, and members of the public who offered proposals and comments. Proposals and comments considered by the technical committee included best practices and techniques that have proved to be effective in an industrial work environment.
New title, new cover, new look
The committee reformatted the document to comply with the NEC Style Manual. The 2000 edition format consisted of four parts, with chapters in each part, which created some confusion. The new format provides a unique designation for each topic. Because many of the 70E users are very familiar with the NEC, the committee applied the NEC rules, such as moving explanatory, non-enforceable material to annexes and fine print notes. A new cross-reference index in the annex compares the 2000 and 2004 editions. The index is available on the 70E website.
Chapter locations reorganized
Safety-related work practices chapter reorganized
The requirements were reorganized from the existing five chapters to three. The new articles of the chapter are general, establishing an electrically safe work condition, and working on or near live parts.
An electrically safe work condition
Employers must ensure that the electrical safety program includes procedures that enable workers to understand processes of the plant’s specialized equipment and then train the workers to use those procedures. Worker input, including input from workers in the actual training programs is absolutely necessary for procedures to be effective. A training program should be timely and interesting, and apply specific work tasks.
Workers understand that the hazards of working with electrical energy are unique because they are somewhat unpredictable. To prevent an incident and resulting injury, a worker must understand electrical hazards in detail. At a minimum, he or she must do the following:
Training should never be considered complete. Effective training requires continuing effort. To maintain worker knowledge at an elevated level, supervisors must review safety concepts and ideas with their workers at frequent intervals.
Personal protective equipment
Safety requirements – general industry vs. construction
Article 100 definitions
Chapter one, safety-related work practices
The energized electrical work permit requirement is located in Article 130, Working On or Near Live Parts. Written authorization via an energized electrical work permit is required for work on or near a circuit that is energized at 50 volts or greater. The article specifies elements that must be addressed on the permit. The permit must include, at a minimum, the following:
Testing, troubleshooting, and measuring voltage are permitted to be performed without an energized electrical work permit, provided appropriate safe work practices and PPE are provided and used in accordance with Chapter 1 of NFPA 70E–2004. It is evident that the energized work permit is a great vehicle for verifying that all parties are aware of the hazards and that the proper training, procedures, and techniques are used.
Safety-related installation requirements and annexes
All of the appendices in the 2000 Edition of 70E have been relocated to the back and have been renamed “annexes.” The sample calculations in Annex D have been modified for accuracy, and a new calculation method has been added using the basic IEEE 1584 methods. A Job Briefing and Planning Checklist has been added to provide workers with a template to develop a form for their companies. A sample energized electrical work permit was added to demonstrate the requirements in Article 130. The general categories of electrical hazards are located in Annex K, which explains electric shock, arc flash, and arc blast in user-friendly text.
The Original—INDURA 100% Cotton
Through information collected from the marketplace over the past decade, we can document an expected garment life for INDURA. The two parameters that impact most on garment life are the severity of work activity and the fabric physical and abrasion resistant characteristics.
Assuming garments are industrially laundered every other week the following guideline information can be provided for INDURA fabrics:
It is important to recognize that the flame resistance of INDURA is guaranteed for the life of the garment regardless of the number of servicings in either HOME or industrial laundering provided manufacturers laundering instructions are followed.
INDURA 100% cotton fabrics offer:
• Guaranteed flame resistance for the life of the garment.
• Multi-purpose protection from electric arc, flash fire, molten ferrous metal and welding exposures.
• Comfort of Cotton.
*The number of launderings cited above are based on market experience for these types of fabrics and relate to average expected wear life. These estimates do not take into account work activities leading to extreme wear and exposure to thermal sources of high heat and long duration.
|Westex guarantees the flame resistance of INDURA Ultra Soft and INDURA fabrics for the life of the garment. We achieve this durability through our advanced proprietary processing controls. This guarantee has been demonstrated in laboratory testing and through the auditing of samples from the millions of garments in the protective clothing marketplace for over a decade. There has never been an instance of failure to meet original FR requirements, when garments were properly maintained throughout their useful life. This high level of performance is achieved by Westex’s proprietary treatment process, which combines advanced custom engineered machinery with sophisticated computer equipment to conduct the “ammonia cure” system. A high quality phosphonium salt precondensate flame retardant chemical is applied and polymerized with gaseous ammonia forming a long-chain flame retardant polymer impregnated into the core of each cotton fiber. Testing is performed on every lot of Indura Ultra Soft and Indura in Westex’s government certified laboratory..|
Flame resistance in fabrics can be achieved either through the application of a flame retardant chemical to a fabric as with INDURA engineered fabrics or as an inherent property of the fiber, such as Nomex® IIIA synthetic fiber-fabric. Since passing the vertical flammability requirements is an essential criterion for protective clothing fabrics, viable flame resistant fabrics should remain flame resistant throughout their useful service life. Both INDURA and Nomex fabrics are acceptable for protective clothing because they each self-extinguish and pass the vertical flame test throughout their service life; therefore, additional more specific tests should be employed to assist in comparing the protective characteristics of each fabric. The performance of INDURA Ultra Soft and INDURA to electric arc and flash fire exposures will be compared to Nomex later in this brochure.
In INDURA engineered fabrics, the flame retardant chemical impregnated in the core of the cotton fiber acts as a catalyst promoting the charring of the fabric. This accelerated charring prohibits the support of combustion by reducing the fuel source. The flame retardant chemical acts in the solid phase to produce this char. The mechanism of action is not based on a gaseous process of extinguishing or “snuffing out” the flame.
|The Advanced—INDURA Ultra Soft 88% Cotton 12% High Tenacity Nylon
Westex’s INDURA Ultra Soft flame resistant fabrics are a blend of 88% cotton and 12% high tenacity nylon. The nylon fibers are intimately blended with cotton fibers in the warp yarns. These fibers are spun using ring-spinning technology to produce the highest strength fabric possible. The product is engineered to focus the excellent abrasion resistance of the nylon on the face of the fabric to enhance garment wear life, while the cotton fibers are focused towards the skin to optimize comfort.
| The significant increase in the abrasion resistance of INDURA Ultra Soft has been demonstrated to increase the garment life expectancy conservatively by 50% over 100% cotton fabrics. Therefore, assuming garments of INDURA Ultra Soft are industrially laundered every other week, the following expected garment wear life can be followed:
It is important to recognize that the flame resistance of INDURA Ultra Soft is guaranteed for the life of the garment regardless of the number of servicings in either HOME or industrial laundering provided manufacturers laundering instructions are followed.
• Guaranteed flame resistance for the life of the garment.
Industrial Protective Apparel
Flash fires and electric arc accidents can happen in one unforeseen, life-altering moment. One of the most effective ways professionals protect themselves from the injuries these accidents can cause is wearing the appropriate protective apparel. That’s why they wear protective apparel of NOMEX® it does not sustain combustion in the air at room temperature and will not melt, drip or burn when exposed to heat or flame.
No other protective apparel can do what NOMEX® does: offer superior protection that can stand up to the heat of electric arc accidents. Professionals who wear NOMEX® and their loved ones know they are safe from the hazards they face every day. When NOMEX® is needed, it will more than do its job, so they can concentrate on doing theirs.
For more than 30 years, firefighters have relied on turnout gear, station wear and accessories of NOMEX® to meet crucial performance needs like durability, mobility, outer-shell thermal damage tolerance, and facecloth friction.
Whether battling a blaze under the most intense heat imaginable, or at the station waiting for the next call to come in, NOMEX® ensures that firefighters can perform to the best of their abilities, because they know they are safe, comfortable, prepared and protected from the inside out.
The last thing firefighters want to think about is their protection. They just want to know that it’s doing all it can to protect them against the extreme conditions in which they find themselves, so, at the end of the day, they can get in touch with their families and let them know they are safe. That kind of peace-of-mind, confidence and security only comes with one brand NOMEX®.
Flash fires happen in an instant, and more often than not, when they are least expected to happen. Just ask drivers, pit crew members, track officials and firefighters in the racing industry. Many of them know first-hand how, in just one moment, injuries sustained from flash fire accidents can range from minor to life-threatening. While accidents like these, unfortunately, aren’t entirely within their control, their protection is. That’s why 95 percent of racing professionals around the world rely on flame-resistant apparel of NOMEX®.
Inherently flame-resistant, NOMEX® won’t melt, drip, burn or support combustion in the air. Performance benefits like these play a pivotal role in providing the valuable seconds racing professionals need to escape and survive these life-threatening situations. And, this protection is long-lasting ñ the exceptional flame-resistance provided by NOMEX® cannot be washed out or worn away.
NOMEX® AP fabrics/garments meet the requirements of:
• NFPA 70E
• ASTM F-1506
• CGSB 155.20
• NFPA 2112
• OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269
For an in-depth fact sheet on Nomex fabric and it’s function in garment construction and characteristics please follow the following link:
Why Do We Sell The Bulwark Product?
Because Bulwark FR is a leader in flame-resistant protective garment industry both in great quality products and even better customer service.