Clear “Arc Shield” Makes IEC 61482-1-2 PPE Claims, but Always Ask for the Data

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Just received an e-mail about a new “arc shield” claiming to meet a test method IEC 61482-1-2…

(you can’t meet a test method – they have no pass fail criteria). This shield is clear with UV blocking and could be a fine shield for non-arc-flash work, but it does not meet an applicable arc flash standard or provide a protection level based on all the reported data on the site.

EN 166:2001 is an old face shield standard that stated that all you needed in arc flash was to keep the shield from melting, so a certain thickness of polycarbonate was all that was required. To claim that because one polycarbonate shield was tested using IEC 61482-1-2 that you therefore meet that standard is not true. We encourage this company to test and and see if they comply.

Our IEC committee under TC-78 is actually working on a version of IEC 61482-1-2 for face shields, but the original statement in EN 166:2001 is not acceptable to any notified bodies I know of in Europe, and they typically use the new set up to actually give a rating to a shield, and this clear polycarb would not meet that test set up. Always be careful. Ask for the data. Use ASTM F2178 until the IEC equivalent is released. This site has no data for arc flash.

Myth busted.

Clear shield claiming to be for arc flash – don’t trust without the data.

Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

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