Hot weather and arc rated PPE getting you down at work?
You must continue wearing your shock and arc flash PPE – can’t shed PPE just because it’s hot outside! Clothing ignition kills about 50% of the time.
Keep these tips in mind:
- Dress for the arc flash hazard. Too much PPE can be detrimental. The worker could experience a rapid heart rate and/or headache that might develop into heat stress.
- Extra PPE can add sweat into the equation which often lowers the arc rated PPE protection values. (Dress to the hazard; don’t think that more is always better even from an arc flash perspective. The main protection of flame resistance is most of the protection).
- Consider the material of the product. Some fibers and some colors are cooler in summer (khaki typically feels cooler than blue).
- Consider the fit. Companies are offering clothing in more sizes than before; be sure to shop around.
Think About This
Buying from several different manufacturers? The company that makes the most comfortable pant may not make the most comfortable shirt. Especially when shopping for t-shirts, keep in mind there are arc rated moisture-wicking shirts that are amazing compared to cotton. Wear trial summer clothing in the summer and winter clothing in the winter.
The Issue of Summertime Insects
Don’t spray DEET products on your AR PPE. DEET should be used to protect your skin.
You can use permethrin to spray on your PPE, but follow the instructions.
CAUTION: Don’t spray both on your skin together, and don’t spray DEET on permethrin-impregnated and treated clothing. The result can be toxic.
See the e-Hazard Blog on ArcWear Testing of DEET and Permethrin sprays on AR garments.
See this information from Indiana University on DEET and Permethrin.