HRC to CAT: Look Out for NFPA 70E Labeling Change

NFPA 70E has since been revised in 2018 and 2021. Please review our newer posts for the latest information.

NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace is periodically updated to support workers and their employers in preventing workplace injuries and fatalities from shock, electrocution, arc flash, and arc blasts.

The latest edition of the standard included several notable changes . One subtle but important change you will start to see on your Tyndale arc-rated/flame resistant (FR) garments on a rolling basis in the near future is a shift in terminology. In fact, the 2015 edition of NFPA 70E eliminated the term hazard risk category (HRC), replacing it with the term PPE Category (CAT).

As you know, Tyndale-made FR garments feature an external label that indicate the garment’s protective ratings. This label has traditionally indicated both the garment’s arc rating and its corresponding HRC. Though this important label will remain on Tyndale-made FR garments, Tyndale has adjusted the label going forward to reflect the terminology change made in the latest edition of NFPA 70E; our external labels will now include the garment’s arc rating and its corresponding CAT.

Learn more from Scott Margolin, Tyndale’s Vice President of Technical Sales:


As Scott points out, it’s important to note that NFPA 70E defines CAT levels exactly the same way as the categories formerly known as HRC. This change is strictly a semantic—that is, a naming—change designed to more accurately describe the function of the categories. As in the past, the standard uses the same minimum arc rating for the PPE specified by each category:

NEW Term:

PPE Category


Former Term:

Hazard Risk Category


Minimum Arc Rating


1 4.0




3 3


4 4


Note: Past editions of NFPA 70E also included a category 0, for garments made from non-melting or untreated natural fiber that are not arc-rated. This category was eliminated in the 2015 edition of the standard because the 2015 PPE table only specifies PPE for work within the arc flash boundary (source: NFPA 70E-15, page 4). Accordingly, there is no need for the table to specify PPE outside of the boundary where there is no risk of arc flash.

Want to learn more about the 2015 edition of NFPA 70E? Tune in to these posts:

Have a question? Contact your National Account Executive at 800-356-3433 or reach out to us at

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