Our Dangers of Improper Wear series examines many of the common mistakes people make when wearing arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing, with real-world arc flash video footage that shows just how substantial each mistake can be. In each episode, you’ll find powerful examples of why wearing the right PPE, and wearing it properly, makes all the difference – with expert commentary from Scott Margolin, Vice President of Technical.
You’re wearing the right PPE, and you’re wearing it properly – tucked, button, layered appropriately, etc. – what can go wrong? Well, if you’re exposed to a flammable substance, and your PPE is contaminated with such a substance, you are at risk of injury in the event of an arc flash or flash fire.
Flammable contaminants are talked about often, but it’s rarely seen. In the video below, we intentionally contaminated one side of a quality AR shirt with a light application of a flammable hydrocarbon contaminant. Scott Margolin, Tyndale’s Vice President of Technical, walks you through slow motion and real-speed footage, so you get a clear view of the impact this has on the wearer.
As Scott explains, when the arc flash occurs, the side of the AR shirt that was intentionally contaminated catches fire and eventually smolders, even after the arc is gone. The fire goes out quickly – given that it was only lightly contaminated – but the smoke translates to heat, meaning you are still being burned through your AR / FR garment because of the flammable contaminant.
Key takeaway: if you have a garment that becomes contaminated with a flammable substance, clean it before wearing it again and if you can’t clean it, replace it.