Hazard Definition

An arc flash is defined as “a dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc.” It is an explosion involving an electric arc operating at temperatures of several thousand degrees Celsius, and a pressure wave created by the arc.

Within milliseconds, the energy from this explosion can cause severe burns as well as loss of hearing, eyesight, taste, and smell. In addition, molten metal particles, equipment parts, and other loose items can be expelled from the arc area.

Multiple trauma effects typically prevent employees from returning to work, leading to financial and emotional hardships for the employee and their family.

Protection from Hazard

Arc-rated FR clothing works as “the last line of defense” in the event of an arc flash, there to protect you from injury when all other safety measures and precautions have been unsuccessful in preventing an incident.

FR clothing is critical because, believe it or not, it’s rarely or never the momentary thermal hazard – the arc flash or flash fire – that causes the most catastrophic injuries and deaths.

Instead, most catastrophic injuries and deaths are actually caused by flammable (non-FR) clothing igniting and continuing to burn against the skin. Workers who survive in these scenarios are faced with excruciating burn injuries over a large surface area of the body that are highly susceptible to deadly infections.

Luckily, there is an alternative with a drastically different outcome! We can significantly reduce or eliminate burn injuries from the equation by replacing flammable clothing with FR clothing. Unlike flammable clothing, FR clothing will not ignite and continue to burn when the arc flash is over. By not igniting and burning, FR clothing saves lives; it can dramatically reduce or eliminate burn injury because it insulates you from the hazard.

Hazard Protection Resources