Working with or around electricity is hazardous. The number one defense against injuries for electricians and electrical workers is proper personal protective equipment (PPE), including protective electrician uniforms and workwear.
Here are five essential things to know about providing the proper protective clothing and workwear for your electricians.
To stay in compliance with state and federal regulations, employers may be required to provide protective clothing to their electrical workers. For example, OSHA requires employers to provide workers with appropriate PPE for the job, which may include fire-resistant (FR) garments.
In addition to OSHA, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also has protective clothing standards. These standards apply to electrical workers, contractors, electrical engineers, electrical inspectors, HVAC installers, and safety managers, to name a few. NFPA 70E requirements must be followed wherever electrical construction and maintenance work occurs. This includes construction sites and industrial plants.
Understand which state and federal regulations apply to your workplace and regularly conduct a hazard analysis of your work environment to determine the level of protective clothing your employees need to stay safe and compliant.
Select FR garments that are third-party laboratory tested and certified to meet the requirements.
To meet regulatory requirements, electrician uniforms should be made of flame-resistant fabrics.
Flame-resistant fabrics are chemically treated or manufactured fireproof fibers more resistant to fire than standard textiles. The fire-retardant rating is based on at what temperature it burns and how long it takes.
Although electrician uniforms should be made from fabric that is protective, it is also important that they are comfortable. Many popular uniform options include FR work shirts, FR work pants, FR coveralls, and FR jeans. Working with a knowledgeable uniform provider can help you navigate the variety of fabrics and protective garment options.
Arc Flash Protection
Because FR clothing is made from fabrics that are flame-resistant, workers should wear FR clothing anytime there is the potential for an arc flash.
According to OSHA, an arc flash is a phenomenon where a flashover of electric current leaves its intended path and travels through the air from one conductor to another or the ground. Arc-related injuries can include minor or severe burns, blindness, hearing and memory loss from pressure waves, broken bones, or death.
While many employers mainly use FR garments for their maintenance and electrical employees, other employees could benefit from the safety of FR uniforms that work in an environment where fire hazards are present, including:
- Flash Fire – oil or gas refinery, pharmaceutical workers, and those who work with chemicals
- Combustible Dust Explosion – paper mills, paint, and even food processors are just a few examples
- Anyone who encounters functional and live electrical equipment
Arc flash protective clothing should be selected for the job based on the class or rating of the fabric. Arc Flash class information is clearly labeled on the tag of each FR garment. Additionally, and in some cases, an emblem on the outside of the garment will also contain this information.
FR Clothing Maintenance
In addition to providing protective clothing, OSHA’s PPE regulation states that protective clothing must be used and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition.
For this reason, FR uniforms must be cared for as instructed by the manufacturer. FR clothing that is damaged often requires special repair techniques. However, using common nylon thread may reduce the value of the clothing’s FR protection. As a result, the care and maintenance of your FR clothing should be entrusted to a proven uniform management company. They can inspect for damage, make the necessary repairs, or let you know that it’s time for a replacement.
Branded Workwear Benefits
Branded employee workwear has many benefits, including building a team environment. Your electricians and electrical workers are also easily identifiable to customers and other contractors when on a construction site or client location. Logos are placed on FR garments using FR thread. This makes certain every piece of the uniform stays safe and compliant.
When it comes to ensuring your electricians and electrical workers, or any employee that may come in contact with electrical hazards, are safe and comfortable on the job, the team at Gallaher Unform will help you select fire protective uniforms most suitable for your employees. Our catalog of safety and flame-resistant uniforms include:
- Arc-Rated Shirt Jackets
- ANSI Certified Hi-Visibility Shirts
- Flame Resistant Work Pants
- Flame Resistant Uniform Shirts
We make it easy for you to keep your workforce in high-quality, effective protective clothing with uniform rental programs that fit your budget. Contact us today!