Electric PPE: 5 Tips for a Successful Wear Test
Many security professionals are beginning to realize that if they upgrade their programs to next-gen products, user acceptance can increase significantly.
It is very encouraging to see how much electric arc flash safety has improved in the last 20 years. The NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace has been updated several times since it first shed great light on the danger of arc flash in its 2000 edition. Over the years, thousands of electrical contractors, utility companies, and commercial and industrial companies have implemented programs to protect workers from arc flash hazards, and injury statistics prove it works. However, there is still a long way to go, and many workers continue to complain about having to wear electrical PPE because they think it will negatively affect their ability to perform important electrical tasks. Fortunately, many manufacturers have improved the comfort, performance and functionality of PPE to help alleviate this concern. However, most of the electrical PPE on the market today is still heavy, hot, uncomfortable and often obscuring the view from older generation products. It is also difficult to put on and take off and slows down workers as it is very restrictive.
Many security professionals are beginning to realize that if they upgrade their programs to the next generation of products, user acceptance can increase significantly and people will wear them more routinely when needed. This will not only help companies stay in harmony, but it will also better protect workers so they can return home in the same state they came to work. At the end of the day, this is the top priority for security professionals. As companies seek to upgrade their PPE to next-generation products, it’s important to fully evaluate additional options to compare them to your current equipment before purchasing. The idea of upgrading your PPE is important for several reasons. A good reason is that electric PPE can last for five years or more, so these products will be with you and your employees for many years to come. In fact, we routinely see products older than 10 years in tool rooms all over the country (they need immediate updating). Your purchasing decisions will have a long-term impact on the user’s comfort and compliance with the security policy. That’s why it’s so important to do your homework and “try before you buy” with a wear trial assessment. By following these five simple tips, you can help choose the best option for your specific needs and get support from your team. The 5 steps for a successful electric PPE trial are as follows:
This article was originally September 2021 Occupational Health and Safety issue.