For many years now, health and safety has become an increasing priority in the electrical trade. There are now more processes, more assessments and more guidelines that must be followed than ever before – not to mention the PPE (short for Personal Protective Equipment) that’s now on the market.
If you’ve been working in the industry for a while, it’s the little details like clothing that you mayhave become complacent about over time. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Slingsby to give you a roundup of the PPE you should be wearing for electrical work.
Gloves should be one of the most fundamental parts of your electrical PPE. You’ll be using yourhands to do the work, so your gloves provide the main barrier between you and the vaults. Make sure your hands and arms are covered by insulating gloves, which will protect you from electrical contact. There are different classes available for different types of work, so ensure you get the right pair. Check that they’re durable and comfortable for your needs too.
A helmet may not be the obvious choice for electrical work, but it is well worth considering getting one if you think you’ll be exposed to overhead dangers from exposed parts. Make sure your protection is non-conductive, and of the correct grade to protect you from any heavy objectsthat are at risk of falling, as well as electricity.
This, again, may be something you have not considered. However, if you’re exposed to live electrics in any way, or you’re working in an environment with the likelihood of an arc flash hazard, you’ll need to have head and face protection. There are a number of combined head and face protection products out there, which all help to ensure you have the right shielding.
It is advisable to have full-body coverage if you are going to be exposed to electricity, or electrical hazards, when you work. You can choose from pants and shirts, jackets or full overalls, depending on your preference and the kind of job you’re taking on. Primarily, you must make sure it is specialist, flame-resistant clothing that will protect you from dangerous high temperatures associated with an arc flash hazard (look for an ATPV rating on purchase). Make sure to inspect your clothing before each use as well, to prevent any exposure.
You have to wear shows anyway, so it is extremely worthwhile purchasing a pair of quality safety boots that will protect you from electric voltages too. Make sure they meet Occupational Safety and Health standards, and that they have non-conductive, electrical shock resistant soles and heels as a standard.
We hope these guidelines have given you a refresher in the benefits of electrical PPE clothingand how to look after yourself when at work.