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How does Bulwark apparel follow the electrical safety requirements for the workplace?

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace addresses electrical safety requirements for activities such as operation, repair or demolition of exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts. Virtually all aspects of workplace electrical safety, recognizing hazards associated with the use of electrical energy, and taking precautions so that hazards do not cause injury or death are included. A significant change was made in 2009 that total system arc rating of layered ensembles must be determined by a multilayer arc test on the combination of all the layers assembled as they would be worn, rather than adding the arc ratings of the individual layers. The standard allows nonmelting, flammable fiber garments to be used as undergarments for added protection, but if PPE is selected using Tables 130.7(C)(9) and 130.7(C)(10) in the standard, all layers used to determine the total system arc rating must be flame-resistant.

Under NFPA 70E employers must document and implement an overall electrical safety program that includes a hazard risk evaluation and job briefing procedures. This program must be audited annually. If energized electrical conductor or circuit parts operating at 50 volts or more are not placed in an electrically safe work condition, written authorization by work permit is required. Employees must be qualified to do the work and trained to understand the specific hazards and potential injury associated with electrical energy. Employees exposed to shock hazards must be retrained annually in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Employers must conduct both shock and flash hazard analysis to establish a flash protection boundary.

When work will be performed within the arc flash protection boundary, the employer must document the incident energy exposure in calories per square centimeter. Arc rated clothing conforming to the requirements of ASTM F1506 and appropriate PPE must be worn either based on the incident energy determined for the specific task or by using NFPA 70E Table 130(C)(9) to determine the hazard / risk category. Canadian Standards Association Standard Z462-08, Workplace Electrical Safety is the Canadian standard for electrical workplace safety. Garments meeting the requirements of NFPA 70E also meet the requirements specified in CSA Z462-08, Section 4.3.7. Z462 PPE requirements are currently essentially identical to the 2009 Edition of NFPA 70E. Future plans are to modify Z462 for Canadian requirements.

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