MARBLEHEAD, MA (September 22, 2020) – The leading companies in the Arc-Rated (AR) & Flame-Resistant (FR) clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) industry announced today the launch of The Partnership for Electrical Safety, an industry-led effort to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of Americans working on energized electrical equipment are properly equipped and protected from the hazards of electrical arc flash.
The Partnership for Electrical Safety is committed to ensuring that every American working on or near energized electrical equipment is provided with the appropriate arc-rated clothing and PPE. Proper AR clothing and PPE allows those whose jobs place them in a potentially hazardous situation to comfortably perform their essential work and return home safely at the end of the work day. Hundreds of thousands of Americans working on or near energized electrical equipment are not currently provided proper protection from a deadly hazard, despite OSHA standards that have been in place for more than 20 years. The Partnership for Electrical Safety has been formed to directly address this longstanding issue and are dedicated to improving the health and safety of unprotected electrical workers across the United States.
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Electric arc flash is an electrical explosion that results in a fireball that can reach temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun. This fireball can ignite flammable clothing and seriously burn exposed skin, causing catastrophic or fatal injury. As a result of being improperly outfitted, many American workers suffer serious burn injuries every year. This does not need to happen. Due to the nature of electrical work, arc-flash events will occur, but the fatal and catastrophic injuries are almost always caused by clothing ignition, not the arc-flash itself. The solution is simple – stop wearing fuel (uniforms that can burn) and start wearing AR clothing.
Over a million American electrical workers enjoy this protection from arc-flash; every day they are safely completing electrical work that potentially exposes them to an arc-flash event. The Partnership for Electrical Safety intends to ensure that all American electrical workers have access to and properly wear the appropriate arc-rated clothing and associated PPE. This effort is already underway and is being accomplished through direct engagement with the leadership at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as the key Congressional oversight committees who are concerned with improving worker safety.
“The Partnership for Electrical Safety strongly believes that the PPE requirements of NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace provide the appropriate best practices to ensure worker safety and should be broadly adopted for substantially all live or potentially live electrical work in the United States.” said Scott Margolin, Co-Chairman of The Partnership for Electrical Safety. “The two primary goals of NFPA 70E and the Partnership for Electrical Safety are precisely aligned: 1) whenever possible, de-energize the equipment being worked on, and 2) when working energized, always wear arc-rated clothing and PPE that is appropriate to the hazard. As an association, we are looking forward to driving meaningful change to improve the safety of the American electrical worker.”
To learn more about the efforts of The Partnership for Electrical Safety or to share your arc- flash story, please contact us at www.partnershipforelectricalsafety.org