Understanding the NFPA 70E Standard
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) developed “NFPA 70E”, a Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. The goal of NFPA 70E is to protect electrical workers from any device capable of generating arc flash, and provide recommended safety practices for industries involved in the installation, repair and maintenance of electrical systems. Although compliance is voluntary, OSHA recognizes the standard.
Flame-resistant arc flash clothing became required to protect workers under NFPA 70E in 2000. Current regulations, recently updated in the “NFPA 70E 2012 Edition”, have added further details on personal protective equipment (PPE). For a copy of the complete official spec, visit www.NFPA.org .
Hazard Risk Category (HRC) Protection Levels
To help you choose appropriate arc flash protection for specific jobs/tasks, NFPA 70E specifies ratings levels for different Hazard Risk Categories (HRC). The chart below shows the arc flash rating for each HRC Level – and the corresponding Purnell FR HRC label.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What do “FR” and “FRC” mean?
FR stands for “Flame Resistant.” A garment’s flame resistance refers to the ability of its material to self-extinguish once an ignition source is removed.
FRC is commonly used as an acronym for “Flame-Resistant Clothing.”
2. Is Flame-Resistant Clothing really necessary?
Yes, when it comes to reducing burn injuries and increasing chance of survival, FRC can make a huge difference – giving you time to escape a flash fire, electric arc, or other ignition source.
3. What is ATPV?
It stands for Arc Thermal Performance Value. ATPV measures a fabric’s flame-resistance level in cal/cm2.
4. Is cotton flame resistant?
Typically, no. Unless it has been specially treated, 100% cotton is flammable and will continue burning after the ignition source is removed.
5. Is Purnell FR Workwear only approved for Wind Tech use?
No. Hazard Risk Categories are standard across all industries. As long as you choose the correct protection level for your specific usage, Purnell’s HRC-certified garments are a great choice for any job requiring FR clothing.
6. What Hazard Risk Category (HRC) Level do I need?
Only your employer can determine the correct level of protection for specific jobs or tasks. NFPA 70E standards require companies to conduct Hazard Risk Assessments and inform employees of HRC protection levels needed.
7. Can Purnell’s FR clothing be washed?
We recommend using only a professional industrial laundry service. These services can safely remove flammable materials that might collect on your workwear. Also, common household detergents often contain chemicals that degrade the effectiveness of flame-resistant clothing.