Electrical and utility workers are no strangers to wearing flame resistant, or FR, apparel. Specifically, many of these workers are required to wear PPE that complies with the NFPA 70E standard for electrical safety in the work place. However, many of these same workers also find themselves working in the right-of-way of a roadway which means they also need to wear ANSI 107 compliant high-visibility apparel.
For these workers, Ergodyne introduces the GloWear® 8260FRHL Class 2 FR Modacrylic Vest. Designed for use in arc flash and other FR applications, the 8260 is made using an ANSI 107 compliant 100% modacrylic breathable mesh fabric. This inherently FR fabric passes ASTM F1506, has an arc-thermal performance value of 5.1 calories per square centimeter and will not melt, drip, or continue to burn. We'll see why this is important in a minute.
The 8260 uses 3M Scotchlite FR reflective material, which also provides important protection from melting, dripping, and burning. The vest uses FR thread and a FR hook and loop enclosure, features two pockets for storage, and a convenient D-ring access slot that allows it to be easily worn over a fall protection harness. While the 8260 may look like any other typical hi-vis vest, not all vests are created equal nor do they offer the FR protection some applications require. The vest on the left is the new GloWear® 8260FRHL class 2 FR modacrylic vest. The vest on the right is a typical 100% polyester vest. And what's about to happen is an arc-flash.
According to industry publications, there are anywhere between five and 10 arc-flash incidents in the United States every day. Look at the 8260 on the left. Both the vest fabric and the reflective material remain intact. There's no melting, no dripping, no continual burn. Contrast that to the typical polyester vest on the right, much of it instantly burned away. What remains is on fire. Each second that passes, the polyester fabric and the reflective material continue to melt and burn. Each second that passes, the employee in the polyester vest remains exposed to flames, in contact with melting, dripping fabric and extremely vulnerable to harmful burns.
In the aftermath of an arc-flash incident there are many things to worry about. Don't let your high-visibility safety vest be one of them. Be protected. Be compliant.