Arc Rated Flame Resistant Clothing & Equipment OSHA Updates

Arc Rated Flame Resistant Clothing & Equipment OSHA Updates
OSHA Makes New Laws Protecting Workers From Electrical Hazards – Effective July 2014
New laws regarding FR clothing and electric arc flash protection have been drafted and will be in effect starting July 11, 2014. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), this will affect not only electrical contractors, but also employers with people who work on or around energized equipment and systems.
The new rules will require employers to purchase arc flash flame resistant clothing for their employees, make hazard assessments, and check safe distances around electric power.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency ( NFPA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), over the last ten years over 46,000 workers have been injured from on the job electrical hazards (reported injuries). Over 21% of electrical injuries tend to be permanent. According to OSHA, approximately 350 electrical-related fatalities occur each year.
Generally speaking, every electrical system is subject to failure, and as such, electrical hazards exist with all energized systems, even when properly operated and maintained. The newly updated regulations will address these and other hazards.
Employers and Contractors Must be in Compliance
Any employer that operates or maintains electric power generation, transmission, or distribution lines or equipment must comply with the new rules. Additionally, any employer with employees who perform construction work on or near electric power transmission or distribution lines or equipment are affected.
In the previous OSHA regulations, updated in 1972, there is no specific language regarding arc flash protection. Employers are now responsible for measuring electrical energy potential, assessing potential risk, and providing appropriate FR clothing for employees according to specific standards.
For example, a tree trimming company will now be required to check safe distances from electric power lines against OSHA’s new regulations to ensure compliance. Once the distances are established, the company will then be responsible for providing appropriate arc protection clothing and safety gear to the employees per OSHA’s requirements for the gear, as outlined in the new rules.
According to the April 11th OSHA filling, “The final rule includes new or revised requirements for fall protection, minimum approach distances, and arc-flash protective FR clothing, and for host employers and contract employers to exchange safety-related information. The final rule also includes requirements for electrical protective equipment.”
Flame and Electric Arc Hazard Compliance Dates
July 10, 2014 – The new rules are effective, with compliance deadlines in 2015. The employer must assess the workplace to identify workers exposed to flame or electric-arc hazards.
January 1, 2015 (No later than) – employers must estimate the incident heat energy of any electric-arc hazard to which a worker would be exposed.
April 1, 2015 (No later than) – employers generally must provide workers exposed to hazards from electric arcs with protective arc rated FR clothing and other protective equipment with an arc rating greater than or equal to the estimated heat energy.
For a copy of the new rule, contact Safety Smart Gear at:, or go to the US Dept. of Labor’s website at: For more information about arc rated safety apparel, call Safety Smart Gear at: 877-999-4847, or visit Safety Smart Gear
– William Bowman – Safety Smart Gear


About Safety Smart Gear

Safety Smart Gear is a distributor of Safety Vests, Reflective Clothing, High Visibility Rain Gear, High Visibility T-Shirts and Flame Resistant Workwear. Our goal is to always be “cutting edge” in every sense of the phrase to our customers. Our extensive knowledge base along with both foreign and domestic industry leader partnerships enable us to provide a diverse, value driven, product line of the highest quality together with a friendly customer support experience. We supply a diverse line of industrial safety equipment, flame resistant clothing, safety glasses, rain gear and high visibility apparel throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Posted on July 2, 2014, in Flame Resistant Workwear, FR and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. WOW !! What a Cool blog and great shared to Resistant Clothing & Equipment, thanks author for your helpful tropic and article, Really I got effective information here.

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