Arc flash suits are very effective at protecting the wearer from arc flashes and keeping their heads and eyes safe. However, they are not perfect and there are some potential problems that you should be aware of.
1. Lacking Visibility
Poor visibility is an issue with arc flash head protection. Since it covers the entire head, the only way to see is through a front visor. This is made more limited if the person wears a face baklava.
Poor visibility can lead to an inability to see what you are doing. This can be a safety issue because it can lead to an increased chance of injury. It is important to be aware of this issue and take steps to ensure that your head protection does not cause poor visibility. One way to do this is to choose a head component that you have inspected and tried on prior to purchasing.
Arc flash headgear can get quite hot underneath while wearing it. This is due to heat stress. Wearing heat-reflective gear underneath the arc flash suit can help mitigate this issue. Additionally, be sure to stay hydrated and take breaks as needed to stay cool. Industrial settings can be cramped with tight spaces and can get hot inside the facility next to electrical equipment.
3. Its Uncomfortable To Wear
Arc flash headgear can be uncomfortable if it is not the right fit and is worn for too long. It is important to check the headgear out and try it on before committing to wearing it on the job. If the headgear is uncomfortable, it can lead to neck stiffness, headaches, and even migraines. It can also cause the wearer to be distracted and become tired quicker which makes the job that much more dangerous.
4. Not Functional Enough
An arc flash head dress can have chin cups or straps that can reduce the wearer’s ability to move their head or look down. This can make it difficult to see electrical hazards or take evasive action if necessary. The added weight of the face shield and battery pack also impair the wearer’s ability to move quickly if necessary.
Some models are not compatible with safety glasses or hearing protection, which further reduces the effectiveness of the PPE. An arc flash hood can also limit the wearer’s ability to hear warnings or instructions clearly.
5. Reluctant Compliance
Workers and companies could be reluctant to comply with safety regulations that recommend or require arc flash suits to be worn in certain situations. This can severely limit the worker’s safety if they are exposed to arc flash without the proper head and body protection.
The solution is to provide proper education on the risks of arc flash and the importance of always wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with or around energized equipment.
Arc flashes are severe safety risks in certain workplaces, which is why arc flash suits are recommended to workers in these settings. However, it is important to know the difficulties that may arise from wearing these suits and take preventative measures beforehand to limit any problems associated with them that may arise.