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The cost of Arc Flash protection

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oct 18 24The cost of Arc Flash protection

Comments by Mark Lant, technical expert at ProGARM, a specialist in Arc Flash protection.

With the current economic climate, most budget holders are under extreme pressure to keep spending to a minimum but how is it possible to determine what seems like an expensive purchase now but one that will save money in the long term? (Read More)


Sensible investment

When looking at numbers on a spreadsheet it’s difficult to see beyond the figures to the overall value of a product. In circumstances like this, it can be tempting to buy the cheapest flame resistant (FR) clothing but there’s a reason why the old saying goes, “buy cheap, buy twice”.

We’d always urge those in charge of the purse strings to think about what price they’d put on a colleague’s life and how it’s actually far more cost effective to buy products less frequently due to their durability, quality and ability to keep colleagues protected.

The true cost of an electrical incident

When it comes to assessing who suffers when an electrical incident occurs, it’s hard to draw the line. The victim, their family, the company they work for, their manager and colleagues – the list goes on.

For the victim, the accident could be potentially life changing or even life ending in the worst-case scenarios. This then directly affects their family, friends and colleagues

Recent research on the HSE website gives an idea of the scale of fines for electrical incidents, with the two most recent (April 2018) being £600,000 plus costs for an incident causing major burns and £80,000 plus costs for an incident resulting in serious burns on the worker’s hands, arms and face.

Both incidents involved cable strikes, which also put the workers at risk of being hit by an Arc Flash.

Worth the cost

At ProGARM our Arc Flash personal protective clothing provides more protection than other standard flame-resistant clothing due to the exclusive fabric, VXS+ which is made from fibres that have inherent flame-retardant properties. This means that the protection doesn’t wash out or fade with wear.

In addition to this, all of our PPE clothing (not just our fabrics) meet European standards and regulations, holding an EC certification relevant to the intended use and/or industry. All garments conform to a minimum EN ISO 6330: 2012 DOMESTIC for washing, and some go further to meet the industrial washing standard (EN ISO15797: 2004 INDUSTRIAL). Rigorously tested for 50 wash cycles, our garments demonstrate less than 3% shrinkage.

We’re even ahead of the curve in meeting the new PPE regulations which need to be met by April 2019, having already started testing our products to make sure they meet the new requirements. In order to do this we look at each component of the clothing – from fabric to buttons and zips– to ensure it will provide the protection needed in an Arc Flash incident.

All this attention to detail results in products which last longer, provide protection for longer and don’t deteriorate with use.

In fact, one of our clients reported that their ProGARM PPE lasted eight times longer than their previous brand. So while on cost alone our garments may look more expensive than standard flame retardant ones, the overall cost is lower when you purchase less often.

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