Electrical Testing
Tip of the Week: Personal Protective Equipment Isn’t Your First Line of Defense Photo courtesy of Emerson Network Power

Tip of the Week: Personal Protective Equipment Isn’t Your First Line of Defense

Have sensible safety steps in place so that PPE can work as intended

Personal protective equipment (PPE) certainly serves a vital function, but it isn’t intended to make up for poor safety practices.

Consider, for example, the expensive gear worn for arc blast protection. The investment is easily justifiable, but stop and think about the physics involved. If you’re standing right on top of a blast, is that suit going to protect you from the compression wave? No, it’s not designed to do that. If it were, you wouldn’t be able to do the electrical work you need to do.

You’re wearing arc blast clothing rated for the energy levels you’re encountering, and that’s as it should be. But this doesn’t give you a free pass to behave unsafely. When you’re operating that breaker, for example, stand off to the side. If there’s an arc blast, you won’t be in its path. The suit will, in all likelihood, protect you from the incident.

This same concept applies to other tasks you may encounter. Wear the correct PPE, yes. But always be thinking about how to stay out of the way of danger in the first place.

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