What is Arc Rated Clothing?

Arc rated clothing is critically important for workplace safety when dealing with electrical wiring and other electrical systems. Electrical work can result in sparks, shocks or even fires. The NFPA 70 is the standard set for installing electrical systems in the United States. The NFPA 70E specifically covers the requirements for employees working with the electrical wiring and equipment. Within these documents are specific guidelines on Arc Flash Rated or “AR” clothing.  AR rated clothing is different from flame resistant (FR) clothing.  AR clothing is flame resistant, but not all flame resistant clothing can be categorized as AR clothing. The main difference is that AR clothing has been designed and tested to withstand flash hazards better than typical flame resistant cloth. As a result, AR clothing has become the norm within the industry. The additional arc rating measures the insulation from arc flash. This shoulld not be confused with the traditional FR measurables in a flash fire, which are tested with the NFPA 2112.

Traffic Safety Warehouse offers a number of different arc rated coveralls, long sleeve shirts and safety vests that meet the Arc requirements.  It is crucial to understand the hazards of each job and how they relate to the test performances. It is also important to understand the state requirements, as the standard code may have been altered at a regional or state level.

Best Safety Vest – Finding the Best Safety Vest for Your Needs

The most important factor in determining the best safety vest is the circumstance in which it is worn. In instances when workers are dealing with traffic safety, they are required to wear safety apparel to allow drivers to see them easier and from farther away. The Federal Highway Administration states that:

“All workers within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway who are exposed either to traffic (vehicles using the highway for purposes of travel) or to construction equipment within the work area shall wear high-visibility safety apparel.” (Worker Visibility, 23 CFR Part 634).

Additionally, flaggers and workers within range of vehicular traffic of any sort are required to wear safety apparel. There are a number of different classes of vests and apparel that adhere to the specifications at the job site, though state regulations should also be checked as additional requirements may exist.

Class 1 safety vests and apparel are best for low speed situations that are not directly on or next to the road. They must have a minimum of 155 square inches of reflective tape around the middle of the body and over the shoulders. You may see workers in a residential area or in a parking lot with Class 1 vests.

Class 2 safety vests and apparel have at least 201 square inches of reflective tape around the body and over the shoulders, as they are used in higher speed areas than Class 1. They are often worn by police officers, airport runway workers, during utility operations or by workers that have a physical barrier between them and the traffic. They are typically worn during daytime work, while Class 3 is more preferable for work done at night.

Class 3 safety vests and apparel are used in high risk situations, where traffic is heavy and/or sight distance is low. If the speed limit exceeds 50 MPH, or workers are in bad weather, situations with low visibility, or high-crash locations, Class 3 vests are required. They are also used by ambulance responders, construction workers, flaggers, or anyone working directly on the roadway. The vests must have at least 310 square inches of reflective tape.

Class E safety apparel does not refer to the upper body like Classes 1, 2 or 3, but rather the lower body in the form of waistband trousers or shorts. Class E bottoms worn with a Class 2 or 3 top is regarded as a Class 3 Ensemble.

The regulated vests and apparel must be in either orange or yellow, allowing drivers to see them both at day and at night. Some include additional features like LEDs or a number of pockets. Unregulated vests and apparel, or Non-ANSI apparel, are available in other colors. Other safety apparel besides vests include a large variety of: high visibility shirts, sweatshirts, jackets and pants, safety coveralls, flame resistant clothing, safety rain gear and safety hats, backpacks and shoe coverings. High-visibility clothing labeled with their respective class do meet specifications, while clothing without a class label should not be assumed as fit for any particular roadside work.

Gloveworks Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile Gloves: Featuring Gloveworks Heavy Duty Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves are used in many industries including agriculture, automotive, chemical, manufacturing and more.  Gloveworks Nitrile Gloves in Orange and Black are one of the favorites among industries that require the use of nitrile gloves for many reasons.

Gloveworks Nitrile Gloves Diamond Texture

Gloveworks nitrile gloves are aggressively textured. That texture provides 60% more surface area than a typical nitrile glove.  With over 3000 raised diamonds per glove, the surface area is essentially doubled.  A raised diamond pattern texture is highly effective and is also commonly seen in aluminum, steel plates, rubber floor coverings, stair treads and other areas to provide greater surface area and less slippage.   In the case of gloveworks nitrile gloves this raised diamond pattern also  raised allows more liquid to pass through the channels enabling greater surface contact.

Gloveworks Nitrile Gloves are Thicker

The extra thickness provided by Gloveworks gloves makes them 3x more puncture resistant than simple latex gloves. Nitrile gloves are recommended for us with 67% of chemicals in comparison to latex gloves which are only approved for 28% of chemicals.  The added chemical resistance not only keeps workers hands safer but also means they can work longer before having to change gloves. The beaded cuff of the glove prevents ripping and tearing at the base to also enhance the longevity of the glove.  The gloves have the same fit and feel as 6 mil gloves but with all the added protection of a 10 mil glove.   Better protection and longer lasting gloves help save you money and increase safety at the same time.

Additional Glove Features

Gloveworks will conform to workers’ hands as they get warmed from their body heat to provide better dexterity.  They provide great grip while keeping hands comfortable. They are powder free so there is no powder residue left on your hands.  We carry Gloveworks Nitrile gloves in both black and fluorescent orange. The orange color can be an important part of PPE wear, especially in environments like automotive garages and manufacturing where lighting might not always be as bright.  The hi visibility color makes workers more visible and even helps each worker to be more aware of the placement of their hands as they work.

Gloveworks Heavy Duty Nitrile Gloves Available in Two Colors:

Gloveworks Orange Nitrile Gloves          Gloveworks Black Nitrile Gloves

Safety Wear

The spring and summer seasons are also road construction seasons and keeping workers safe is high priority.  Many people have questions about which safety wear is needed for what jobs and what requirements the safety wear needs to meet.   ANSI/ISEA  is a voluntary industry standard which  specifies the requirements expected for high-visibility safety wear for construction workers, utility workers, landscaping, and fire fighters.

There are many different types of safety wear including safety headware, safety vests, safety pants, jackets and shirts.  Depending on the type of work being performed, persons in construction or otherwise high traffic areas should be aware of the the three levels of high visibility apparel standards.

Class 1 Safety Wear: Appropriate where there is plenty of separation of workers from vehicle traffic and where the work area is not complex.  Additionally, traffic speeds are not expected to exceed 25 mph in these areas. This class of safety wear are often seen on parking service personnel, warehouse staff, and those doing shopping cart or sidewalk maintenance.

Class 2 Safety  Wear:  Appropriate when work activities take place closer to traffic and where these activities may divert worker attention from approaching traffic with speeds exceeding 25 mph. The Class 2 safety apparel is often seen in greater than 25 mph construction zones, parking and tollway personnel, school crossing guards, airport grounds personnel and those directing traffic.

Class 3 Safety Wear: Appropriate for workers who are exposed to higher vehicle speeds and/or reduced sight distances.  The worker must be visible throughout body movement and must be identifiable as a person at a distance of 1,280 feet away.  These garments provide the best visibility with lots of extra reflective surface and they must have sleeves with retroreflective material between the shoulder and arm to make movement more noticeable.   These are often used by railway workers, roadway construction staff, vehicle operators and accident site investigators.

There are several different colors to choose from when it comes to safety wear.  The flourescent yellow green is thought to be the most visible color for dusk and dawn when there is less light.  It can also provide some contrast for those in work zones with orange traffic cones and safety equipment.  The flourescent orange color is also a very popular color and has good contrast for areas that have more foliage.  This is typically the safety color in work zones.  However, if you are trying not to blend in with a plethora of other orange safety equipment then as stated above, the flourescent yellow green may be a better choice.

If you still have questions about which safety apparel to order, give us a call at (877) 966- 1018 and we can help answer your questions.