Thursday 25 October 2012

NFPA 70E Update

Posted by at 3:20 PM

NFPA 70E Update

The 2012 Edition of NFPA 70E has been published and there are a large number of changes. There are a few key changes related to arc flash protective apparel. The most notable are:

First the terms Arc Rated & AR have replaced Flame-Resistant & FR. This is an attempt to prevent the use of garments using fabrics that use the term FR but have not actually been tested to establish an arc rating. This was done because there are flame-resistance tests used for products like draperies that are not suitable of arc protection but have been sold as “FR.” Users therefore assumed they provide protection against electric arc flashes. The change does not require a garment be labeled as AR versus FR but does require the garment to have been arc tested and adhere to ASTM F1506 which requires it to be labeled with the arc rating (cal/cm² or EBT.)

The standard now states that flammable synthetic fabrics, zipper tape and findings shall not be used. Previously it only referred to synthetic fabrics, not findings. This was done to specifically address the use of none FR zipper tape and other findings that could fail in an arc flash event.