Hugh Hoagland is among the world's foremost experts on electrical arc testing and safety. His career change began with safety testing at LG&E Energy, later, he worked as R & D Director for NASCO, a manufacturer of protective outerwear solutions. He has helped develop most of the arc-resistant rainwear used in the world today as well as creating the first face shield to protect against electric arcs.
Before moving to full-time training and consulting. Hugh worked for Cintas developing their strategy for meeting the needs of OSHA 1910.269 and NFPA 70E standards before moving to full time training and consulting. He has helped development of legislation and standards in both the US and Europe. He sits on several industry committees and is a featured speaker at safety conferences and events.
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In 2012, both NFPA 70E and the NESC will change personal protective equipment (PPE) and give guidance to utilities and industrial electrical workers that they haven’t previously had. Under NESC 2007, low-voltage (LV) work in utilities had only basic coverage. If 4 cal/cm² arc flash PPE clothing was worn, the company was in compliance. There was no requirement to do an arc flash assessment if 4 cal/cm² clothing was used.
Identifying PPE Mistakes in Electric Arc Flash Programs
After a decade of electric arc testing, incident investigations and incident replications using electric arcs, a few lessons have emerged as critical in assessing a Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) program:
The following challenges will require strategies and decisions by utilities to comply with the NESC standard.
Two standards are needed to specify clothing for high visibility and flame resistance. Most companies in the U.S. choose ANSI 107 (for high visibility) and ASTM F1506 (for flame-resistance clothing complying with NFPA 70E or OSHA 1910.269). Citing both means you will have clothing (shirts and vests primarily) that are highly visible and arc- and flash-fire resistant. However, the flame-resistance side is often a weakness because of manufacturers or marketers who push “flame-resistant” standards that are misleading or outright deceptive.