Incident Prevention Magazine

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...

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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Hugh Hoagland

Best Practices for Arc-Rated Clothing Programs

Best Practices for Arc-Rated Clothing Programs

Many things have changed since 1994, when the first hint of arc-rated (AR) materials hit the utilities. Back then, the best practice was to wear cotton jeans, heavy cotton shirts and heavy cotton-shell winter wear. Other personal protective equipment (PPE) like rainwear illustrated an industry problem: There were not many good flame-resistant (FR) clothing options available. At the time, the only markets for FR garments were military, aviation and refineries. Non-melting rainwear was not really on the market since most “FR” rainwear at that time was made of nylon or polyester, which means it melted and thus didn’t meet OSHA requirements.

In the years immediately following the promulgation of the 1994 version of OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.269 standard, a few utilities began using AR shirts. However, in a 2001 IBEW survey, only 68 percent of utilities reported using AR shirts and rainwear. There was a false belief that cotton was somehow FR, but this was a misinterpretation of ASTM data provided to OSHA about heavy, 11-oz/yd² cotton. Any utility that had done calculations using ARCPRO – software that computes the thermal parameters of electrical arcs – knew it was basically impossible to justify not moving to AR garments given the available data. In the same IBEW survey, 70 percent of respondents reported using FR clothing – which was commonly used interchangeably with “AR clothing” at the time of the survey – as part of a uniform required by the company for which they worked. The tides were turning even then toward company-provided AR garments for line technicians.

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Hugh Hoagland

Five PPE Safety Challenges

Five PPE Safety Challenges

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.

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Hugh Hoagland

High Visibility and Arc Ratings for Flame Resistance

High Visibility and Arc Ratings for Flame Resistance

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.

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Hugh Hoagland

NESC 2007 FLAME RESISTANT CLOTHING

The NESC 2007 standard sets forth quite a challenge to electric and communication utilities in the area of clothing. The new standard, which becomes law in several states, says, "The employer shall require employees to wear clothing or a clothing system that has an effective arc rating not less than the anticipated level of arc energy." This compliance is required by January 1, 2009.
The following challenges will require strategies and decisions by utilities to comply with the NESC standard.
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Hugh Hoagland

Top Five PPE Mistakes

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:

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