Industrial electricians know and understand the hazards of working on energized circuits. Arc flash is a hazard that can quickly turn deadly or, at the least, permanently alter a person’s quality of life. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is always necessary to reduce the risks and adverse effects of an arc flash. It has continued to develop over the years through changes in technology and materials. Historically, though, arc flash PPE is hot and bulky, causing restricted movement and difficulty in performing tasks. 

The Challenge

Arc flash PPE includes the use of a fire-retardant hood or face shield. Here is a story we hear often:

As an electrician preparing to work on an energized circuit, you must don your arc flash PPE. That PPE may include a full-coverage hood, and you know that wearing it in the summer heat and humidity is stifling. The only available air is what is trapped in your hood. Your head begins to sweat profusely, and it drips onto your safety glasses and on the window of the hood. Every time you exhale, the window catches the condensation and fogs your view, distorting your vision while you’re working on sensitive energized components. That fog is on the inside of the hood and cannot be readily wiped or cleaned. Your neck will start aching from the additional weight and positioning of the hood, and your head pounds from little or no airflow. If that isn’t enough, the bulky protective clothing is also causing a rise in your body core temperature to heat illness levels.

Another concern is that your face shield or hood may not be manufactured as an integral part or set with the remaining arc flash clothing, but rather sold as accessories or replacement parts. This means a person must take additional precautions to ensure all the protective components are compatible with each other and provide the required protective levels.

The Dream Solution

So, what if:

As you prepare to perform energized work, you have a lift-front arc flash hood?

Your new hood has ventilation slots in the front to allow fresh air in and exhaled air to exit without fogging the window or your safety glasses. There are additional ventilation and auditory slots on each side near your ears to enhance radio or verbal transmissions so you can hear clearly. The exterior of the hood window is made of anti-abrasion-coated polycarbonate for high-impact protection with an anti-fog interior coating. The window or lens is a full-face view, offering a clear, non-distorted vision of the work in front of you.

In your dream solution, the window of the shield lifts when out of danger from the energized circuits to reduce the need of removing PPE for those short communication breaks or to access drinking water to remain hydrated. This innovative process offers convenience, efficiency, and ensures compliance.

There are two detent positions when lifting it – one that allows you to simply nod your head to replace it back in protective mode and a second vertical position that keeps the window up. A simple hand tug from the upright position will bring it back down. Either way, the window will latch with a ‘click’ in the down position yet can easily be released with a double-gloved hand.

If working in extreme temperature conditions, there is a second inner lens option that can be installed without tools and maintains a clear view with no fogging. The brackets and shield assembly are “integrated,” meaning all parts are compatible and match the intended calorie rating for the system. The parts are clearly labeled with the calorie rating so if a part requires replacing, you know which integrated part goes with the remaining components.

The Real Solution

Meet the Lift-Front Arc Shield, offered by Mechanix Wear/CPA. The features and benefits noted in the above dream solution became reality because of our working closely with front-line electricians to get input on the design and feedback on the prototype. It is manufactured in the USA, so there are no worries about purchasing compromised or poor-quality parts from other countries.

Our Lift-Front Arc Shield is just one component of our innovative PYRAD® technology arc flash kit. Customer reviews of these kits have exceeded our expectations. The PYRAD® technology by GORE-TEX LABS allows the wearer to be protected in arc flash environments with a single layer material, making the garments 50% lighter than competitor entry-level garments and 20% lighter than the competitor premium garments. This weight difference is critical to offering lighter weight, greater movement, and comfort for performing energized tasks.

The PYRAD® clothing also improves compliance as workers are more comfortable with longer stay times and reduced risk of overheating. Get your front-line electricians into the discussion by requesting samples so they can experience the difference PYRAD® technology makes in job performance!

The PYRAD® Clothing and Lift-Front Shield Pre-Packaged Kit is available now. It is a perfect choice for defense personnel and industrial workers, protecting them from heat, flame, and arc flash hazards.

Request your sample, and experience the protection, comfort, and function of our most innovative arc flash equipment!