LIFESAVING ARC FLASH CLOTHING
“If I wasn’t wearing my PPE, it probably would have been a different story.”
This Case Study focuses on the importance of wearing PPE clothing to protect against
Arc Flash in the construction and utilities industries when working around buried services – it could save your life, like it did Eddie’s.
A few years ago, an operative was using a jackhammer when he struck a low voltage electrical cable, which led to an Arc Flash incident.
Fortunately, Eddie was wearing suitable arc flash clothing and PPE which ended up saving his life and protecting him from and further and more significant injuries.
We were fortunate enough to meet with Eddie Smith, a Team Leader for construction firm, Clancy Docwra, and his colleagues to speak to them about the day, the incident itself and the importance of keeping people safe while at work.
HOW ARC FLASH PROTECTION SAVES LIVES
The video that ProGARM created in partnership with Clancy Docwra is to be used as part of internal training for their operatives and to better educate those working around live electricity, of the realities of the risks involved.
We thought it was too important not to show you, so please watch Eddie’s story below and feel free to share. https://youtu.be/LHifRi8MshA
Jim Eldred – Operation Manager at Clancy Docwra “I received a phone call mid to late morning from Eddie’s teammate. He informed me that Eddie had had an accident and that he had suffered injuries. I was informed that it was electric and that an ambulance was on route.
For me I was scared, I was pretty worried.”
Eddie’s Jackhammer had hit a live electrical cable.
Stephen Bainbridge – Field Performance Manager at Clancy Docwra “The first thing that runs through your mind is, is Eddie okay? And then you start thinking about his children – because he had a young family and a wife. having children myself, that was my concern for Eddie, is he going to come back from this, is he going to work again? As a team we took it quite badly..”
Eddie Smith “When the Arc Flash hit me – it went so fast. And then everything that happened after seemed to go in slow motion. There were these thoughts running through my head; the first one being obviously my little boy, but also my family and my job, and worry about the physical injuries.
“I had burns all the way up my hands, down my neck, inside my nose, mouth and around my face. But because I wear this PPE it didn’t touch my chest, legs or arms.”
“It’s one of those things you think is never going to happen to me, I know what I’m doing I’ve been doing it years – when it does its a massive shock to you and your family.”
Stephen Bainbridge – Field Performance Manager at Clancy Docwra “We need to get across that it’s not about money, it’s not about how many jobs you get done in a day – it’s about doing that job safely. Mostly. You have to wear this PPE. If you don’t wear it you could be dead with just one cable strike.
Eddie Smith “If I wasn’t wearing my PPE, it probably would have been a different story.”
On seeing the photos, Mark Lant, a Technical Expert at ProGARM said: “Obviously, we’d prefer it if Arc Flash incidents never occurred. However, the fact is they do, and we’re pleased to see our polo shirt performing as effectively in the field as it did in the lab. We wish the operative a speedy recovery from his other injuries.”
“It’s only when you see ProGARM’s Arc Flash garments in action like this that you realise how vital they are to saving lives in the field. We can perform every test available on our range of protective clothing, but to see real garments in real situations saving real lives is the ultimate proof of our success. When an Arc Flash incident occurs, we know that our protective garments are up to the job.”
Thankfully, Eddie made a full recovery in the end and is now back at work. Make sure that your team can do the same.
Remember, PPE is the last line of defence. Make sure you have safe working procedures in place before undertaking any work near live electricity.
Stay safe and don’t compromise.
By Thorne & Derrick International