Arc Flash PPE and COVID-19

March 19, 2020

The article explains how sharing PPE can be at higher risk of being exposed to the Coronavirus, and goes on to discuss how long the virus survives on PPE and how it can be cleaned properly. See the link below to the full article.

How the electrical industry must work together to reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Sharing is not caring… when it comes to arc flash PPE. For decades, workers have been sharing arc flash personal protective equipment, including suits, hoods and face shields but — to protect the safety and health of our workers — this age-old practice must stop immediately.

Workers who share PPE are at a higher risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. In this regard, sharing is not caring. Actually caring about our workers requires employers to issue individually assigned equipment. Any PPE, tools, or equipment that must be shared among workers must first be cleaned and disinfected before each use.

The best way to protect workers from cross-contamination is to stop sharing arc flash PPE. Suit hoods and face shields are particularly high-risk due to their proximity to the worker’s mouth and nose. Every time you exhale, cough, or sneeze, your bodily fluids can be deposited onto the interior surface of the shield and/or fabric. Even outerwear garments, such as suit coats, can become contaminated when workers dutifully and conscientiously cough or sneeze into their arm. The safest solution is to individually assign all arc flash PPE, and prohibit workers from sharing any PPE that cannot be effectively cleaned and disinfected before each use…

“… the safest, most effective way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and keep our workers healthy is to individually assign arc flash PPE to every worker requiring it. We must all work together to help stem the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Click here for the full article “Stop Sharing Arc Flash PPE” from EC&M.

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