The latest face protection products for electrical workers
Thousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection/use of eye and face protection. In fact, eye injuries cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation. OSHA requires employers to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment, which can include providing eye and face protection. Updated in April 2010, ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010 establishes performance criteria and testing requirements for devices used to protect the eyes and face from injuries from impact, non-ionizing radiation, and chemical exposure in workplaces and schools. It covers all types of protector configurations, including spectacles, goggles, face shields, welding helmets, and full face piece respirators. Because this update is relatively new, to be compliant with OSHA regulations, employers can use products that meet ANSI Z87.1-1989 or ANSI Z87.1-2003. However, most choose to replace products in an effort to move toward adoption of the latest version of the standard. For additional information on eye protection, see the January 2011 “Eye on Safety,” which focuses on safety glasses/goggles. There’s also a helpful OSHA e-tool to help you determine if you’re wearing the proper eye/face PPE for your workplace and a safety checklist that serves as a refresher on how to protect your eyesight while on the job.
Chemical-Resistant Face Shields
A high-impact, chemical-resistant face shield made from Tritan copolyester for industrial applications is now available, thanks to a collaborative effort between Bullard, Eastman Chemical Company, and Spartech. According to the company, using this new material provides users with a single face shield for meeting high-impact strength and chemical-resistant requirements, offering improved durability and clarity while avoiding vision-impairing scratches that can be caused by flying debris. Tritan copolyester meets ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 2010 standard for eye and face protection and is available on all of the company’s face shields and visors.
Constructed of tough thermoplastic for superior heat protection, the Sperian Protecto-Shield provides face shield protection with PresLock or Ratchet suspension adjustable headgear (fits most commonly used visors). Designed with a chemical splash drip edge to prevent fluids from splashing down inside the visor, the product features a ratchet headband with tension knob that allows easy sizing and adjustment for individual visor positioning and a pinlock headband that provides adjustments similar to a baseball cap. Offered in propionate, polycarbonate, and acetate for a variety of environments, the shield features easy attachment without snaps, posts, or levers and offers a reinforced edge to resist cracking. According to the company, the universal hole pattern allows the use of Sperian visors with other popular manufacturers’ headgear.
The Elvex FaceGuard arc shield featured on the Tectra helmet helps protect electrical workers working in high-voltage environments against arc flash hazards. Product features include an ATPV rating of 12 cal/cm² and a molded light green polycarbonate face shield with absorbers. Meeting NFPA 70E-2008, Risk Category 2 ratings (required to be worn with safety cap) and ANSI Z87.1 standard (requiring users to wear safety glasses under face shields), the arc shield provides an anti-fog coating, chin guard protector, and 99% UV protection. The Tectra helmet and black visor bracket are optional.
Arc Suit Hood
Suitable for electrical contractors, engineers, plant and facility maintenance workers, high-voltage machine operators, and electrical field service technicians, the Magid ARC44LEH HRC4 full olive hood with hard cap and light-enhanced face shield (for improved vision) is one component of the A.R.C. UltraLite HRC4 suit. Manufactured using an advanced Nor*Fab synthetic fiber blend, these 44 cal/cm² arc suits provide the highest category level of arc flash protection, according to the company. Inherently flame-resistant, all components comply with NFPA 70E-HRC 4 and meet ASTM F1506-02A and ASTM F1959M/F1959M-99 safety standards.
Magid Glove & Safety
Users are protected from low level arc flash hazards with the new ArcFlash Face Shield System. According to the company, this product features a specially formulated anti-fog 0.060-in. molded polycarbonate window (which is more scratch-resistant than propionate), maintains its shape, and provides excellent optical clarity and color definition. Offering users an arc rating of 9.9 cal/cm², this face shield meets ANSI Z87.1+ high-impact standards, ASTM F-2178-06, and NFPA 70E-2009 standards.
Sellstrom Mfg. Co.
First used by the military, Defog It works in tough workplace environments where heat, cold, humidity, and exertion cause safety eyewear to fog up. According to the company, this product, available as a liquid or reusable cloths, is safe and effective on safety glasses, goggles and face shields, among many other uses. Based on rigorous lab testing, the company maintains that a lens treated with Defog It was held over constant hot steam for 60 min. without fog forming while similar products failed in as little as 5 min.. In another test, it claims that lenses coated with Clarity Defog It were moved between cold and hot environments 100 times without fog forming.
Defog It by Nanofilm