Protecting the Workers of the Pulp & Paper Industry

Paulson paper mill PPE

The Pulp & Paper industry comprises companies that use wood as raw material and produce pulp, paper, paperboard and other cellulose-based products. Today, there are over 565 pulp & paper manufacturing facilities in the U.S., making this industry one of the world’s largest and oldest. With the advent of digitization, one can be excused for assuming that this industry is on the decline. On the contrary, this industry continues to grow despite the declining demand for graphic paper. Products like packaging, tissue and hygiene products are fueling the growth of this industry.

Through the power of water, pulp and control technology, paper mills can make products for a variety of different functions. While this may sound simple, the papermaking process is very complex, requiring several moving parts. In order to create a safe and effective work environment, employees of this industry must be able to identify the occupational hazards that are present, which include:


  • Combustible Dust – Fiber dust, which is produced during the papermaking process, piles up on the ground and machinery. When airborne, this creates an explosion hazard and can also cause respiratory problems if inhaled by workers.


  • Hazardous Chemicals – The papermaking process incorporates a wide range of hazardous chemicals. To avoid injury, it’s important that all substances are properly labeled, and the appropriate PPE is worn to avoid injuries upon exposure. Shower and eyewash locations should be properly marked and located in each employee workstation.


  • Heat Stress – Hot surfaces and high temperatures are common hazards inside papermills due to the amount of friction and steam produced during the papermaking process. Without the proper ventilation, employees can quickly succumb to the effects of heat stroke if the proper precautions aren’t taken. By encouraging work/rest cycles, along with providing a cool down station, employees can react quickly once they recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion coming on.


  • Pinch Points – Areas where a person or their body parts can become caught or crushed by a machine are referred to as pinch points. Injuries can happen when a person becomes caught between two moving machinery parts or between a stationary object and a moving part.


  • Sharp Surfaces – When working on or around machinery, employees must be aware of sharp edges and surfaces. Blades and moving fabric on machines can cause scratches, cuts and even amputations. With most cutting occurring on the hands, it’s critical for employees to have proper hand protection.


  • Slips, Trips & Falls – Water mixed with paper scraps left on the ground can lead to slippery walking surfaces. Other factors such as broken railings and the misuse of equipment can contribute to the rate of employee falls in a facility. By utilizing the proper fall protection equipment, slip-resistant footwear and PPE, the impact of the fall is greatly reduced, if not prevented altogether.


As experts in face & eye protection, Paulson offers a variety of industrial face shields designed to protect the workers of the pulp & paper industry. These include our transparent nylon face shields for extreme heat applications, as well as our chemical splash face shields for dealing with the hazardous chemicals present in paper mills.

Many pulp & paper workers must handle smelt in their daily operations. A bi-product of the papermaking process, smelt is a molten, paste-like substance that commonly reaches temperatures of about 500° Fahrenheit. Not only do these workers need adequate protection from the extreme heat, but also from potential splash hazards from the smelt. Our IM23-N6F high heat nylon face shield is designed to stand up to these types of extreme heat applications. Not only does the nylon material stand up to extreme heat better than any other plastic material, but the chin protector adds added protection against molten smelt splash.

Chemicals also present a constant hazard for papermill workers. On average, the papermaking process involves about 200 different chemicals, each presenting various hazard risks. Our IM22-T6F-V2 face shield for chemical hoods is extremely resistant to acids, bases and hydrocarbons, all of which are prevalent in the pulp & paper industry.

With over 72 years of experience in protecting industrial workers, Paulson Mfg. has been on the cutting edge of industrial face & eye protection for the most severe applications. Our high heat nylon face shields and chemical splash face shields can be found in paper mills across the U.S. As mentioned above, chemicals and extreme heat are common hazards that these workers face every day. The innovation we put into these highly specialized face shields is a direct result of the feedback we receive directly from the workers themselves. When it comes to the severe environments found in the pulp & paper industry, you cannot settle for less-than-adequate PPE.

For more info on how Paulson Mfg. is enhancing the safety of the pulp & paper industry, please contact us today! 


How We are Helping in the Fight Against Coronavirus



COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus, has been spreading around the world despite efforts to contain it. China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy have all taken various steps to quarantine and shut down regions where the spread has been noticeably fast. While many cases have been mild, and seasonal influenza remains a more immediate threat, there’s no doubt that the unknown nature of the coronavirus’s spread, effects, and life span has people worried, with countries trying to keep people safe

One tactic to reduce the chances of becoming ill is to use protective gear. Face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) such as respirators and gloves place a barrier between the wearer and external pathogens. 

Paulson Manufacturing makes IDC (infectious disease control) face shields and goggles that medical personnel and others can use to reduce the spread of the disease. Due to very high demand, we have ramped up production and are producing 1 million IDC products per month to help supply China and other countries with the protection their healthcare workers need.

Paulson Provides China with Additional Protective Equipment

Chinese officials faced a tough situation: They needed masks and other protective gear, but workers were staying home, and cities were under quarantine—meaning people weren’t getting to work, and companies couldn’t produce enough gear on their own. The solution lay in the existing business relationships with Paulson Manufacturing, which has previously manufactured items like face shields for Chinese industrial workers & first responders. Chinese hospital officials asked chief executive Roy Paulson about manufacturing additional protective face gear to combat the spread of coronavirus.

China had good reason to worry about providing health care workers with protection; they made up a huge percentage of the people who became infected with SARS in 2003. The officials did not want a repeat of that with coronavirus.

Paulson Manufacturing stepped up to the plate and increased production to 10 times our normal capacity, producing goggles and face shields that still met  our quality standards. Paulson’s IDC products are now helping medical professionals and staff in China and other countries protect themselves from coronavirus as they help patients.


Paulson Manufacturing Infectious Disease Control PPE

Paulson Manufacturing takes quality and protection seriously. Our IDC face shields & goggles are meant to fit very snugly, yet not form a complete seal. They have an anti-fog coating, allowing the wearer to see clearly without the need to remove them, which could potentially expose the wearer to pathogens in respiratory droplets, splashes, and sprays. The goggles create a highly effective barrier to prevent disease transmission, cutting infections in one study from 34% to 5% of health care workers.

Face shields provide more complete protection as they protect the entire face on the front and sides, rather than just the eyes. If someone wears goggles, they can still end up with pathogen-carrying droplets on their cheeks, for example; however, if they wear a face shield, they protect their entire face from potential exposure. Another advantage to using face shields is that droplets can’t get onto the person’s face by traveling around the edges of the shield. The face shield can also be worn in combination with the goggle underneath.


Protect Yourself with Top-of-the-Line Equipment 

Given the unknowns about coronavirus, health care workers need protection that is more than just adequate. China recently announced that some Wuhan patients who had recovered from the virus were still testing positive and would be quarantined upon release from the hospital, which shows just how difficult the fight to contain and stop the spread of the virus may turn out to be.

Paulson Manufacturing is determined to provide excellent protection for workers against coronavirus and other infectious diseases. Contact us for more information about goggles and face shields to protect your employees and contractors as researchers learn more about coronavirus.

Polycarbonate PPE Products & BPA: What You Need to Know

paulson-prop-65-bpaAs a plastics injection molding company, Paulson Mfg. uses a variety of plastic materials to make products like face shields, goggles, cap brackets and countless other items. Many of our PPE products, including most face shields and goggle lenses, are made from polycarbonate. This plastic material has several benefits, including high impact resistance, high temperature resistance and compatibility with higher quality protective coatings than other plastic materials. Used in arc flash protective face shields for electrical workers, gold coated face shields for steel mill workers, and riot protection shields for law enforcement & military, polycarbonate has proven to be a very reliable material in some of the most extreme environments.

An Introduction to BPA

Polycarbonate contains the now well-known chemical bisphenol A, otherwise known as BPA. This industrial chemical has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Without BPA, polycarbonate would not be the versatile material it is – an important tool for lightweight mobility, sustainable building and other major challenges facing us this century. Polycarbonate and BPA as its component have been used safely for more than 50 years, and BPA is one of the most thoroughly examined chemicals.

CA Prop. 65 & BPA Safety

California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly referred to as Proposition 65, requires the State of California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive harm.  The law also requires businesses to inform Californians about exposures to these chemicals and designates a clear procedure for adding chemicals to the list. Since it was first published in 1987, the Proposition 65 list has grown to include more than 950 chemicals.

At a public meeting in May 2015, the State of California’s Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC) unanimously determined that BPA was clearly shown to cause harm to the female reproductive system. This action added BPA to the Proposition 65 list of chemicals, effective May 11, 2015.

As with other materials, there is some potential for extremely small amounts of BPA to migrate from the material to its surrounding, for example from packaging to food. But if this were to happen, numerous studies show that the quantities are far below any safety-based limits set by relevant government bodies. The low – thus safe – consumer exposure has been reconfirmed just recently by the EFSA.

BPA Risk Exposure from Paulson Mfg. Products


The type of BPA exposure a worker or first responder might have from one of our polycarbonate products would be dermal exposure. In other words, contact with the skin. While there have been numerous government studies on the danger of ingesting BPA, there has not yet been a government study measuring the BPA risk level from dermal exposure. However, most experts agree that the amount of BPA exposure through dermal contact would be far below a level that is considered harmful.

Paulson Mfg. will continue to make world-class “Products to Protect People”™, many of which are made from polycarbonate. As a company dedicated to the safety of those who use our products, we will continue to comply with California Proposition 65 requirements and notify customers of any change in product content.

Contact Us today for more information on polycarbonate or BPA.




SHOT Show® 2020 Right Around the Corner

shot-show-2020-paulson-manufacturingIt’s that time of year again. The holidays are over, everyone is ready to start attacking 2020, and the NSSF® SHOT Show® in Las Vegas is about to kick off! This annual event is the largest trade show in the world for target shooting, hunting, outdoor and law enforcement products. In it’s 42nd year, and 11th year straight at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, the Shooting, Hunting & Outdoor Tradeshow (SHOT Show®) will be taking place from January 21 – 24, 2020.

Owned and sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the SHOT Show® will feature:

  • Over 60,000 attending industry professionals from the firearms and outdoor industries, as well as military & law enforcement professionals
  • More than 1,600 exhibiting companies (over 2,400 when including the Suppliers Showcase and the Pop-Up Preview)
  • Over 692,000 net square feet of exhibit space—equivalent to nearly 16 acres

Attendance to SHOT Show® is restricted to the shooting, hunting and outdoor trade, and commercial buyers and sellers of military, law enforcement and tactical products & services only. The show is not open to the public, and no one under age 16 is admitted.

As always, Paulson Mfg. will attend SHOT Show® this year. Though we will not be exhibiting, we will be interfacing with many of our valuable customers and getting critical feedback on their needs in terms of product innovation and protection. This feedback is vital to our commitment to continuous improvement research & development.

With that said, a hot topic of discussion for us at this year’s SHOT Show® will revolve around our upcoming riot face shield w/ laser protective visor. As we’ve seen in recent years, particularly in the 2019 protests in Hong Kong, protesters and rioters are using laser pointers as weapons against tactical officers. Not only can this seriously damage the officers’ eyes, but it can disorient and incapacitate them while trying to keep the peace. Paulson Mfg. has a solution currently in development that will solve this problem. Using our DK6 Riot Face Shield, which is by far our best-selling line of riot face shields, we are designing a flip-front visor to attach to the outside of the DK6. While in the deployed position, the flip-front visor will block all major types of laser pointers, including red, green, blue and infrared light. The visor will allow the officer to see red, green, blue and infrared laser beams and identify where it’s coming from while protecting their eyes from any of the damaging or disorienting effects. We hope to have this great new product innovation available before summer of 2020, so stay tuned!

Another topic of discussion at SHOT Show® will be our recently launched Level IIIA Ballistic Transparent Handheld Shield. Certified by HP White Laboratory, Inc. and capable of stopping 5 rounds point blank from a .44 Magnum or .9 mm, the shield allows for perfect visibility while offering maximum protection. With dimensions of 12 x 24”, the shield is compact enough to be operated with one hand, allowing the other hand to be free to use a firearm. Ideal for forced entry, SWAT and other special operations, this shield offers the protection that tactical operators need while allowing the visibility to see their surroundings and any perpetrators they might be engaged with. Already in production, this shield is readily available and will be specially discounted for any orders placed during SHOT Show®!

Paulson Mfg. has been making high quality tactical PPE for law enforcement & military for decades. Whether it’s our riot face shields, handheld body shields or tactical goggles, we’ve been on the cutting edge of providing a level of protection to tactical operators that is second to none.

The Paulson Mfg. team will be walking the show from Tuesday 1/22/20Thursday 1/24/20.

Contact Us today to set an appointment to discuss your tactical PPE needs. Hope to see you there!

The Recent Growth of The Arc Flash PPE Market

paulson-arc-flash-ppeAccording to a new research report released by the Global Market Insights, Inc., the electrical safety personal protective equipment (PPE) market is expected to exceed US$20 billion by 2025. This growth trend is the result of several factors, including an increasing focus on safety in the workplace and desire for greater comfort and enhanced product aesthetics. These demands significantly influence the development and adoption of more innovative personal protective equipment, driving the growth of the electrical PPE market, including for arc flash applications.

Why Is the Arc Flash PPE Market Growing?

There are several reasons for the current expansion of the arc flash PPE market, including:

Increases in Employer Commitment to Safety

Until relatively recent, arc flash was thought of as “the other electrical hazard”, even though electricity had been in use since the late 1800s, resulting in research on this electrical event only beginning within the past few decades. Although arc flash injuries are not as common as those related to shock, treating arc flashes as a secondary risk remains a contributing factor to injuries and fatalities, particularly in the construction industry. As employers increasingly focus on protecting their employees from electrical injury, spreading awareness of the risks of arc flash and the proper PPE required serves as a crucial element of any complete electrical safety program.

Revisions in Industry Standards Calling for Enhanced PPE

In 2018, the release of IEEE 1584-2018 revised the processes, calculations, and formulas used for hazard analyses. These new calculations indicate higher incident energy levels for horizontal conductors within a metal box (HCB) and vertical conductors that terminate in an insulating barrier within a metal box (VCBB), which may necessitate significant changes to existing electrical safety programs, including PPE requirements.

Updates to OSHA Requirements Regarding Electrical PPE

OSHA 1910.137 outlines the requirements for electrical protective equipment used in various processes. Along with other stringent safety regulations, this standard serves as a primary driving force for the growth in the electrical PPE market.

The increasing focus on safety across the board also spurred the Department of Labor to hire more compliance officers to perform facility inspections and ensure the PPE employed meets the necessary standards. Combined with the OSHA’s improved targeting capabilities, certified agencies are better able to crack down on employers who are not prioritizing safety in the workplace.

Worker Demands for Better PPE Products


paulson-arc-flash-ppeBoth employers and employees understand the risk of performing electrical operations without proper protection. In asking employees to do their jobs with subpar protective equipment, employers increase the likelihood that their workers will search for employment elsewhere. Although non-compliance with industry and regulatory safety standards may not be the primary reason for this higher rate of attrition, non-compliant employers fail to live up to worker expectations and give off the impression that their workers are not valued. As such, it is in their best interest to comply with all applicable standards and provide employees with the proper PPE.

Paulson Manufacturing: Providing Industry-leading Arc Flash Protection Products

The growth of the electrical safety personal protective equipment market stems from:

  • Increasing employer focus on/employee demand for adequate safety protocols and protections
  • Changing industry standards and procedures

These factors highlight the need for PPE that better suits consumer demand, driving the market to develop and deliver the desired products. At Paulson Manufacturing, we help fulfill PPE market demand with high-quality protective solutions, including for electrical workers.

To learn more about our arc flash PPE product offerings, contact us or request a quote.

The Paulson Run Down: Fire Goggles 101

paulson-firefighter-ppeFirefighters rely on a wide range of personal protective equipment to do their job safely and effectively, including proper eyewear. Without appropriate safety goggles, firefighters can be blinded by smoke during crucial moments, or suffer eye damage from debris or heat exposure. To avoid these risks, goggles must meet the stringent manufacturing standards put forth by the NFPA, ANSI, and other government and regulatory bodies before they are deemed suitable for use by firefighters.

Ensuring proper eye protection is vital in protecting the eyes of those who protect us. At Paulson Manufacturing, we are proud to be a long-time manufacturer of quality safety gear for firefighters.

Essential Equipment

While many occupations come with serious safety concerns, firefighters face dozens of workplace dangers each and every day. In addition to the obvious physical risks of fighting fires, eye hazards are commonplace for firefighters as they respond to automobile accidents, provide emergency medical assistance to patients, and more.

Wearing proper safety equipment is crucial in any high-risk occupation, but especially for firefighters who face a potentially life-threatening situation each time the alarm sounds. Aside from the intense heat produced by fires, firefighters encounter a multitude hazards, such as:

  • Smoke and ash
  • Wood chips or debris from chainsaws
  • Bloodborne pathogens
  • Flying glass, plastic and metal during vehicle extrication
  • HAZMAT exposure

Types of Goggles

Proper protective gear reduces the chance for injury on the job. Paulson Manufacturing has a wide variety of fire goggles, face shields, and accessories which comply with NFPA regulations and standards to adequately protect firefighters without inhibiting their performance.

Structural Series

Paulson’s A-TAC® Firefighter Structural goggles include six different models designed for firefighters which meet all NFPA 1971,1977, 1951 performance specifications, as well as ANSI Z87.1 standards. Capable of withstanding 500° F for more than five minutes, these goggles feature a fog-resistant interior and a hard-coated exterior. With an extensive lineup of parts and accessories, including strap attachments for structural fire helmets,  A-TAC® Firefighter Structural Series goggles provide total functionality for all structural fire situations.

Wildland Series

Meeting the strict requirements of NFPA 1977 and ANSI Z87.1 standards, the Wildland goggle series from Paulson is specifically designed to meet the needs of the woodland firefighter. These goggles pass 350° F heat exposure tests and display anti-fog features on the interior, as well as a hard-coated exterior. Again, a variety of parts and accessories, including protective mylar lens covers, replacement lenses and straps, and strap attachments for front-brim and full-brim wildland fire helmets make these a versatile tool for any firefighter tasked with battling wildfires or other open-air fires.

IDC Face Shields and Goggles

Designed for the EMT and first responder, Paulson Manufacturing also provides protective gear to defend firefighters and EMTS from exposure to pathogens and infectious diseases. Inexpensive and disposable, these products help prevent contact from splashing, smoke, and airborne particulate matter.


Trust in Paulson

At Paulson Manufacturing, nothing is more important to us than your trust, reliance, and confidence. As such, we strive to provide the highest quality safety and protective gear to safeguard our emergency services personnel and help saves lives.

Contact Us Today to hear more about how the expert staff at Paulson Manufacturing can help protect your firefighters.

What You Need to Know; Selecting the Right PPE

paulson-firefighter-ppePersonal protective equipment (PPE) finds application across a wide range of industrial occupations and work environments. As employees in these situations are often exposed to hazardous conditions, it is critical to equip them with the proper PPE to minimize the risk of injury or death.

Selecting the right equipment, however, is more complicated than it sounds. Environmental hazards vary drastically between industries and between industrial job sites. Even in the same work environment, employees with different roles experience different working conditions, and, consequently, different hazards.

To account for these variables, we recommend a multi-faceted safety evaluation before making any PPE selection. This process includes a comprehensive assessment of both potential workplace hazards and applicable safety regulations.

Conducting a Hazard Assessment


It’s impossible to protect employees against workplace dangers if you haven’t first identified those dangers. The goal of a hazard assessment is to evaluate what risks are present so you can work toward mitigating them

To conduct a hazard assessment, you should assemble a collaborative team drawn from different departments, including a disinterested party whenever possible. This team will need to work together to define the following for each employee position:

  • What tasks do they perform?
  • What risks and hazards do those tasks pose?

Once you’ve identified every potential source of danger, you’ll then need to decide if and what type of PPE is the right solution to protect employees. Consider if it’s possible to remove or minimize the hazard such as by altering procedures, equipment, or employee schedules. If elimination or minimization is not feasible, you can then move on to the PPE selection process.

Assess Local and National Safety Legislation

While a hazard assessment uncovers most of the information required to choose appropriate PPE, it’s also essential to verify what safety regulations apply to your workplace. In many cases, you’ll be required by law to use or provide particular forms of PPE if you work with certain tasks or materials. 

Your geographic region will determine what regulations you need to follow. In the United States, all companies are bound by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards. The specific regulations for PPE are outlined in Regulation 1910 Subpart I, which identifies the industry standards for protective equipment such as ANSI/ISEA standards for face and eye protection. 

PPE Offerings from Paulson Manufacturing

paulson-arc-flash-ppeBy the end of the hazard assessment and regulatory standard review processes, you should have identified a specific list of necessary personal protective equipment for your workplace. Once you reach this stage, it’s time to turn to Paulson.

For 70 years, Paulson Manufacturing has served as an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of protective gear, providing protection solutions suitable for use in a wide range of industries. Our product range consists of comfortable, durable face shields and goggles, all of which meet applicable American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requirements.

Contact Us or Request A Quote to learn more about our PPE product offerings.

Paulson Manufacturing is an industry-leading designer and manufacturer of protective gear, including personal protective equipment (PPE), for use in a wide range of industries.

Paulson Manufacturing to Host Arc Fest During the NSC 2019 Expo

From all of us at Paulson Manufacturing: we are excited to announce that—during the 2019 National Safety Council Congress & Expo—we will be hosting Arc Fest!

This private, invite-only event is scheduled for 4 PM to 8 PM on September 10th at the Encore Room in the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego. The night will consist of appetizers, an open bar, and hourly prize drawings wit

h the highlight being a discussion led by Hugh Hoagland (CEO of ArcWear) on a topic that is near and dear to our hearts—arc flash safety.

What Is the NSC?

The National Safety Council (NSC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating preventable deaths through research, education, leadership, and advocacy. For over a century, the NSC has sought to use data-driven action to prevent injuries in the workplace, in the community, on the road, and at home. In particular, they focus on opioid usage, driving, automotive innovations, adolescent safety, worker safety, and fatigue. Additionally, they hold an annual safety conference to further spread awareness of their mission.

The NSC 2019 Congress & Expo will be held September 9th through the 11th in San Diego. As the world’s largest annual safety event, this conference offers safety, health, and environmental professionals networking opportunities and the education and tools they need to stay at the top of their fields. There will be dozens of professional development seminars on the subject of workplace safety, with session topics ranging from human behavior and safety to drug issues at work.

Why Arc Flash Safety?

arc-flash-ppeAcross industry, employees are at risk of injury or death due to a number of different work-related hazards. To minimize these risks, facility managers should invest in reliable, high-quality safety equipment.

Within the electrical industry, arc flash poses a serious risk to workers. An arc flash results from an arc fault—i.e., an electrical explosion or discharge that produces enormous amounts of force and energy, high temperatures, and intense light. The latter is known as an arc flash. When a

ny of these conditions occur, it can lead to substantial damage to equipment and facilities and significant injury to workers, including burns, nerve damage, or vision loss.

At Paulson Manufacturing, we understand the importance of offering reliable safety and protection products. To protect workers in high-risk electrical situations, our team crafts high-quality arc flash protective gear, including face shields, goggles, balaclavas, and accessories.

By hosting Arc Fest during the 2019 NSC Congress & Expo, we hope to spread awareness of the risks of arc flash and the available safety and protection solutions. We are excited to offer an engaging evening of enlightening conversation with peers and Hugh Hoagland and hope to see you all there!



Why Arc Flash Protection is a Must for Your Workforce

In the United States, roughly 2,000 individuals per year check in to burn centers as a result of arc flash injuries. 80% of these burn center visits are due to clothing fires, and the remaining 20% are to treat burns on bare skin. All—or at least, nearly all—of these injuries could have been avoided through the proper use of arc flash protection.

Work environments must promote employee safety, and facility managers should mitigate hazards as best as they can. If every electrical worker wears proper arc-rated PPE, the statistics above would shrink considerably. Electrical work requires highly trained and skilled professionals, and taking the steps to ensure that these individuals can be confident in their safety as they go about their jobs will make them even more effective.

What Is Arc Flash?

In order to understand arc flash, you must first understand arc faults. Arc faults are electrical discharges (explosions) characterized by two factors:

  • Extreme force and energy, referred to as arc blasts
  • High levels of temperature and brightness, referred to as arc flashes

Arc flash occurs when multiple electrical conductors with significant fault currents flowing through them are placed close together. This often results in instantaneous, violent, and costly explosions. Many arc faults cause millions of dollars worth of damage. Arc flashes, in particular, introduce several dangerous elements to workplaces, such as:

  • Pressure waves
  • High or sudden acoustic energy
  • Extreme thermal energy
  • Intense light

Many welders assume that using low-voltage equipment cuts down on the chances of arc flash. However, this is not the case. In fact, arc flash hazard levels may be higher at low voltages because of the high fault currents associated with operating in these conditions. The majority of incidents that occur within low-voltage systems can be traced back to human error.

Why Do You Need Arc Flash Protection?

Arc flash protection is critically important to preserving the safety of workers and bystanders. Arc flashes can induce a range of harmful effects on welders, including burns, blindness, electrocution, and ear damage. These flashes create extreme levels of heat, sometimes with temperatures exceeding thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. Molten metal and plasma may be ejected from the force of an explosion.

In many cases, arc flashes can completely destroy equipment and cause wider damage to facilities. Fires and short circuits are common problems associated with arc flashes, and employees and bystanders are at risk for violent injuries. Some individuals walk away from arc flashes with permanent damage to their vision and nerves. In other cases, flashes have even been known to create vaporizing conditions that impact buildings, objects, and people.

Arc Flash Protective Equipment

Having proper arc flash protection equipment in place is critical to preserving facility and employee safety. Safety gear should always meet governmental and third-party guidelines like OSHA and NFPA 70E.

The basic arc flash protection equipment that any facility should have on hand includes:

Safety glasses

  • Should be worn at all levels of electrical work

Ear protection

  • Required at all PPE category levels
  • Specific to ear inserts
  • Muff protection is not adequate, because arc blasts can strip these elements

Head protection

  • Nonconductive
  • Hard hats with ventilation penetration often aren’t rated for voltage and should be avoided

Hand protection

  • Heavy-duty leather gloves up to Category 2
  • AR gloves for Categories 3 and 4
  • Voltage-rated gloves with leather protectors are ideal

Safety shoes

  • Leather or non-exposed steel-tipped boots

Working With Paulson

For more than 60 years, Paulson has manufactured top-of-the-line safety solutions for the electrical industry. Our products help protect workers and keep operations at countless facilities running smoothly. We’ve worked hard to develop high-quality, custom-crafted arc flash face shields and helmets in order to provide the best possible equipment for welders across America. We craft all our safety gear to meet OSHA and NFPA 70E standards.

contact us today using this quick reference form to learn more about our products and personal protective equipment.

The Importance of Innovation in Personal Protective Equipment

As scientific and technological advances continue to improve manufacturing processes, it is important to remember that personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety training need to match the speed of these exciting developments. Although many new tools and methods have been introduced into the manufacturing industry over the past several years, human employees continue to be the most valuable resources on hand – and workers need to be safe in day to day operations.

When selecting a PPE manufacturer, it is critical to prioritize workplace safety above all else. Along with that, an ideal producer of protective equipment should also be at the forefront of product innovation.

The Benefits of Innovation

There are myriad advantages to selecting a provider that prioritizes innovation in the development and fabrication of PPE. Here are just a few:

  • Whether you innovate or not, your competitors certainly will. If you stay on the cutting edge of technology with the products and equipment you purchase for your operation, you will keep your company viable in a fierce market – and potentially even push ahead of the competition.
  • The safety of your employees should be the foundation of your business plan. You need to make it apparent to your employees that their safety is your number one priority. Investing in innovative personal protective equipment demonstrates just that.
  • As employees become more comfortable and confident in their safety in the workplace, productivity will increase and turnover will decrease.
  • Staying up to date on the latest developments in PPE technology will reduce on the job injuries, and also decrease insurance rates.

There are many benefits to PPE product innovation, both for your workers and for your company as a whole.

Advancements in PPE

Safety is always in demand. As such, PPE manufacturers strive to improve their products so that workers in hazardous fields can mitigate the various dangers of their operations. The following are just a sampling of advancements that have been made over the past several years:

  1. Comfort, flexibility, and productivity

Over the years, manufacturers have worked to make jumpsuits and other PPE more comfortable and less restrictive. Smarter designs now account for the comfort of workers and allow greater freedom of movement, enabling employees to be at their most productive throughout the day.

  1. High-visibility

At many companies, high-visibility clothing for most workers consists of a loose-fitting neon safety vest. However, loose clothing is not always appropriate in manufacturing settings. The risk of getting tangled or caught in live equipment is a cause for concern. Because of this, many manufacturers have incorporated high-visibility colors into their designs for overalls, T-shirts, jumpsuits, and other PPE products.

  1. Improved eye protection

Eye protection must do more than ward off projectiles. New eye protection solutions create a seal made of foam around the eyeglass frames to prevent particles of dust or other contaminants from getting near the eyes. It is also important that eye protection equipment does not interfere with the movements or vision of the wearer. For instance, anti-fog technology is a huge advantage for workers who need a clear field of vision.

How to Implement Innovation into Your Application

There are four basic ways that you can begin to implement PPE product innovation into your company’s day to day operations. These are:

  1. Examine how your company sources PPE. If the quality of your PPE equipment is sub-par, then a change of materials or a change of vendors should be seriously considered.
  2. Closely inspecting your current safety processes can yield insights into flaws and inefficiencies in the system. As you audit safety procedures, you can look for ways to streamline safety methods, cut costs, and increase production speed.
  3. Leadership must take an active, ongoing interest in introducing and overseeing safety initiatives. All too often companies become set in their ways when it comes to safety processes. However, management is responsible for staying informed on the latest advances in safety technology and methodology, and subsequently implementing new processes into daily operations.
  4. New technology allows companies to overhaul their current manufacturing processes, and change over to newer, safer, and more efficient systems.

Working with Paulson

At Paulson Manufacturing, we offer a wide range of advantages to customers seeking a PPE provider. These include:

  • In-house manufacturing and testing
  • Production/testing all conducted in North America
  • Custom design and engineering solutions that incorporate client’s brand and performance requirements
  • All products designed to exceed NFPA e70 compliance standards for PPE

For more information about selecting PPE that provides optimal protection and performance, contact us or give us a call at 847-855-9200. For more information on sourcing a manufacturer for your PPE solutions, download our free eBook, “6 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Optimal PPE Manufacturer.”