Part 1 of 3: Electrical PPE Market Overview
When it comes to personal protective equipment (PPE) for electrical workers, GORE-TEX Professional Fabrics and Paulson Mfg. are two leading manufacturers that are synonymous with innovation, quality, and above all, a world-class level of protection. Arc rated GORE® PYRAD® fabrics and Paulson arc rated face shields and goggles have been trusted for years by electrical workers around the globe.
This three-part series will provide an overview of the electrical safety market in general, as well as give an in-depth look at the technology behind these two companies’ world-class arc flash safety products.
Electrical Safety PPE Market is Growing
The electrical safety PPE market is expected to exceed $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 protection.
Arc Flash Safety Standards Continue to Evolve
Until relatively recent, arc flash was thought of as “the other electrical hazard”. Even though electricity had been in use since the late 1800s, research on this electrical event only really began within the past few decades. Although arc flash injuries are not as common as those related to shock, treating arc flash 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.
With this increased level of awareness and education around the hazards of arc flash, national and international standards have evolved, with enhanced protection of the end-user as the driving force. The electrical safety standard in the United States, NFPA 70E, lays out the requirements for safe work practices to protect personnel by reducing exposure to major electrical hazards, including arc flash. Both GORE® PYRAD® Fabrics and Paulson arc flash safety products meet these rigorous standards both in the U.S. and overseas, with both companies regularly collaborating with the governing bodies that review and implement these standards.
End-User Feedback Drives Innovation
Providing optimal levels of safety will always be the primary objective for any electrical PPE manufacturer. However, enhanced comfort features—such as fabrics that are lighter weight and more breathable, and face shields that provide better visibility—provide value that cannot be understated. Legacy arc flash PPE was bulkier, heavier, less breathable, and less moveable than PPE available today. Not only did this make the end-user less comfortable but increased the likelihood that they would not wear their PPE due to this discomfort.
Both GORE-TEX Professional Fabrics and Paulson Mfg. offer products with features that keep the end-user in mind. Arc rated GORE® PYRAD® fabrics are used to manufacture the lightest weight 40-cal arc protection suit on the market, while providing unmatched breathability and moveability. The Paulson line of HT™ arc flash face shields offer superior color recognition and feature a nanoparticle formulation for improved durability. These types of features make the end-user more comfortable and increase the likelihood that they will wear their PPE, driving improved levels safety and compliance.
The innovation behind these arc flash safety products is driven by feedback directly from the end-user. The overwhelming sentiment within the electrical industry regarding PPE is that it needs to be lighter weight, more breathable, more moveable, and provide better visibility, all while protecting them from electrical hazards. This feedback is a vital component in the development of world-class arc flash safety gear, and the result is PPE that more workers will want to wear, allowing them to do their jobs effectively while remaining protected.
Next Up: In-Depth Look at Arc rated GORE® PYRAD® Fabrics
Be sure to read our second installment of this three-part series in a few weeks, which will take a deep dive into the technology behind the arc rated GORE® PYRAD® fabrics.
Please contact us today for more info on the next-gen arc flash PPE from GORE-TEX Professional Fabrics® and Paulson Mfg.