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EH rated, now ARC rated line boots?
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  1. #1
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    Question EH rated, now ARC rated line boots?

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    Our company is in the process of writing new policy on our line boots. It started out that an EH rating would be required. Now, they are talking about an Arc, or Flash rating too! Personally I think it is a little over kill. What is required at your companies?
    From what I can tell they are reading into the regs on Clothing, not footwear. No Nylon, Rayon, etc. allowed on the boot? Leather only. I have'nt heard of there being a rash of accidents where the lineman's boots were melted to there feet in a flash, but what do I know!
    What sucks is our boot allowance is 100 bucs a year.

  2. #2
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    I have never heard of an arc flash boot. Google did not turn up anything.
    You could ask over here http://www.arcflashforum.com/index.php.

  3. #3
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    No such thing as arc rated boots, they don't exist.

    I also think EH (Electrical Hazard) rated boots are a waste of money for utility line workers also. EH insulation protection is only good for low voltages up to 600V. They are intended for use by commercial/industrial electricians. If you need insulation for protection from step potentials then you need 10 or 20kV rated dielectric overshoes.
    I don't give em hell, I just tell the truth and they think it is Hell! - Truman

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wudwlkr View Post
    No such thing as arc rated boots, they don't exist.

    I also think EH (Electrical Hazard) rated boots are a waste of money for utility line workers also. EH insulation protection is only good for low voltages up to 600V. They are intended for use by commercial/industrial electricians. If you need insulation for protection from step potentials then you need 10 or 20kV rated dielectric overshoes.
    Here's the ANSI standard for EH rating:

    Electrical hazard (EH) footwear is manufactured with non-conductive electrical shock resistant soles and heals. It is intended to provide a secondary source of protection against accidental contact with live electrical circuits, electrically energized conductors, parts or apparatus. It must be capable of withstanding the application of 14,000 volts at 60 hertz for one minute with no current flow or leakage current in excess of 3.0 milliamperes, under dry conditions.

    So theoretically, it should be good for some primary voltages, when new. With that said, I wouldn't trust it over 480V after walking around in a metal strewn environment for months. And, since they are not 100% waterproof, I don't know how you would do regular dielectric testing on the boots. I'm sure the initial test only covers the sole and heel. At primary voltages, wet grass touching the leather part of the shoe could be game over.

    As far as arc rating goes, leather is usually considered sufficient for arc protection. That's why rubber with leather cover-ups don't have any further arc rating or requirement.


    Mark
    Last edited by busman; 02-25-2011 at 09:56 AM.

  5. #5
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    I understand the EH rating on boots and over-shoes for step potential.
    I am just not sold on Leather only for line boots because of Flash potential.
    If you are involved in a flash of that magnitude where your boots melt to your feet, wouldn't your fall arrest (that we also have just emplemented) like the Jelco, or Buck Squeeze be in jeopardy also? They also are made of synthetic material. I would imagine that if it was hot enough to melt your boots to your feet, it would melt your fall arrest, sending you to the ground!
    Are we really solving a Safety Issue here?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotwiretamer View Post
    I understand the EH rating on boots and over-shoes for step potential.
    I am just not sold on Leather only for line boots because of Flash potential.
    If you are involved in a flash of that magnitude where your boots melt to your feet, wouldn't your fall arrest (that we also have just emplemented) like the Jelco, or Buck Squeeze be in jeopardy also? They also are made of synthetic material. I would imagine that if it was hot enough to melt your boots to your feet, it would melt your fall arrest, sending you to the ground!
    Are we really solving a Safety Issue here?
    My understanding is that it's not so much about instant melting of the fabric to the feet. It's more about the instantaneous igniting of the fabric and its then continuing to burn. Things like leather do not ignite, so the flash is all there is. I would agree that the new synthetic climbing devices would go up like Christmas trees in an arc flash.

    Mark

  7. #7
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    Our company requires ANSI Z41.1, ASTM F2412, OR ASTM F2413 footwear.

    They also played a significant role in all the new standards for FR clothing requiring certain cal for the type of work your performing. They haven't changed the policy on the boots. I forget how many millions of dollars they paid for the testing of FR clothing that we all now live by. I've been told it was a joint venture with some other large utilities.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by busman View Post
    Here's the ANSI standard for EH rating:

    Electrical hazard (EH) footwear is manufactured with non-conductive electrical shock resistant soles and heals. It is intended to provide a secondary source of protection against accidental contact with live electrical circuits, electrically energized conductors, parts or apparatus. It must be capable of withstanding the application of 14,000 volts at 60 hertz for one minute with no current flow or leakage current in excess of 3.0 milliamperes, under dry conditions.

    So theoretically, it should be good for some primary voltages, when new. With that said, I wouldn't trust it over 480V after walking around in a metal strewn environment for months. And, since they are not 100% waterproof, I don't know how you would do regular dielectric testing on the boots. I'm sure the initial test only covers the sole and heel. At primary voltages, wet grass touching the leather part of the shoe could be game over.

    As far as arc rating goes, leather is usually considered sufficient for arc protection. That's why rubber with leather cover-ups don't have any further arc rating or requirement.
    Yes, the sole is tested to 14kV. But the sole is what, 1/4 of an inch thick or so? The sides of the boot are not insulated so primary voltage will very easily jump across that short a distance from the edge of the foot to ground. For real protection you are limited to low voltages with EH boots. And you are absolutely right about wearing them in wet, dirty conditions. Game over.
    I don't give em hell, I just tell the truth and they think it is Hell! - Truman

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the input. Again, the EH rating I get. More than likely we will have overshoes available for wet conditions.
    Has there been a rash of accidents involving line boots that has increased injury in a flash because of the materials used in the boot?

  10. #10
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    Default ARC rated boots???

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    I seriously doubt there have been accidents where a boot burned and there wasn't far more damage elsewhere. Back when this FR/ARC rating stuff first hit the fan Hydro Quebec did a lot of tests and simulations in there test labs. I did not see a single test where either leather gloves or leather boots burned. This sounds like either a boot salesman feeding the company a line, or some desk jockey with no idea whats going on coming up with a new rule.
    Also I have never seen an ARC rating (either NFPA HRC or NESC ATPV) on any boot in any of our catalogs. If someone has please let me know where.

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