PPE guidelines for electrical workers

Elliott Australia Pty Ltd
Friday, 30 September, 2011

Guidelines on PPE to be worn by electrical workers are detailed in AS/NZS 4863:2011.

The Australian and New Zealand electrical industry has until recently relied on ENA NENS 09-2006 for guidelines on the selection, use and maintenance of personal protective equipment. Those guidelines specified that the minimum protective clothing for work where electrical hazards exist shall have properties not inferior to 185 gsm cotton drill.

AS/NZS 4863:2011 ‘Safe working on or near low-voltage electrical installations and equipment’ provides a new level of requirements for electrical works. The new standard details are significant especially in the area of protective clothing and face shields.

The standard requires flame-retardant (FR) clothing covering the full body including arms and legs, and a face shield certified as rated at 10 cal/cm² protection.

“At Elliotts, we have been recommending that FR clothing should be standard for any employee working on or near energised electrical systems for many years. We have developed a full range of FR workwear and switching clothing specially designed to meet Australian conditions. The Reference Centre on our website has information to help people understand FR workwear, switching clothing and the standards and materials that are used in them,” said Anthony Elliott, Managing Director.

The table summarises the changes between the new standard - AS/NZS 4836:2011 - and ENE NENS 09-2006 guidelines, and is available online at www.elliottaustralia.com/site/pages/Protective_Clothing_FR_Workwear_Arc_flash/Reference_Centre/Standards.php.

The information provided in the tables are summarised from ENA NENS 09-2006 and AS/NZS 4836:2011.

These documents should be referred to for full details and additional ESSA codes and guidelines. SAI Global Infostore should be visited for more information.

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