How safe is it to wear hard-wired telecommunication headsets under the arc flash hood?
This question is best answered by addressing several points;
- Wireless communication is the safest alternative. Wherever possible, one should opt to using wireless headset under their arc flash hood. The communications device would be completely covered by the hood and would not interfere with the performance of the hood. However, working conditions may make it difficult to use wireless communications. Strong electromagnetic field could interfere with communication sine waves; as communications sine waves could hinder the operation of control devices.
- The telecommunication wire attached to the headset could increase the risk of fire hazard. Within the approach boundary, there could be sufficient heat energy to ignite the rubber insulating the wire. If this happens near the worker, the fire could burn up the wire into the hood.
- Appropriate hood will protect the headset. It is not clear at the writing of this text whether or not there exist any FR communication headset. Using an FR communication headset would reduce the chance of the headset contributing to a burn injury. However, in the event of an arc flash, if the hood arc rating exceeds the hazardous energy, the part of the headset that is under the hood should not receive enough thermal incident energy to ignite. The energy level under the hood should not exceed 1.2 cal/cm2. This assumes the arc flash risk assessment was done accurately.
- The headset should not interfere with the proper fit and lay of the hood and clothing The wire attached to the headset should be long enough to avoid it being stretched. If the wire stretches, it may cause the hood to be pulled open, creating a gap that will compromise the performance of the hood.
Category: Head Protection