Hazard Risk Categories: Complying with NFPA 70E

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard 70E refers to the standard for electrical safety in the workplace. According to the NFPA website, they developed this standard at the request of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in order to “help companies and employees avoid workplace injuries and fatalities due to shock, electrocution, arc flash, and arc blast.” This standard gives requirements for safe work practices, reducing exposure to electrical hazards. The NFPA 70E has a hazard risk category (HRC) rating system that is the standard for the electrical industry. Jobsites are required to have certain protection standards for workers, and the HRC levels help safety managers know how to outfit their workers in flame resistant workwear. There are four different levels. The HRC determines the arc rating that is necessary for garments worn while performing certain jobs or tasks. There are times when multiple layers of clothing will be required to reach the proper level of protection required for your job. Please keep in mind: only your employer can tell you the required level of protection required for your job. If you are the safety manager, you may need to hire a third party to come in and assess the hazards. If you are a worker, looking for flame resistant workwear, you must ask your employer or safety manager to find out what level protection you need to perform your job. Let’s take a look at the HRC levels, and what they actually look like in Bulwark flame resistant clothing.

As stated above, there are four levels of HRC. Each one correlates to a minimum arc rating, or ATPV rating. All FR clothing is required to state the arc rating of the garment on the label. HRC level 1 requires an arc rating of at least 4. This is a fairly low rating, and the requirement can be met with one layer of flame resistant clothing, such as FR coveralls, or FR shirt and FR pants. HRC level 2 requires and arc rating of at least 8. This will require 1-2 layers of clothing, and might look like 100 percent cotton underwear, and FR coveralls, or FR pants and FR shirt.  HRC level 3 requires an arc rating of at least 25. This will be 2-3 layers of clothing, depending on the arc ratings of each garment. Bulwark has specific garments that have been tested together and can be worn together to achieve the right level of protection. This will probably look like 100 percent cotton underwear, flame resistant shirt and flame resistant pants, all worn underneath FR coveralls. The last level, HRC level 4, require an arc rating of at least 40. This is extreme protection, and will require 3 or more layers. To meet this requirement, you will be wearing 100 percent cotton underwear, flame resistant pants and flame resistant shirt, and a multilayer flash suit. The HRC levels are extremely helpful for understanding how to choose the safest workwear for your employees, avoiding injuries and fatalities on the job.

Before calling us, or placing an order online, please make sure that you know the HRC level and/or arc rating that your garments need to meet.