To protect against arc flash, workers need a full-face shield, a hard hat, and the appropriate shoes and gloves, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines. At the highest risk level, workers must wear cotton underwear, a flame-retardant shirt and flame-retardant pants underneath a double-layer switching coat and pants.
For a category one risk of arc flash, workers can pair their shields, hard hats and gloves with flame-retardant shirts and pants. Category two risks require cotton underwear, flame-retardant shirts and pants, while category three requires the addition of flame-retardant coveralls.
The goal of personal protective equipment is to diminish the side effects of an arc flash to second-degree burns or less, which improves the chance of survival for workers.