The Simplified Arc Flash PPE Chart

blog author iconJon Travis
date icon2021 / 11 / 12
blog views icon9603
The Simplified Arc Flash PPE Chart

If you are confused about what arc flash PPE categories to wear then you’ve come to the right place.

When I worked as a maintenance manager, I spent countless hours in debate with my crew on what arc flash PPE we need for each situation.

Then finally one day we found this one piece of information in the arc flash standard that made it easy to decide.

Keep reading to discover what we found and how we created the simplified arc flash PPE levels chart.

Let’s go.





How the Arc Flash PPE Chart Works

There is really one piece of information that holds the arc flash PPE requirements chart all together.

It's a fact that CSA Z462 and NFPA 70E both require you to use an arc-rated hood when the incident energy levels are higher than 12cal/cm2.

Now, that paragraph alone could confuse anyone, but what I basically said is if the amount of expected heat energy is more than 12 then you need to wear more protection.

Essentially, the simplified approach only has two options, and the only decision point is when you have more than 12cal/cm2.

If you don't know where to find the incident heat energy numbers, then you should read our article on How to Read Arc Flash Labels.

Arc Flash Suit & Equipment Ratings

To understand which arc flash PPE to wear you need to refer to the arc flash label on your electrical equipment. Below is a sample of an arc flash label:


Now that you know the hazard level it is time to grab your arc flash & shock PPE.

When looking at your arc flash suit it is important to look at the arc thermal protective value (ATPV), so what is ATPV rating? The ATPV rating is the maximum rating the clothing can handle.

Glove class provides your team with which insulated gloves you should use, see chart below for more information.

Don’t have an arc flash label? Contact us today to learn more about getting an arc flash study completed.

PPE Below 12cal/cm2

When the incident energy levels are below 12cal/cm2 then you can wear the following as part of your 12 cal arc flash suit:

  • Arc rated face shield (12 ATPV)
  • Arc rated balaclava (12 ATPV)
  • Safety glasses
  • Ear canal inserts
  • Arc rated coveralls (12 ATPV)
  • Rubber insulated gloves (Check this chart for proper voltage rating)
  • Leather protective gloves
  • Dielectric steel toe leather boots

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PPE Above 12cal/cm2

Now... most of you who have the arc flash suit will have one rated 40 cal/cm2 but today you can even get a 100 cal arc flash suit! 

You'll need to consider the frequency of use and what your highest arc flash levels are but for the most part, companies can purchase one suit and wear it for the above 12cal/cm2 situations.

This is what is required:

  • Arc rated hood with faceshield (Highest ATPV)
  • Safety glasses
  • Ear canal inserts
  • Arc rated bib (Highest ATPV)
  • Arc rated coat (Highest ATPV)
  • Rubber insulated gloves
  • Leather protective gloves
  • Dielectric steel toe leather boots

Voltage Rated Gloves Chart

Another key factor to your PPE is the glove voltage rating. In the example arc flash label above it notes a class 0 glove, but what does this mean?

Glove class is simplified by ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, using a colour system.

electrical insulated gloves

Each colour highlights proof test maximum voltage as well as max use voltage for AC/DC.

A copy of this chart would be a great addition next to your simplified arc flash PPE chart!

Why is the Arc Flash PPE Chart Important?

Completing an arc flash study at your facility will help create a clearer picture of which arc flash levels to add to your own simplified PPE chart.

PPE for electrical workers can be the difference between life or death. Having a simplified arc flash PPE chart available to your staff takes the guess work out of the multiple different tiers of PPE suits. One glance at this simplified chart can help easily identify what your electrical worker needs to be wearing based on the hazard levels.


Hopefully, you can put this arc flash PPE chart to good use and simplify the process of deciding what to wear for any given electrical job.

If you have any questions, you can always reach out at

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