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Changing the rules on layering PPE

24 April 2024

WHEN TOWER Supplies discovered a new way of creating a lightweight fabric for its range of arc flash protective clothing, the company soon realised it had the power to change the way we layer PPE.

The latest in EN 61482 arc flash protection for its FireBear range, Tower’s new interlock fabric can deliver a minimum 32 Cal (ATPV) within just the first two layers. The reason this is an exciting development, and why leading electricity company SSE have endorsed the product, is the freedom and flexibility it gives the wearer when working in conditions where less layers is a huge benefit.

Unlike other fabrics used in arc flash clothing that require up to four layers to reach the highest level of protection outside in harsh winter or summer conditions, FireBear's new design only requires two layers underneath a wet weather coat or outer jacket to protect against high voltage risk.

In its guidance on layering this new highly protective lightweight fabric, Tower recommend combining its new 12 Cal base layer with its 20 Cal middle layer. This means that with the addition of just one more outer layer, the wearer is more mobile and lighter, but still protected.

Tower chose to use interlock fabric when designing its new arc workwear (also known as double knit fabric) because it’s manufactured using two rows of needles. This gives the fabric a stronger, firmer, and more durable feel to the clothing, while maintaining lightweight comfort for the wearer.

Trusted expert and Tower’s Power division leader Bruce Woodfield said: “This new fabric has been developed alongside SSE. We work closely with SSE to continually drive innovation and improve workplace safety. I believe that product development and innovation can only truly happen when suppliers act in partnership with customers and manufacturers.”

Having invested in a specialist team to provide expertise to the dynamic renewables industry, Tower is determined to use this new fabric to keep workers safe in every sector of the power industry. With renewables being built and maintained in some of the most remote and dangerous areas, worker comfort and agility is vitally important. Especially in the confined spaces found in wind turbines.

As a trusted partner for major power companies, Tower develop very close working relationships with their customers to ensure worker safety is paramount. This includes the development of a female PPE range that has been result of years of feedback, testing, and wearer analysis.

FireBear is Tower's range of specialist anti-static, flame retardant and arc flash rated protective workwear. FireBear was developed with wearers over extensive trial periods to achieve record levels of user acceptance and satisfaction, whilst enduring the toughest working environments.

You can visit its website to learn more about Tower’s range of arc protection. The company also has Cal arc matrix and arc flash guides to help you understand how to stay safe when working near electricity. If you want to talk about a partnership with Tower call 01202 718000 to find out more.