Consolidated Edison Company of New York (Con Edison) recently spent multiple years and several million dollars doing testing to examine the protective performance of a wide variety of safety equipment, including protective clothing. This testing was revolutionary in that it was performed outside of laboratory conditions and simulated real-world underground vault and overhead scenarios.
Notably, Con Edison made the testing facility and information generated available to other electric utility companies, energy companies and electrical contractors. The goal behind this open access: to help these entities learn about the dangers of an electric arc flash and how to better protect their employees.
Con Ed’s unprecedented test series represented a major advancement in understanding the severe nature of an electric arc flash. The testing performed also uncovered additional elements not seen in lab testing, including underground confined exposures, overhead exposures and molten metal exposure from equipment.