Is Arc Flash clothing too expensive?

Is Arc Flash clothing too expensive?

Is Arc Flash clothing too expensive?

In the current economic climate all budget holders are under pressure to keep spending to a minimum. But how can you work out whether what seems like an expensive purchase now will save you money in the long term?

Arc Flash Clothing Value Versus Cost

When you’re looking at numbers on a spreadsheet in black and white it’s difficult to see beyond the hard figures to the value. Why shouldn’t you just buy the cheapest Arc Flash clothing? Well, you know what they say about buy cheap, buy twice.

Our products cost more than general Arc Flash clothing equivalents, but still provide great value. Think for a minute, what price would you put on a colleague’s life? What kind of penalty would there be in the event of an incident? And does equipment become less expensive if you buy it less frequently due to increased quality?

Can you Put a Price on a Life?

Of course, the price of a colleague’s life is an emotional topic and, frankly, falls into the priceless category. But the HSE website gives you an idea of the scale of fines for electrical incidents, with the two most recent (at April 2018) being £600,000 plus costs for an incident causing major burns and £80,000 plus costs for an incident resulting in serious burns on the worker’s hands, arms and face.

Both incidents involved cable strikes, which also put the workers at risk of being hit by an Arc Flash.

The following video shows the very real danger of breaking ground and striking an underground cable.


There’s not a lot of data on Arc Flash incidents (see our blog on the need for better, more accurate reporting here (How many incidents in UK link)) but it’s fair to say that, with temperatures during an Arc Flash incident being hotter than the sun and creating a surge of energy that can blow a worker off their feet, the injuries could be life changing or life ending.

Purchasing Arc Flash Clothing: Less Frequent, Less Expensive

Our Arc Flash clothing is more expensive than standard flame resistant clothing because it provides more protection. Our exclusive fabric, VXS+, is made from fibres with inherent flame retardant properties, so the protection doesn’t wash out or fade with wear. (There’s more on the difference between inherent and treated fabrics here.)

At ProGARM, all of our PPE clothing (not just our fabrics) meets European standards and regulations, holding an EC certification relevant to the intended use and/or industry. All garments conform to a minimum EN ISO 6330: 2012 DOMESTIC for washing, and some go further to meet the industrial washing standard (EN ISO15797: 2004 INDUSTRIAL). Our garments are rigorously tested for 50 wash cycles and demonstrate less than 3% shrinkage.

We’re even ahead of the curve in meeting the new PPE regulations which need to be met by April 2019, having already started testing our products to make sure they meet the new requirements.

We look at each component of our Arc Flash clothing – from fabric to buttons and zips– to ensure it will provide the protection needed in an Arc Flash incident. So our ThermSAFE ™ fastenings are made from military-grade materials (also used by NASA) meaning you can be confident that, should the worst happen, they will still function.

What all of this attention to detail adds up to is a product which lasts longer and provides protection that doesn’t deteriorate with use.

One client told us their ProGARM PPE lasted eight times longer than their previous brand. So while on cost alone our Arc Flash clothing may look more expensive than standard flame retardant ones, the overall cost is lower when you purchase less often.

To speak to one of our sector experts about the range of ProGARM Arc Flash clothing and equipment that’s right for you, call  +44 (0) 1482 679 600