If you are familiar with the electrical arc flash suit, you know that there are a few manufacturers that make it. While all suits are capable of protecting a worker from an arc flash hazard, we’ll review the Bulwark suit here. We’ll take a deeper look at the features of the suit, the flame resistant properties, what colors and sizes it’s available in and what you can expect to pay for the suit.
Arc flash suit features
When discussing the features of the arc flash suit, we’ll only be addressing the hood, coat and bib. The entire kit contains:
- CLC4 – 40 Cal/cm2 short coat
- BLC4 – 40 Cal/cm2 bib
- HLC4 – 40 Cal/cm2 hood
- Hard hat
- Safety glasses
Starting from the top of the suit, the hood is oversized so it can fit over a hard hat. If you experience an arc flash event, you could launch a significant distance through the air. Your head should be well protected. The other supporting feature in the hood is the notches in the shoulder. These notches allow the hood to slide over your shoulder so it will remain upright.
Working our way down through the suit, the coat has knitted cuffs for a secure fit. These become beneficial in the event you experience an arc flash hazard. The knitted cuffs provide extra protection to skin that would normally be exposed to fire. The coat is also built with raglan sleeves. These are sleeves built to extend fully to the collar. This feature provides for extra range of motion while on the job.
The bib features covered leg zippers with gussets. Wearers like this feature because the bib can be put on or taken off while wearing work boots. There is more than enough room for this at the bottom of the bib. Another feature is the pockets that give you access to pant pockets. Safety is not sacrificed with these pockets. They provide easy access to any valuables inside your pant pockets.
Arc flash suit flame resistant properties
The flame resistant properties of this suit, as with any other, are guaranteed for the life of the garment. This is important because even though the suit could become worn over years of wear and maintenance, it will remain flame resistant. The only exception is if the garment is torn. The entire suit is classified as HRC4. This is the level of hazard risk category protection this suit provides. It will protect against 40 cal/cm2 of energy burst. To put this in perspective, arcs typically release 5-30 calories. An exposure of only 1-2 calories can cause 2nd degree burns.
Arc flash suit colors and sizes
If you need to outfit a team, the available size range is important. This ensures that your employees are in uniform and can be easily identified while in the field. The sizes the suit is available in include Small through 5XL; for both the coat and the bib. The hood classifies as One Size Fits All as it’s made to wear over a hard hat.
Since the suit is designed with safety specifically in mind, the color options are limited. The Bulwark arc suit comes only in Royal Blue. This color helps to keep the suit look clean as it hides most oil, grease or other dirt stains.
Arc flash suit cost
Safety aside, the cost of the suit is the most significant factor for consideration. When buying the suit, consider the investment in safety you’re making. You’re significantly decreasing the chance that your employee will suffer critical burns and injuries. If you’re considering buying the Bulwark arc flash suit, you can expect to pay:
- HLC Hood – $200.00
- CLC4 Coat – $220.00
- BLC4 Bib – $240.00
These numbers reflect typical pricing for standard sizes as larger sizes (2XL through 5XL) cost more. Also, different companies may charge more or less. While it might seem to be too expensive, remember again the investment you’re making into the safety of your employees.
We hope that you find this review beneficial. If you prefer another brand of arc suit over the Bulwark, let us know. We’re always interested in talking about how we can help employees stay safe on the job.