5 ways to raise your PPE buying standards

Bruce Woodfield
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Five ways I believe FireBear will raise your arc flash PPE buying standards.

What do you look for when buying arc flash PPE? I am sure everyone has their own ‘wish list’ that they believe will help ensure their employees are both safe and comfortable in their workwear.

It might look something like this…

  • Does it meet the correct standards?
  • Is it worn and approved by other organisations in your industry?
  • Does it include a diverse choice of sizes and colours?
  • Is it well designed?
  • Is it comfortable to wear?

It’s a sensible list, but I think buyers should be demanding more.

There are numerous types of protective equipment, but I believe that when it comes to something as vitally important as arc flash PPE, buyers should raise their standards higher. The above should be an expected minimum. Not a nice-to-have wish list.

That’s why for the last ten years Tower have been working with power and utility providers to develop FireBear arc flash PPE. We’ve spent years testing, innovating, and manufacturing to ensure it delivers everything the wearer needs in the most lightweight and comfortable garment possible.

I believe it’s now reached a standard of innovation, safety, and quality that truly sets it apart from the rest. Here’s five ways I believe FireBear will raise your arc flash PPE buying standards.

FR ARC flash PPE

1. Unrivalled lightweight protection

The FireBear mission is to break arc protection free from the mould of being hot, heavy, cumbersome, and unsuitable in extreme weather such as heavy rain and high temperatures. I believe wearers should be safe and comfortable in their PPE no matter what environment they are in.

We’ve always focussed on using lightweight materials, but last year we raised the standard further with a new fabric for our FireBear PPE. The latest in electric arc flash protection, the interlock fabric delivers class 2 protection in just two layers – with a minimum 32 Cal protection.

2. Developed in conjunction with SSE

FireBear isn’t just worn and endorsed by SSE. It’s developed with SSE. That means working closely with their teams to understand exactly what they need from their safety workwear to perform their duties, without being slowed down by poor mobility or suffering from a lack of certain features.

Using our HELM method, we originally developed FireBear to upgrade SSE’s specialist workwear to electric arc protection EN61482. We then worked with SSE safety managers and fibre and fabric manufacturers to produce a bespoke product – the first of its kind. Read the case study here.


3. Designed to fit every type of wearer

Since we developed FireBear with SSE, their staff are now more comfortable and better protected. This doesn’t mean the average SSE employee; it means every employee. We make sure that FireBear caters for a diversity of wearer groups, including the development of a range of female PPE.

The new range has been specifically cut, styled, and measured around women who need arc flash and fire-resistant clothing. Unlike many unisex offerings, we have a range that delivers the comfort and performance that women demand.

Female worker wearing PPE

4. A safer and secure way to buy

Unlike other suppliers, we don't allow vital safety products to be bought from our website. We believe that this opens companies up to the risk of an employee buying and using a product without first ensuring it is the most fit-for-purpose and suitable for their role.

Our approach is different – and safer. We first get to understand your business and its needs before supplying safety clothing, safety wear or safety equipment. We can then provide a tailored CtrlCloud online ordering platform, to give you complete control over product ordering and employee safety.

5. Suitable for every role and brand

We know that staying safe whilst also on brand and recognisable is important to many businesses. This is why we offer branded solutions for our workwear, to keep workers safe and seen. FireBear also meets all the standards and specifications that you need, making it suitable for numerous roles.

  • Construction involving underground cables
  • Electrical operations and maintenance
  • Electricity generation operations
  • Power grid infrastructure operation & maintenance
  • Standby emergency services & multi-role workers
  • Large scale industrial operations that require high levels of power
  • Rail track maintenance (as more of the rail network becomes electrified)
  • Telecoms installation and maintenance
  • EV charging and handling of damaged electric vehicles
  • Renewable energy including solar, wind & wave
  • Broadband and data

Power and Utilites

We provide arc flash guides, Cal Arc Matrix guides, and guidance on treated vs inherent FR if you want to learn more about how to layer your arc flash PPE and stay safe at work. You can also meet the rest of my team who look after our Power and Utility customers or contact us on 01202 718000.

Get in touch...

Bruce Woodfield 2
Bruce Woodfield
Divisional Managing Director - Power & Utilities

Bruce works at the forefront of global requirements and is a leading authority on arc flash PPE. Bruce is also highly knowledgeable about the requirements of the Energy and Utilities industry.

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