PPE Category 3
Protection against electrostatic charges
The European standard EN 1149-5 specifies requirements for protective garments to provide electrostatic dissipation to prevent electrical discharges that can be incendiary in an ATEX zone. These requirements may be insufficient in flammable oxygen-enriched atmospheres. This standard is not applicable to protection against mains voltage.
These PPE are made of a textile material that has a grid of carbon yarn to dissipate electrostatic charges by their progressive diffusion in the material.
To ensure effective protection, PPE meeting the EN 1149-5 standard must be in contact with the skin and the wearer must be earthed (conductive shoes with a resistance of less than 1.108 Ohm).
The human body has a sufficiently low electrical resistance to act as a conductor, but if it is insulated from the ground (floor or insulating shoes), it can accumulate electrostatic charges.
The accumulation of electrical charges can occur in different ways:
The accumulation of these electrical charges can have serious consequences. They can be large enough to cause sparks, which can have serious consequences in areas where flammable or explosive atmospheres exist.
It is therefore crucial that personnel working in such atmospheres are equipped with PPE to ensure the dissipation of these electrostatic charges. They should therefore :
A PPE that is compliant only with EN 1149-5 is not sufficient. . Since the purpose of this protection is to prevent potentially explosive electrical discharges in an explosive environment, it is imperative that PPE intended for work in such atmospheres also deliver thermal protection (EN 14116 or EN 11612).
All activities in which workers operate in flammable or explosive atmospheres (Atex areas):
refineries, service stations, airports, industrial painting, food industry, wood processing, petrochemicals, transport and delivery of gas, plastic industry, welding, metallurgy, mechanics, foundry, plastic industry, industrial mechanics, electromechanics, electronics…