NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety

NFPA 70E was developed to identify the guidelines and important performances required to adequately protect workers for common hazards and maintain functionality of the overall PPE.

As identified in the NFPA 70E Standard, the performance requirements for rainwear in electrical utilities applications are defined by ASTM F1981.

Defined as follows: "This specification establishes applicable test methods, minimum physical and thermal performance criteria, a suggested sizing guide, and suggested purchasing information for rainwear for use by workers who may be exposed to thermal hazards of momentary electric arcs and open flames. The rainwear shall be manufactured of materials and constructed using seams that meet the requirements for leak resistance and shall meet the physical requirements of this specification initially as manufactured and after five cleanings. The specimen shall be subjected to tests to determine conformance to the following requirements:

  • Flame resistance
  • Tear strength resistance
  • Waterproofness
  • Electric arc resistance
  • Material average weight
  • Arc rating
  • Arc thermal performance value
  • Breakopen threshold energy
  • Heat attenuation factor
  • Melting and dripping

The material response characteristics for rainwear material, including afterflame time, breakopen, charring, dripping, electric arc ignition, embrittlement, melting, and shrinkage, shall be reported for two typical exposures at least equal to the arc rating and also for two typical exposures at least two times the arc rating."