Testing of PPE for eye and face protection
The performance of personal protective equipment (PPE) and its contribution to increase personal safety in usual work places has to be proven by tests. One potential hazard for people are electric fault arcs occurring with short-circuits in electric power installations. There are very high risks for persons especially in case of direct exposure, e.g. during live working or working in the vicinity to live parts. Particularly radiation and convective heat is converted. With the box test according to IEC or EN 61482-1-2 a method for testing protection textiles and clothing against the thermal hazards of electric fault arcs has already been existing and used in certification for several years. But as shown by arc accidents the face is also particularly affected by severe damages. Protective equipment for eye and face protection which is also tested for arc resistance and protection is necessary. Based on basic investigations test principles for eye and face protection equipment against the thermal hazards of electric fault arcs have been developed and laid down in a new German test guide. The test set-up of the box test is suitable. It has been adapted and modified by a test head where test samples such as visors, visorhelmet combinations, face shields etc. are placed. The tests are carried out in accordance to the box test method of protective clothing (IEC/EN 61482-1-2). The paper gives information on tests made according to this test guide. Furthermore general conclusions are drawn on how to test and how to standardize tests of PPE for eye and face protection. The principles will be introduced in E DIN 58118 becoming a supplementation to the German edition of EN 166. It can also be the base for an international or European standard later on.