Superior Glove LogoClick to Call
Superior Glove Works, Ltd.

Bienvenidos a nuestra página web en Español, exclusiva para el territorio Mexicano.

Welcome visitors from Mexico! Visit our Mexico specific website in English.

Call us: (888) 428-1210

Superior Glove Newsletter

"Over 70% of hand & arm injuries could have been prevented with the proper protection equipment."

Injuries cost over $2000 on average. If reading our newsletter helps you prevent even one injury, isn’t that worth it?

Sign Up Now - it's free! (you can unsubscribe at any time)

No thanks, I don't need free safety tips or advice

Thanks for signing up!

Thank you for joining our newsletter list. You will receive your first issue shortly.

Don't forget to follow Superior Glove's social channels:

Close this and start browsing our gloves.

Superior Glove Newsletter

Hand injuries cost over $2,000 on average. If reading our newsletter helps you prevent even one injury, isn't that worth it?

You can unsubscribe at any time

No thanks, I don't want to prevent hand injuries.

Enjoying this post? Tell your friends!

Like this post? Share it!

Expert Interview Series: Hugh Hoagland on Arc Flash Safety

by Joe Geng on August 25, 2016

Comments (1)

Arc flashes


Since childhood Hugh Hoagland has had a passion for things that burn. From fireworks to the flame-throwers he used to burn brush at a farm where he worked.

Today, his wife says Hugh has the best “boy” job in the world.

That’s because as the founder of ArcWear, Hugh gets to play with fire – literally. So far in his career, he’s tested over 150,000 electric arcs – more than anyone else in the world.

We recently talked to Hugh about ArcWear, arc flashes, and the best PPE for people who work with three-phase equipment.

Here’s what he had to say:


1. Can you tell us about how you came to start ArcWear? What services do you offer?

H: At ArcWear, we do arc flash evaluation and testing for ASTM F1506 and flash fire testing using the NFPA 2112 standard. We also test, certify, and research arc flash protective garments including product certification for the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI).


2. What is an arc flash? What causes them?

H: It’s an electrical explosion. Arc flash occurs when energy from an electric line jumps through the air, due to accidental or intentional shorting of the line. It could be a quarter of an inch, or even be a foot to the ground or another phase.

We experience low-energy arcs every day. The spark you see when you flick on a light, the glow of a neon light, or even carpet static are all good examples of arcs. They’re just arc flashes with low energy.

The most dangerous type of arc flash occurs in three-phase equipment. Any industrial machine is three-phase equipment, like a conveyor belt motor or a AC unit. Most industrial processes use three-phase equipment. For comparison, a light bulb is one-phase because it emits such a low amount of energy.

The main causes of arc flashes are human error or equipment failure due to poor design, lack of maintenance, or dust inside the electrical equipment.

Flashes are usually instantaneous and tend to put themselves out in low voltage. Or, they’re stopped by protection devices on the equipment, upstream.


“Lightning is nature’s arc flash.”


3. What do you look for in protective equipment? How do you test it?

H: Workers should look for PPE that meets the correct standards based on the garment. Selecting PPE that meets the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E requirements is important. A qualified electrical engineer or other company can do a good job in this type of assessment. Or, with the proper training, people can do this in-house.


4. What professionals are most at risk of injury from electric arc and flash fires?

H: People most at risk for electric arc exposures are maintenance people, electricians, mechanical workers or operating industrial equipment. Anyone exposed to high-energy equipment using more than 208 volts are at risk. Flash exposures are usually from petrochemicals or combustible dust exposures.


5. How can these professionals protect themselves from injury in the event of a flash fire?

H: De-energizing the circuit is the simplest and most effective prevention. Beyond that, using meters and insulated tools to make sure they’re not causing the arc with their tools.  Following proper Lockout/Tagout procedures for working with equipment without electrical power. All of these steps are critical steps to avoiding arc flash.



6. What should organizations know about caring for and/or maintaining their protective gear?

H: They want to inspect it on a regular basis. If it’s launderable, wash it regularly. If it’s had a hydocarbon exposure – oil or grease – clean it or replace it.

To protect themselves, workers should wear their protective equipment all the time. I’ve done 160 accident investigations – and unfortunately, the most common problem is from people not wearing the equipment.

There are certain places you should wear PPE anywhere in the plant. An electrical maintenance person should be in electric PPE all the time – be it an arc-rated glove, shirt and pants, face shield, hardhat, or a flash suit. The amount of PPE worn by the worker should be based on the severity of the hazard, and the risk of the job.


7. What should organizations look for when purchasing protective garments and equipment for their crews?

H: We’re trying to get more and more people to wear gloves because the hands are one of the most affected areas in an arc flash.

Electrical workers should wear rubber-insulating gloves with a leather protective when working on equipment with a shock potential. But oftentimes, workers opt not to wear gloves when they’re working with small parts, which can be problematic. We’re recommending that people move to flame-resistant, arc rated gloves – operators, electricians, or anyone working with 200 volts or higher three-phase equipment when there is no shock hazard but where there is still the risk of an arc flash hazard, like when operating equipment.

Note: Workers who are exposed to arc flashes without the appropriate equipment could face second and third degree burns.




8. How often should these garments/equipment be tested and/or replaced?

H: There’s no ongoing testing for arc-rated gloves or equipment. By law, voltage-rated gloves have to be tested every six months. Keep in mind that arc protection should not be used when it’s worn or heavily soiled – it should either be replaced or laundered.

9. How has PPE evolved since you began your career?

H: I’ve been in this business for 22 years. When I was starting out, there were four fabrics; we tested forty last month. There are hundreds of materials on the market now.

[These materials] are more comfortable, durable, cut-resistant, and lighter weight. There are so many more features and uses than I ever dreamed.

I kept thinking this business would go away after five years. But, we now have 20 employers and 20 contractors involved. We also do training through our company e-hazard, where contractors offer electrical safety training, explain how to use equipment, and educate workers about rules and standards.

10. What are the most exciting innovations you’re following in PPE?

H: There are lots of different things out now. What’s really interesting is the growth of arc-rated gloves.

Right now, the gloves that go on top of the rubber insulators for shock have to be a certain thickness of leather. We’re trying to develop performance standards for gloves that will allow them to be cut-resistant, puncture-resistant, chemical-resistant, abrasion-resistant, flexible, and lighter in weight.

For 10 years we’ve been working on changing the standard that requires leather gloves – which can become really slick when wet and can’t be washed – to allow for more high-performance materials to be used.

11. Any final thoughts on purchasing safety equipment?

H: The most important thing is to pick the right stuff – from a reputable company. There are a lot of poor companies that are jumping into this market right now that don’t know what they’re doing. Don’t just buy the cheapest thing. Check the standard; check the testing reports (which, the company is required to give you). The best companies make them easily accessible to users.

If you or someone on your team is looking for a work glove that will provide you with the arc flash protection you need to stay safe and get the job done. Our S13FRNE gloves offer a number of different advantages – including level 2 abrasion resistance, excellent cut protection, and level 2 arc flash resistance.

(Wondering if these gloves are right for you? Why not try them out and see for yourself? Click the button below to request a free sample pair.)


sample button

Like this post?   Rate it.   Save it.   Share it!

Rating: 5.00
based on 1 rating(s)

Click a star to rate:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars


Share Your Comments

Reader Comments

Related Articles

Email Newsletter

Newsletter: Send me useful tips, industry articles and new product announcements (every month or so).

Subscribe today
Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Our Commitment to Privacy

Your privacy is important to us. To better protect your privacy we provide this notice explaining our online information practices and the choices you can make about the way your information is collected and used. To make this notice easy to find, we make it available on our homepage and at every point where personally identifiable information may be requested.

The Information We Collect

This notice applies to all information collected or submitted on the Superior Glove™ website. On some pages, you can make requests and register to receive materials. The types of personal information collected at these pages are:

  • Name and Company Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Website address

How We Use Information

We use the information you provide about yourself when making an inquiry or requesting consultation only to complete that request. We do not share this information with outside parties.

We use return email addresses to answer the email we receive. Such addresses are not used for any other purpose and are not shared with outside parties.

You can register with our website if you would like to receive our newsletter as well as updates on our new services. Information you submit on our website will not be used for this purpose unless you fill out the registration form.

Although information from those who contact us through our website is used to improve the design of it, it is done in a non-identified, purely statistical fashion. We do not share it with outside parties, in any form, at any time.

Finally, we never use or share the personally identifiable information provided to us online in ways unrelated to the ones described above without also providing you an opportunity to opt-out or otherwise prohibit such unrelated uses.

Our Commitment to Data Security

To prevent unauthorized access, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the correct use of information, we have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

Accessibility Policy

Superior Glove Works Ltd. is committed to excellence in serving all customers including people with disabilities. View our Accessible Customer Service Plan.

Let's Connect

Superior Glove Works Ltd. – Work and Safety Gloves Copyright 2017 | Call us: 1-888-428-1210
A leading manufacturer, distributor and wholesale supplier of work, safety and industrial gloves since 1910.

Sign up ONE TIME ONLY for free
unlimited access to all of our downloads.

*After signing up, this page will refresh and you’ll be able to download.


Download the Definitive Guide to Hand Protection for FREE.

Hand Injury Rates are Reduced by 60% when using the right gloves.

No thanks, my hands are safe