New Arc Flash Personal Protection Equipment For All Staff

HDR | Andrew Reid has a long-standing reputation for its commitment to making safety a top priority. This month, we are thrilled to be adding arc flash clothing to the personal protection equipment we supply to each and every member of our team to protect them while they are working in, or in close proximity to, switchrooms.


In the UK alone, around a thousand electrical safety incidents at work are reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) each year – 30 of which sadly result in fatal injuries. Switchrooms are high-risk areas with arc flash being a particular cause for concern. It is produced within a fraction of a second when an electrical short circuit is created from an exposed live conductor due to a breakdown in insulation. The current travels through the ionised air until it reaches another conductor or the ground. The result is an arc blast – an explosion of intense light, heat and sound that causes major damage to nearby equipment and severe injuries including extensive burns, damaged hearing and sight, impalement from shrapnel, and even death.

Tim Callenholm, Health and Safety Consultant from Derisk UK for HDR | Andrew Reid saw this new addition to the company’s personal protective equipment as a very positive one: “I find that people or companies don’t get any specialist kit in unless they have to. One, because it’s not the cheapest, it’s quite expensive, and, two, once you have it you have to maintain it properly, store it properly, and that’s an issue as well.”

While European switchgear should be designed to withstand and safely redirect arc flash forces, HDR | Andrew Reid are not prepared to take this risk by taking this for granted. This investment demonstrates our commitment to health and safety as we take steps above and beyond the norm to ensure the safety of our staff.

Mike O’Mahony, Managing Director of HDR | Andrew Reid comments: “The safety of our people and those who may be affected by what we do is always at the front of our mind. Providing high-quality, protective arc flash clothing for our electrical commissioning engineers is the next step we are taking in continuing our endeavours to keep our team free from harm and to allow them to safely undertake the important work for our clients that they do, day in day out.”