Wear protective garments with/or without antistatic (EN 1149-3)?
Almost all primary electric sector companies (Generation) have plants where there are areas classified as ATEX areas. For example A power station can be:
- Of combined cycle -> that burns coal, gas and organic material for to produce steam and to turn turbines to make electricity.
- Gas Power station.
- Coal Power Station.
- With Fuel.
- Nuclear -> LPG.
- Organic Material -> That produce methane for to burn it.
All these power plants have explosion-risk areas due to fuel used, always in the form of liquid, gas or dust.
Therefore, the International Electrical committee recommends that in these plants the protective garment should be antistatic. (It is a Recommendation and no an obligation).
Sure that there are few electrics companies that used the protective garments without antistatic, but not too much and mainly due to the doubts.
Electric companies want to make unification of the protective garments and the articles in the plant, because the risk of deflagration.
In Atex areas the garment must be antistatic and certified with the Norm EN 1149-3-5 . The EN 1149-3-5 means that the discharge of the antistatic electricity is by induction. It means that these garments are not conductive and it is not possible that attract an electric arc flash. On the other side the electric arc flash has more tendency to go to the place where there are more electric charge. It means that it is better that you have the body (protective garment) discharge with the antistatic because the EN 1149-3 Norm.
The doubt appears for example with some extreme environment of 40.000 V and if in this case the EN 1149-3-5 is it positive or negative.
My personal opinion is that the electric arc flash has the tendency to go where there is electricity or metal like the lightning. Then for me it is better that the protective garment is discharge than the magnetism that could have the antistatic thread (mainly carbon).