The ASTM F18 Committee currently has jurisdiction over 38 standards and plays a critical role in the protection of the electrical worker. The F18 Committee meets twice a year to review and revise the standards. There are 300 members and numerous subcommittees.
The last ASTM F18 meeting was held October 30–November 1, 2023, in Washington, DC. During that period, the main committee and subcommittees held many meetings to discuss updates, recommended actions, and ballots.
F18.15 SUBCOMMITTEE ON WORKER PERSONAL EQUIPMENT
Additional ballots were submitted with attempts to provide clarity on Section 7.1 of ASTM F496-20, Standard Specification for In-Service Care of Insulating Gloves and Sleeves. This section deals with the retest requirements for rubber-insulating gloves and the intent behind the statement about being issued for service. This ballot was withdrawn again, and an additional revision will be worked on. Another item of note under this subcommittee is that testing on the arc rating of rubber-insulating sleeves will begin in mid-2024. Finally, a task group has been formed to look into composite-rubber insulating gloves. The task group will determine if a new standard should be created or if a revision to an existing standard will be adequate. Composite rubber insulating gloves are used already in Europe for work on car batteries. They can be used without protectors since the glove includes mechanical protection.
F18.60 SUBCOMMITTEE ON TERMINOLOGY
Work continues on the terminology for Visual Inspection for Electrical Protective Rubber Products.
F18.65 SUBCOMMITTEE ON WEARING APPAREL
Work is continuing on the revision to ASTM F1959, Test Method for Determining the Arc Rating of Materials for Clothing. The proposed revision will include details on the arc rated limit (ARLIM). This can be a derated limit set by the manufacturer. Therefore, arc rated clothing can be set as ATPV, EBT, or ARLIM.
It was also noted that arc rated clothing would have a maximum rating of 100 cal/cm2 due to the clothing test equipment limits. The revision would also include revised information on test apparatus for arc rated clothing. Additional work under this subcommittee includes a revision to ASTM F1506-22, Standard Performance Specification for Flame Resistant and Electric Arc Related Protective Clothing Worn by Workers Exposed to Flames and Electric Arcs. Relevant changes include details on thread and fasteners used with arc rated clothing and the labeling specifications.
F18.93 NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS REVIEW
OSHA is planning a long-term project for updates to Control of Hazardous Energy and is looking to adopt a standard for the protection of workers against temperature extremes.
UPCOMING ASTM F18 EVENTS
ASTM F18 will have a booth at the March 2024 IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop. The next ASTM F-18 meeting will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in April 2024.
Virginia Balitski, CET, Manager – Training and Development has worked for Magna IV Engineering since 2006. Virginia started her career as a Field Service Technologist and achieved NETA Level 4 Senior Technician certification. She has since dedicated her time to the advancement of training and safety in the electrical industry. She is a Certified Engineering Technologist through ASET – The Association of Science & Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta. Virginia is the current Vice-Chair of the CSA Z462, Workplace Electrical Safety Committee and is a member of the NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace Committee. In addition to representing NETA on the ASTM F18 committee. she serves on the NETA Board of Directors and is involved with many NETA committees.