ASTM F18 Committee Report

James R. White, Shermco IndustriesFall 2020 Specifications & Standards, Specifications & Standards

The semi-annual ASTM-F18 Committee Meeting on May 28, 2020, was hosted on the WebEx app. This takes the place of the April meeting that was scheduled in Boston and cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis. There were 74 participants.


Antitrust laws were read first. The first and only subject was F1506 arc-rated face masks, which are similar to a surgical mask. The proposal was to allow a smaller F1506 label. This was disputed.

As usual, things were somewhat difficult. Mikhail Golokov submitted three negatives, some of which actually violated OSHA standards. Mikhail was given 15 minutes to justify his negatives. Subsequently, David Wallis stated that Mikhail misquoted the OSHA regulation. Hugh Hoagland contested the statements that the arc temperature was only 70 °C. His tests showed the quoted arc temperature is illogical and can be 20,000 °C.

Mikhail also misquoted Exception No. 2 from NFPA 70E 130.7(C)11. The author spoke up to correct the misquote. Other 70E committee members supported this correction.

This discussion revolved around COVID-19 arc-rated face masks that are currently being produced. Mikhail declined to withdraw his negative, which is typical for Mikhail. By not withdrawing the negative, it will go to ballot. This means FR face masks could possibly be produced without an F1506-approved label.

The next meeting is scheduled October 26–27, 2020, in Orlando, Florida.

Main Committee

The main committee meeting followed the F1506 meeting. Sam Stonerock called the meeting to order. General information that has no relevance NETA member companies was provided in the general session. The meeting adjourned at 11:20 AM.

James (Jim) R. White, Vice President of Training Services, has worked for Shermco Industries since 2001. He is a NFPA Certified Electrical Safety Compliance Professional and a NETA Level 4 Senior Technician. Jim is NETA’s principal member on NFPA Technical Committee NFPA 70E®, Electrical Safety in the Workplace; NETA’s principal representative on National Electrical Code® Code-Making Panel (CMP) 13; and represents NETA on ASTM International Technical Committee F18, Electrical Protective Equipment for Workers. Jim is Shermco Industries’ principal member on NFPA Technical Committee for NFPA 70B, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance and represents AWEA on the ANSI/ISEA Standard 203, Secondary Single-Use Flame Resistant Protective Clothing for Use Over Primary Flame Resistant Protective Clothing. An IEEE Senior Member, Jim was Chairman of the IEEE Electrical Safety Workshop in 2008 and is currently Vice Chair for the IEEE IAS/PCIC Safety Subcommittee.