What are the different PPE categories?

When reading the arc flash warning label affixed to the affected electrical equipment that will be encountered in the field, the minimum level of PPE required may be expressed as either HRC (Hazard Risk Category) for labels produced to the NFPA 70E 2012 standard or the PPE Category for compliance to the 2015 standard.

 

2012 PPE Levels

Arc flash categories previous to 2015 were based upon testing and analysis of the hazard and presented by HRC number and incident energy as shown to the right:

 

Hazard Risk Category (HRC)

Incident Energy

Category 0   (eliminated in 2015)

<1.2 cal/cm2

Category 1

1.2 to 4 cal/cm2

Category 2

4 to 8 cal/cm2

Category 3

8 to 25 cal/cm2

Category 4

25 to 40 cal/cm2

Table 1: Hazard Risk Categories (HRC)

2015 PPE Levels

Arc flash categories for the 2015 are based upon testing and analysis of the hazard and presented by PPE category number and incident energy as shown to the right:

 

PPE Category

Incident Energy

Category 1

Minimum 4 cal/cm2

Category 2

Minimum 8 cal/cm2

Category 3

Minimum 25 cal/cm2

Category 4

Minimum 40 cal/cm2

Table 2: PPE Categories