When To Wear A Flame Resistant Clothing

FR clothingIn recent years, the availability of flame resistant clothing has been more prolific, and a required necessity for many companies. Still, despite the imposed OSHA regulations, requiring the use of flame resistant apparel for certain employees, it’s important you understand the importance and safety features this type of product can give you.

The increase in use of this type of clothing is primarily due to the continual monitoring and updating of US industry safety regulations, which establish guidelines for workers who are exposed to electrical or flammable hazards.

When it comes to analyzing your need for FR apparel, you must ask yourself the following.
Does my company have employees who are at risk of fire damage?
If the answer is yes, then:
How can I comply with industry regulations and standards and keep employees health as safe as possible?

Fire resistant apparel is extremely important to those who are exposed to workplace fire or electrical hazards. This type of clothing offers the following protection:
• It takes much longer to ignite and keeps fire away from the worker’s skin as much as is possible.
• Offer thermal insulation from heat.
• Doesn’t melt into the skin in case of fire, making it easier for health professionals to treat the fire related injury.
• Reduces burn injuries and greatly increases the chances of survival.
• Resistant to tearing and consequently the exposure of the skin to fire.
Accidents can and do occur even when safety regulations are in place, especially in industries where petrochemicals are used. Often these fires ignite instantly and can cause severe damage, especially when employees are not prepared with fire resistant clothing. So wearing the appropriate fire resistant apparel helps reduce higher injury rates.

This is not to say that FR clothing is fireproof, especially not at temperatures that can reach more than 2,000 degrees in just a few seconds. However, these garments are fire retardants and works at keeping the body burn area under 50%, which makes for a better survival rate.
Protection Against Two Primary Hazards
FR garments have two primary purposes, that protecting workers from flash fire and electric arc flash.

• A flash fire is a fire that moves quickly, and ignites in an atmosphere of hydrocarbon vapors and other combustible particles. Temperatures can often reach more than 1000°F in a matter of minutes.
• The electric arc flash is the passing of a large electrical current through ionized air. These last less than a second but can create high radiant heat about 35,000°F

These are risks employees take in industries that create combustible materials or products such as petrochemicals and metallurgy. It is in these situations that FR clothing serves as a crucial protectant.

In most cases, government regulations are specific and require the use of these garments at all times when working under these conditions. Even so, it’s important for you to understand that flame retardant clothing is primarily for the safety and health of your employees. This helps reinforce the “safety first” attitude of the enterprise, and reduces the cost of injuries, insurance claims, lost time and OSHA fines.

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