Reviewing the Most Common Flame-Resistant Clothing Fabrics

August 27th, 2014

Work ClothesNomex ClothingFlame Resistant Cotton Clothing

The term flame-resistant fabric alludes to infused textiles with chemical treatments and incombustible fibers resulting in the production of material that naturally burns slower. There is no denying the significance of this material; particularly in certain careers and programs. Let us review the more common ones in an effort to make for an easier selection process.

The Inherent flame-resistant fabric has the resistance inculcated into their actual structure during production. When these particular materials come into contact with heat or flame, the infused fibers swell naturally and form a barrier of protection over the skin. The most-popular brand names that fall into this category are Nomex and PBI Gold-typically applied through flash fire, and GlenGuard and Comfort MP-whose application process consists of arc flash and flash fire. The consistent link in this material group is in its design; the resistance lies in its structure and no flame resistant substance is added after the weaving and production process. The result being that the protection it offers is fulsome and not easily worn out or compromised.

The Treated flame-resistant fabric is the opposite in this regard. Unlike the inherently flame-resistant textiles, the treated material is made flame resistant after production through the use of the required chemicals. This chemical, when exposed to fire, results in a reaction that fights the flame, causes it to self-extinguish and ultimately provides protection for the body. A few of the brand names that fall into this category are Ultrasoft, Phoenix FR and Amplitude. The disadvantage for this group is that its flame resistant properties are added after production; which minimizes its durability and increases the chance of being compromised with the application of chlorine bleach.

Pertinent in the selection of your flame-resistant fabric is the environment in which it will be used and the frequency with which the clothes will be worn.  Be thorough in your checks, bearing in mind that the decision will impact you, the team and their families. Be sure to consider the application process, the fabric weight and durability and how appropriately it will all fit in with your team or program.

Disclaimer

The information contained on this site is for general guidance only and are opinions of the author. It is the reader’s responsibility to consider these details and understand the data should not be used as a substitute for your industry’s recognized safety standards or be used to take the place of safety training or hazard analysis. You should neither act, nor refrain from action, on the basis of any such information. You should take appropriate professional advice on your particular circumstances because the application of laws and regulations will vary depending on particular circumstances and because laws and regulations undergo frequent change.

High Visibility Clothing and Under Layers

August 19th, 2014

Work ClothesNomex ClothingFlame Resistant Cotton Clothing

From time to time users of flame-resistant (FR) clothing are left confused as to what to wear under their FR garments. One of the issues that many users may find in industries that require FR clothing, is that long sleeved shirts are required and it may become uncomfortable to wear under clothing especially in the warmer seasons. If you choose to wear under clothing below the high-vis clothing then they are some tips to keep in mind.

Something to consider is that materials that are polyester should not be worn under an arc rated FR shirt. It is a non-flammable natural fiber and should not be worn this way. If you want to remain compliant with standards, you should use a natural fiber t-shirt if you are not wearing something that is arc rated.

If polyester is worn this way it is liable to melt at lower temperatures than other materials and can cause burns. This rule is across the board and even applies to polyester blends. If you need to wear something an ANSI 107 hi-vis compliant t-shirt should be worn. There are many t-shirts that meet this standard and will be appropriate.

A t-shirt of this kind will keep you cool and add that additional protection that will be useful. The t-shirt does not have to have a specific rating as any one will work for the cause. Something important to mention though, is that if your industry requires wear that is hi-vis, no kind of cotton whether it is FR or non-FR, can meet the requirements of ANSI 107. This means that you would have to select a modacrylic blend that has an arc rating. Ideally these can be dyed to adapt to the hi-vis requirements. If your work requirement does not have to conform to any standards then a natural fiber t-shirt is fine.
In other words the cotton material cannot be dyed bright enough to meet the ANSI 107 high visibility requirements.

In whatever industry you work in, at times the mode of dressing may become uncomfortable but you must understand the nature of the job, the safety requirements and what you are allowed to do. There are times when comfort can be considered over safety and this may be okay in areas where the job is not high risk. However in high risk jobs, you cannot sacrifice your comfort for optimal safety. The best advice to follow is to find out the standards for your particular industry to see what can be done and how much flexibility you have.

For many work industries there may already be standards that govern their operation and may limit what you are able to do. Therefore, before actually taking any action it is wise to understand what is required of you and what is required to maintain the safety standard. These are things that have been researched and established so they are to be adhered to at all times.

FR Modacrylic     100% Cotton

As you can see the image son the left is made from a Flame-resistant, 8.75 oz. 70% Modacrylic / 15% FR Lenzing® / 15% Rayon blend and DOES meet the ANSI 107 standard for high visibility along with offering you the protective quality of being flame and arc resistant.
The image on the right is made from the 100% cotton fabric and as you can see the cotton cannot be dyed as deep of a high visibility color. The dyes fade out of the cotton in the process and there these do not meet the NSI 107 standard.

Terry Smeader
Safety Protection Warehouse
Ph 888-440-4668
www.coverallsale.com

Disclaimer

The information contained on this site is for general guidance only and are opinions of the author. It is the reader’s responsibility to consider these details and understand the data should not be used as a substitute for your industry’s recognized safety standards or be used to take the place of safety training or hazard analysis. You should neither act, nor refrain from action, on the basis of any such information. You should take appropriate professional advice on your particular circumstances because the application of laws and regulations will vary depending on particular circumstances and because laws and regulations undergo frequent change.

How does Flame resistant clothing apply to the Welding industry?

August 13th, 2014

The discussion about how flame resistant clothing related to the welding industry is an interesting one, from which numerous questions may arise. There are certain aspects that one needs to understand when looking into this area. Protection is a primary concern for welders as their job often includes some risks and possible flame/burn injuries. With this in mind, it is pertinent to review possible safety wear such as flame resistant clothing.

Can FR garments work for welders?

The fabrics used to make flame resistant garments have properties governed by the ASTM F2302 standards which defines the concept of flame resistance. It does not necessarily mean that total burn protection will be offered, but provides protection with material that is flame resistant and will prevent severe burns. The fabric mitigates against ignition and burning when exposed to a flame. This important element helps to minimize the possibility of burn injuries to the person wearing the garments.

With this in mind, people in the welding industry may opt for more specific fabrics tailored for that profession. Flame resistant clothing helps to resist direct ignition sources and exposure to sparks.

Additionally, most FR clothing are tailored with a printed warning inside that indicates that the clothing offers only  a certain level of protection and continuous exposure to open flames should be minimized. In welding, this may refer to the continuous exposure to sparks which may stay on the clothing for an extended period of time.

Welding Standards

The welding industry does have an established standard which also speaks of protective clothing. This is found in the ANSI Z49 standard which instructs users to select clothing to minimize the risk of ignition when exposed to the elements of the trade. It also specifies that the clothing should be made of appropriate materials that will curtail the risk of skin burns that are caused by sparks, spatter or radiation. In addition, it also discusses that an apron must be worn when extra protection is necessary. It is important to note that in the welding standards they also refer to minimizing burns and not total prevention.

Conclusion

The companies that make the FR clothing are aware of the fact that users in various industries will try to justify the use of their garments.  It is with this in mind that a label is normally inserted to indemnify them and puts the responsibility of choosing the correct application to the end user.

Having highlighted the various properties of FR fabrics, one can conclude that it does aid in the welding profession but cannot be deemed the primary protection for the user. It will be imperative that additional protective clothing be employed to minimize the possibility of ignition and burns while enjoying their craft. Be sure to choose the most appropriate protection for your industry and maintain safety standards.

Disclaimer

The information contained on this site is for general guidance only and are opinions of the author. It is the reader’s responsibility to consider these details and understand the data should not be used as a substitute for your industry’s recognized safety standards or be used to take the place of safety training or hazard analysis. You should neither act, nor refrain from action, on the basis of any such information. You should take appropriate professional advice on your particular circumstances because the application of laws and regulations will vary depending on particular circumstances and because laws and regulations undergo frequent change.

Understanding “Arc Flash”

May 29th, 2014

A comprehensive guide in understanding Arc Flash released by the Workplace Safety Awareness Council under grant number SH-16615-07-60-F-12 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. It details many things about Arc Flash including what causes arc flash, factors that determine the severity of an arc flash injury, results from an arc flash, ways to protect the workers from an arc flash, understanding arc flash warning labels, employee obligations, etc.

“Because of the violent nature of an arc flash exposure when an employee is injured, the injury is serious – even resulting in death. It’s not uncommon for an injured employee to never regain their past quality of life. Extended medical care is often required, sometimes costing in excess of $1,000,000.” Learn more at https://www.osha.gov/dte/grant_materials/fy07/sh-16615-07/arc_flash_handout.pdf

For help maintaining your arc flash clothing requirements you can find what you need at http://www.coverallsale.com/shop/arc-flash-clothing-NFPA-70E-cid-99-1.html

OSHA to push for electronic injury reports

April 5th, 2014

“OSHA officials want to require electronic submission of illness and injury reports to the agency to improve tracking of the data. The proposal, announced Nov. 7, was spurred by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report, which estimates that three million workers were injured on the job in 2012.”

Read more at:
http://www.plantengineering.com/single-article/osha-to-push-for-electronic-injury-reports/a242b642f58fd982a43a2998833627e0.html

Terry Smeader
Safety Protection Warehouse
Ph 888-440-4668
www.coverallsale.com

Failure to abate a previously cited error from OSHA

February 20th, 2014

Failure to abate means that the company failed to correct a previously cited error from OSHA including hazard, condition or practice that pose danger to its employees. Failure to abate notices bring $111,000 in penalties.

Don’t slip up on OSHA abatement

“Don’t let this happen to you. Whether they admit or not, in some way, OSHA often seeks rough Justice. rarely is an Area Office out to simply “get blood.” They are trying to match the penalty to the behavior, and you do not want to develop a reputation as the kind of employer who fails to abate. That moniker may be more damaging to your reputation than a “willful” citation.

So with this admonition in mind, I share today’s OSHA press release:”

Read more at:

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=8d064466-b3ab-47de-9bf7-a583b2b97ae7

NFPA 2112 Standards to Reduce Flash Fire Injuries

January 31st, 2014

“What is NFPA 2112? The National Fire Protection Association 2112 Standard provides minimum requirements for the design, construction, evaluation, and certification of flame-resistant garments for use by industrial personnel. It does not attempt to provide any guidance on matching the PPE to the quantified hazard – that is what NFPA 2113 is designed for.”

Read more at: http://www.dupont.com/products-and-services/personal-protective-equipment/thermal-protective/articles/nfpa-2112.html

BE AWARE AND BE ALERT !!

December 30th, 2013

The Mine Safety and Health Administration – MSHA issued an alert on prevention of fires and explosions in mines during the coming winter months.

Winter Alert 2013:

PREVENTING FIRES & EXPLOSIONS

“Most coal mine gas and dust explosions occur during the fall and winter. During the winter months, cold air entering mines causes mine surfaces to dry out. Cold air is warmed as it travels through the underground mine and picks up moisture from the roof, rib and floor. The result is drier surfaces and drier coal dust. Coal dust and float coal dust can contribute to dust explosion hazards. If suspended in the mine atmosphere, fine, dry coal dust will explode if ignited, even without the presence of methane. Explosions are more likely to happen when the barometer falls because methane gas in unventilated or poorly ventilated areas expands, potentially traveling closer toward ignition sources.” Read more at: http://www.msha.gov/winteralert2013/winteralert2013.asp

Let history repeat itself in this case…

November 28th, 2013

NOMEX® completely keeps you safe from fires of whatever source. NOMEX® is intrinsically resistant to flames. With built in flame resistance in the chemical structures of its fibers, the protection it gives you can‘t be washed or worn away.

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING OF DUPONT NOMEX® BRAND FIBER HELPS REFINERY WORKER ESCAPE FLASH FIRE

When Marvin Staben, a Colorado Refining Company worker, dressed for work on a subzero winter morning, he had no idea that the coveralls and coat of DuPont NOMEX® he put on would help save his life that day… Read more at http://www2.dupont.com/Personal_Protection/en_US/assets/downloads/nomex/h45528caserefineryworker.pdf

Do your need Nomex clothing to help save your own life or a co-workers?

Buy Now at Safety Protection Warehouse

Don’t Get Burned by Myths About Arc-Flash Protection

November 24th, 2013

Four common myths or misconceptions about NFPA 70E (Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace created by the National Fire Protection Association) are discussed in this article. It applies to your employees as well, so be aware…

“On the whole, the industrial work environment has come a long way in understanding electrical hazards and protecting employees,” said Joe Liberti, protective apparel regional director for Cintas Corp. “However, certain myths still exist about arc-flash protection, and it’s critical that these are addressed in order to maximize employee safety and minimize liability in the workplace.”

Read more at: http://ehstoday.com/ppe/dont-get-burned-myths-about-arc-flash-protection