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.
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