Why Do We Wear FR Clothing?
PROTECTION – COMPLIANCE TO STANDARDS– COST SAVINGS
- First and foremost is the protection it provides from a potential accident.
- Some Potential Hazards faced: Flash Fire, Arc Flash, Molten Metal, or a Chemical exposure; having the appropriate “FR” Flame Resistant / Protective clothing could be the difference in whether a person survives the incident or doesn’t.
- The purpose of FR clothing is to protect and not add to the severity of the damage caused in a short duration thermal incident. The standard testing method is at 3 seconds. See F1930 and NFPA 2112.
- The reaction of a flame resistant garment is to self-extinguish once the fuel source is removed.
- Unlike a FLAME RESISTANT GARMENT; a non FR garment or standard clothing will ignite and burn. If one is wearing a synthetic garment (polyester or nylon) that fabric could melt and adhere to the skin.
- The most severe damage in a flash fire or arc explosion is often times caused by the non FR clothing being worn.
- It is important for the employer and the worker/wearer to understand how to best wear their FR clothing and also what type of non FR clothing is suitable to wear with it to minimize the severity of any burn damage in a thermal incident.
- Another aspect of wearing FR clothing is selection. Understand the task and hazard potential and choose the best fabric and garment to protect against it.
- Regulations and Industry Standards are also a factor in one’s decision to be compliant or not. OSHA requires employers to protect their people in the workplace. By not following the compliance standards, one could be subject to fines and / or citations.
- Overall Cost and Value of your apparel program. By choosing a good fabric and a well-built garment you can actually save money. You can minimize the frequency of replacements if you are utilizing a garment suited for the job being performed.
- By choosing to protect your team properly; that should provide a peace of mind that you are doing the right thing for them and your company.
- By selecting the appropriate FR garment, you can minimize spending by not purchasing multiple types and styles of clothing / uniforms. One purchase for the job. You also minimize the risk of the employee wearing the inappropriate garment.
- Prevent or minimize the expenditure associated to care for an injured employee.
- Insurance costs could be less by using the proper safety measures.
- Worker’s compensation and loss time wages.
- Increase COMPANY IDENTITY = BRAND EQUITY
Industry Standards & Applications for: Industrial – Electrical - Fire
- NFPA 2112 = Performance requirements for garments and
fabrics for industrial flash fire protection
- NFPA 2113 = Selection, care & use of garments for industrial
flash fire protection
- F1930 = Simulated flash fire exposure test using a
- D6413 = (Any textile) Measures vertical flame resistance
of textiles. (Note: ASTM version of FTM 5903.1)
- F2700 = Test method used to determine TPP and HTP
- NFPA 654 = General industry standard for combustible dust;
addresses need for FR clothing
- F2302 = Minimum requirements for labeling protective
garments as flame and thermal resistant
- F2733 = Rainwear for employees exposed to the hazard
of flash fire.
- NFPA 702 = Clothing except hats, gloves, footwear,
- ISEA ANSI 107 = High-visibility safety apparel and headwear.
Adopted by Federal Highway Administration for
workers on federally aided roads.
- F1506 = Material for clothing for use by electrical
- F1891 = Rainwear for employees exposed to the hazard of
flames or electric arcs
- F1958 = Ignitability of clothing by electric arc exposure
using a mannequin
- F1959 = Determining Arc Thermal Performance Value
(ATPV) of flame-resistant textile materials for
clothing by electric arc exposure using
instrumental sensor panels
- F2178 = Determines Arc Rating of face protective
- NFPA 70 = National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) sets rules
for safeguarding personnel during installation,
operation, or maintenance of electric supply and
communication lines and associated equipment.
- NFPA 70E = Clothing for employees working on energized
electrical circuit parts
- 29 CFR 1910.269 = Clothing for employees exposed to the hazards
of flames or electric arcs
- 29CFR 1910.132 = US general requirement for employers to
access hazards in the workplace and provide
- CSA Z462 = Canadian version of NFPA 70E. Initially based on
70E, but modified and updated for Canadian
- CSA Z96 = Canadian requirements for high-visibility safety
- CGSB = Workwear for protection from hydrocarbon flash
- NFPA 1971 = Performance requirements for garments and
fabrics used in protective clothing for
structural fire fighting
- NFPA 1975 = Performance requirements for garments and
fabrics used in station and work uniforms for
- NFPA 1977 = Performance requirements for garments and
fabrics used by fire fighters in combating
- NFPA 1951 = Performance requirements for garments and
fabrics used in protective clothing for fire fighters involved in technical rescue
Flame Resistant Fabrics Common to the Industry
- DuPont™ Nomex® IIIA = Inherent fabric of 93% Nomex, 5% Kevlar, 2% Anti Stat
- Flash Fire, Arc Flash, Firefighter Station Wear, Military
- Weights available: 4.5 & 6oz.
- Glen Guard by Glen Raven Mills = Inherent fabric of Kermel, Protex Modacrylic, Antistatic Fiber, (and Twaron in the 4.5oz.)
- Flash Fire, Arc Flash / 70E, Emergency Response
- Available weights are: 4.5, 6.1, 6.4
- Blends are Kermel, Protex Modacrylic, and Antistatic fiber. *4.5oz utilizes 5% Twaron.
- 5oz is HRC 1, 6.1 & 6.4 are both HRC 2.
- Westex by Milliken: Treated cotton and / or a cotton nylon blend (88/12)
- Indura (100% Cotton), Ultra Soft, Ultra Soft AC (both 88/12 blend)
- Flash Fire, 70E, Welding / Ferrous Metals *AC not recommended in metals use
- Common weights are 7, 8, & 9oz.
- AC is made with Pima Cotton for better comfort.
- Each weight attains an ATPV of 8 or greater in a single layer.
- Nomex MHP = Inherent fabric = Inherent fabric blend of 34% Nomex/Kevlar, 33% Lyocell, 31% Protex Modacrylic, and 2% Anti Stat. by Milliken
- Flash Fire, 70E, molten metal, *welding / molten metal in light, minimal or occasional application.
- Available weight is 7oz.
- Single layer ATPV is over 8, HRC2
- Tecasafe Plus by Tencate: Inherent fabric, fiber blends of 48% Protex Modacrylic, 37% Lyocell, and 15% Para Aramid (7oz).
- Flash Fire, Arc Flash / 70E, Fire Service
- Available weights are 7 and 8.5oz
- Single layer ATPV of greater than 8. HRC 2.
- Carolina Protect Fabrics: Treated fabric; Blend of 88% Cotton and 12% Nylon
- Mount Vernon Mills: Treated fabric; Blend of 88% Cotton and 12% Nylon