How Protective Clothing in Your Work Environment Can Protect You

Wearing the proper clothing at work can make all the difference when a major accident happens.  Today on the market there are many clothes available to workers that are fire-resistant.  The FR (fire-resistant) clothing is designed to protect workers from arc flash and flash fire.  During such a fire the energy that is released is significant, with temperatures reaching between 10 and 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now imagine if you are in such a scenario, and you are wearing clothes that are of a synthetic blend or nylon blend.  You can see how this could lead to serious injury or death of a worker.  Such clothing can burn intensely and if it is made with a nylon blend, that material can melt onto a person’s skin causing much more serious injury.  With FR clothing there is a layer of insulation that provides protection, shielding the body from the heat of the event.

Here are a few misconceptions of Fire Resistant Clothing

  • Wearing cotton clothing will protect a person While cotton is a natural material, it can catch fire just as fast as a synthetic material.  Cotton burns hotter which means it can do more damage to your skin.
  • Wearing a FR Shirt and FR Jacket is enough to keep you safe Wearing protective gear on only half of your body is not only unsafe, but it is also not being compliant.  Along with the FR shirt and jacket, you need to make sure that you are wearing FR pants.  Keeping         your entire body protective will increase your safety.
  • Fire Resistant Clothing is all the same When looking for FR clothing you need to look for market proven products.  There is a variety of products out there, ranging in prices.  If you decide on FR clothing based on price you may be having a higher cost in the long run.  Some FR clothing is only good after so many washes, where other FR clothing can last much longer.  Do your homework and research the product.
  • Fire Resistant Clothing is uncomfortable FR clothing has come along way over the past 10 years.  There has been significant improvement to make FR clothing less stiff and lighter feeling for a person to wear.  When you are shopping for FR Clothing you may want to sample a few pieces from various manufactures so you can find a proper clothing piece that will work for you and keep you safe on the job.