Is there a need for FR Clothing?

All fabrics made of untreated natural fibers and most synthetic fibers are combustible.  It is normal and expected that they will ignite and continue to burn when exposed to an ignition source such as flame or electric arc.  Resistance to ignition and burning is an abnormal condition of wearing apparel.  When work environments or occupations pose a risk of garment ignition and burning, flame resistant apparel should be considered and selected.

Who is FR clothing designed for?

FR clothing is designed for electricians and workers in the utility, oil, gas and petrochemical fields who are at risk of exposure to electric arc flashes and flash fires which could cause server or fatal burn injuries.  Typical candidates for FR clothing include electric lineman, pipeline and refinery workers as well as industrial electricians.

Is 100% Cotton fabric “flame resistant”?

No. Cotton may be difficult to ignite but it can and will ignite and continue to burn if exposed to an ignition

What is the employer’s responsibility?

Under paragraph 5a1, the General Duty clause of the federal OSHA Act, it is the employer’s responsibility to identify risks and hazards in the workplace and see out appropriate protective garments and equipment for the protection of workers. In making this hazard assessment, the employer must consider the risks present and the most appropriate means of addressing those risks. When ignition risks are present, flame-resistant protective apparel can become a prudent part of an action plan to address these concerns.

How do I choose the correct flame resistant garments?

Any flame and thermal protective fabric must provide the wearer with the expected degree of protection for the useful life of the garment.  Garments are specified based on the employer’s evaluation of workplace hazards.  Protective garments, which function as wearing apparel for normal work activities, must be comfortable and durable while achieving appearance that is acceptable to both the employer and the wearer.  In addition to these general considerations, there may be other hazards present such as chemical or molten substance exposure.

Do FR garments prevent burn injury?

FR garments will not provide significant protection from burn injury in the immediate area of contact with the ignition source. However, flame-resistant garments do provide protection against clothing ignition and sustained flame spread.

What is the life of flame resistant garments?

The garments will retain their flame resistant properties for the life of the garment as long as the recommended laundering guidelines are followed.  The life is not defined by the age of the garment or the number of times it has been laundered.  If a garment has rips, tears or holes which cannot be repaired it must be removed from service.

What is NFPA 2112?

NFPA 2112 is the Standard for flame resistant garments for protection of industrial personnel against flash fire and is published by the National Fire Protection Association. The standard is targeted towards workers who are at risk of flash fires, primarily in the petrochemical industries. NFPA 2112 is a voluntary consensus standard, not a law. However, OSHA recognizes NFPA 2112 as a generally accepted industry practice.

What is HRC?

HRC or Hazard Risk Category is a rating for FR clothing that indicates the level of protection the garment provides. There are five HRCs ranging from 0 to 4, with an HRC of 0 representing the least protection. The NFPA 70E consensus standard assigns these categories based on the electrical maintenance task to be performed, and each HRC correlates to a specific range of ATPVs. For example, HRC 1 would include ATPVs grater than 5 cal/cm2 but less than 8 cal/cm2.