Tag: Flame-Resistant Clothing
If you work in a profession where fire or other open flame hazards are present, wearing the appropriate protective clothing is vital for your safety. Flame-resistant clothing, also known as “fire-resistant clothing” or “flame retardant garments,” are designed to protect the wearer from a variety of hazards such as fire and extreme heat. This protective clothing offers protection against burns, flash fire, and other hazards, which can be life-threatening. It is vital to maintain this safety clothing properly. This blog post will guide you on how to launder and wash your FR clothing properly.
Why Does your FR Clothing need Special Care?
Flame-resistant clothing is made with special fibres that are specifically engineered for protecting the wearer from exposure to fire. If these fabrics are not cared for properly, they will lose their ability to protect you from a dangerous situation will be reduced and may even fail altogether. Thus, it is important to know how your flame-resistant clothes should be laundered/ washed properly.
Key FR Clothing Laundering Practices
Here are the common laundering practices that will help you properly care for your FR clothing:
Avoid using hard water
Avoid using hard water to wash your FR clothing as it causes minerals like calcium and magnesium to form hard deposits on the fabric, which will eventually become brittle. These minerals are abrasive agents that may weaken seams during washing or wear over time. This can affect the flame-resistant properties of your clothing. Thus, it is advised to use soft water for washing your FR clothes.
Do not use bleach
Bleach can damage the fabric and weaken its resistance to fire. Instead, opt for detergents made specifically for FR clothing. Be sure that they are formulated with ingredients that will break down grease without damaging the garments’ surface or colorfastness.
Avoid high temperature
Washing or drying your FR clothes at high temperatures may decrease their effectiveness. Instead, opt for cold or room temperature washes and drying. This also extends longevity because high temperatures can cause colors and fabrics to fade faster than if you were using a cooler setting on your washing machine.
Do not use Woolite
Woolite is a detergent formulated for washing wool fabrics and contains an enzyme that removes protein from fabric. This may be detrimental to your FR garments because it leaves the fabric unprotected against harmful substances in the environment. If you are choosing to use a detergent, opt for one formulated for synthetic fabrics instead.
Inspect your garment regularly
It is also important to inspect your garment regularly for any damages that may need to be repaired. For instance, if there are holes or frays in the fabric and threads, it needs immediate repair before you start washing to not have a hole grow larger with use. It’s best to take all garments out of service once they are damaged to avoid the risk of them catching fire.
Tips To Wash Your FR Clothing At Home
- Wash the clothing in cold water.
- Use a mild detergent that will not stain fabric colors.
- Clean all areas of your washing machine, including the drum, lid, agitator, and gasket, before starting laundry to remove any residue buildup on these surfaces.
- Fill the wash machine’s drum with cold water and add detergent according to instructions on the box.
- Wash your FR clothes in a Normal/Cotton cycle at any water temperature up to a maximum of 140°F.
- Add clothing to the top rack of your washing machine, but do not place them in a washer bag or pillowcase—this will lead to wrinkles.
- Wash items separately so that they are clean & free from any residue left behind by other clothes.
- Hang dry your clothes or use a drying rack to prevent wrinkles and shrinking.
Knowing how to properly care for & wash/launder your protective clothing will help to ensure your protective workwear lasts longer and protects the way it was meant to protect you!
We all know that rains can be unpredictable, but critical industries such as utilities, infrastructure maintenance, and transportation cannot delay their services due to rain. Electric utility linemen and oil & gas industry workers are truly essential, for that matter, as they keep the power flowing to the given area. These workers can face long hours of exposure to all types of hazardous weather, which makes it essential that they have all the protective gear they need in good shape at all times.
The scenarios utility workers typically face requiring protection in the form of high-quality flame-resistant rainwear clothing. FR safety clothing is made from materials that don’t catch fire easily when exposed to sparks or flames. Once you’ve made the investment in protecting your team with the right FR garments, the next step is to ensure that they take care of these clothing items correctly.
In this blog, we’ll see the importance of taking care of FR rainwear clothing and how you can keep them clean.
Why is it Important to Take Care of FR Rainwear in the Right Manner?
Outdoor working conditions can be harsh & extremely variable. Therefore, it is imperative that your workers have all the right gear for their safety and that they maintain it appropriately. Keeping your flame-resistant rainwear clean is important for a number of reasons, such as:
- It’ll maintain its durability & performance so that you can get the most out of it over time.
- It would help them last longer due to reduced wear & tear from dirt or grime build-up, which might otherwise get trapped in fabrics if they were dirty.
- Also, it helps to avoid possible safety hazards such as accidents caused at the worksite.
These are just a few scenarios where wearing high-quality safety clothing with the appropriate care can make all the difference in the safety & efficiency of the worker.
Furthermore, caring for your FR rainwear with the correct methods will help these valuable gears to last longer & perform better even in the harshest conditions. Not washing your FR workwear in the right manner can damage it or make it prematurely worn out. Using the right washing procedures & tools are also essential as dirty, worn out, or broken tools can be ineffective for cleaning or affect the efficiency of the garment.
How to Clean FR Rainwear?
Here are some key cleaning tips that will ensure that your FR rainwear stays clean & ready to protect you from any workplace hazard:
- Create a regular cleaning plan/schedule for your rain gear; this will ensure that your gears are clean & ready whenever you need them. Consider how often you’ll need to wash your rainwear, where & how you want to wash it, and where you’ll be keeping them.
- The primary step in the actual cleaning process is to spot clean or wipe the entire garment with a damp cloth. Make sure you keep your garments in a manner & location where they can dry completely.
- For more thorough cleaning, you can wash these garments at home in the washing machine separately in cold water on the gentle cycle of your washer.
- When you’re cleaning your rainwear, either by hand or in a washing machine, make sure to not use abrasive cleaners, solvents, bleach, or fabric softeners.
- Do not iron your FR garments at all. Simply hang them in a manner that’ll prevent any creases or wrinkles from forming.
- Do not dry clean your FR rainwear, or send it out to an industrial laundry facility for cleaning.
Keeping these tips in mind while cleaning your FR rainwear will ensure they don’t lose their quality and keeps you safe for a longer period.
The layering system of FR clothing is meant to keep the wearer warmer or cooler and drier as per their working condition while providing the added mobility & comfort. But, have you ever thought that when you’re wearing multi-layered garments, what specific clothing combinations are tested together to determine their effective arc rating?
Flame-resistant clothing typically comes with a layering system that offers the highest levels of protection. Workwear USA goes a little beyond usual while testing the popular clothing combinations to determine their actual ATPV Cal/cm2 rating. This makes it easy to know if your FR apparel’s combination meets your required ratings & work safety requirements.
Now, you must be wondering what this FR layering system is all about. Read on to understand the ultimate FR layering system and the purpose of each layer.
The Ultimate FR Clothing Layering System
When you are choosing a clothing layering system, start by finding one that offers permanent moisture-wicking technology in every layer. From base layer to button-up work shirt, hoodies to outer jacket, a layering system that offers moisture-wicking technology will never wear out, wash out, or stop providing protection to you.
An FR clothing layering system offers the following benefits:
Built to move: Each component of the FR layering system comes with added stretch, which enables you to move as freely as you do.
A beveled tail for warmth: This safety clothing is designed with a longer, swooping backside, where your midsection remains protected from the hazardous elements whether you’re reaching high or bending forward.
Water & wind-resistant: Your layering system will protect you even when you add or remove layers. Your outerwear offers water & wind resistance that makes you feel confident in your apparel.
What is the Purpose of Each Layer?
Layering is very crucial to worker safety in any kind of weather, be it summers or winters. The right flame-resistant fabric will keep your team protected & comfortable for longer. Here is the breakdown of the three main layers of the FR layering system:
Having a solid foundation is the key to any strong structure; the same can be said for the layering system of FR clothing. The base layer keeps you dry by pulling moisture away from your body; this helps to keep your body cool during hot summer days and warm when it’s freezing cold outside. The base layer clothing is usually made with a blend of hydrophobic & hydrophilic fibers that constantly pull moisture away from your body, moving it to the garment’s outer surface to allow it to dry.
You can easily get a wide variety of mid-layers at Wokrwear USA; each of these clothing options is designed to work with the base & the outer layers to keep moisture off your body & make you feel comfortable. In addition, these layers are typically built with effective, lightweight fabrics that help to increase worker comfort without reducing mobility.
The outer layer of FR apparel is really the cherry on top of the FR layering system because it is wind-resistant, water-resistant, and moisture-wicking. The unique garment design of this layer keeps all the elements at bay while moisture is being pulled away from your body to the outermost layer. This enables you to focus on the task at hand without causing any distraction or discomfort.
The FR clothing layering system is an excellent way to stay warm & comfortable in extreme weather conditions. Knowing what each level of insulation does & why you need it can help you stay safe while you’re working in hazardous work conditions. The purpose behind Workwear USA’s FR clothing design is to create a custom fit that will keep you protected regardless of how many layers are on underneath.
Flame-resistant or FR clothing is the type of clothing that has been designed & is specifically manufactured to protect wearers from potential intermittent flames & thermal exposure. Furthermore, flame resistant clothing is engineered to protect the wearer from any kind of injury that can be caused due to flames. This kind of clothing item doesn’t easily catch fire & even if they do, they are designed to self-extinguish.
When it comes to buying flame-resistant clothing, certain points need to be kept in mind. Below we have stated the three most important questions that you must consider before buying FR clothing.
How should FR clothing fit?
When it comes to FR clothing, the thumb rule is that a looser fit will provide more protection. When a garment is loose in fit, there’s an added layer of air between you & the garment, which provides extra insulation against the heat/flames that you may encounter while wearing it. If you wear a skin fitted flame-resistant garment, the flames will almost be directly up against your skin. Thus, it is safer to allow this air cushion between your skin & the fabric.
However, this doesn’t imply that you need to buy the baggiest & loosest-fitting clothing you can find. While this may initially look like a good idea, it will most likely lead to a disaster. It is important to remember that baggy clothing can easily snag on surrounding objects & hazards, trapping & leaving you immobile, or ripping & leaving you vulnerable to environmental hazards. Therefore, the best solution is to find an in-between fit and ensure that your FR clothing is neither skin fitted nor baggy. It should have a slightly loose fit, but make sure it doesn’t hang off your body so much that it’s at risk for catching on nearby objects.
Are there specific designs for women?
Some flame resistant clothing manufacturers make specific design for women workers, while others may not. So, if you’re a woman, it would be better to look for women-specific FR clothing. However, the purpose of this flame-resistant women’s workwear remains the same as the general FR clothing, which is to provide protection against flames; the only advantage is you will easily find your size. Since you need to buy a slightly loose-fitting nature of these garments, this sometimes makes it difficult to find the right size for women; thus, it is better to look for women-specific FR clothing.
What should I look for?
Your employer/company will provide you the specific instructions about what you need to buy in most cases. For example, they’ll tell you whether you need primary or secondary protection for your task. They’ll also tell you which specific garment you should buy & wear.
Another important factor to consider is a good fit, as mentioned above. But while buying FR clothing that is loose-fitting, make sure to leave room for the clothes to shrink slightly without being excessively baggy.
In addition to this, be a little aware of the manufacturer you choose to buy from. Every manufacturer usually has a different selection of fabrics & styles. The clothing quality may vary from one manufacturer to another, as well as factors like price, various guarantees & the quality-control process. Take all these aspects into account before making the final decision about the manufacturer and the garment.
Wearing fire-resistant clothing is a crucial factor for companies seeking to comply with industry safety regulations & voluntary performance standards. Employees working in hazardous work environments with a risk of explosions or flash fire are the most common situations where a form of fire-resistant (FR) protective clothing is required. In these work environments, workers may also experience an “arc flash” that directly or indirectly causes a garment fire, resulting in severe injury or even death.
When exposed to such situations, the type of clothing one chooses to wear can play a major role in how the situation turns out. In this article, we have stated some of the most significant reasons that make fire resistant clothing important.
It works as self-extinguisher
FR clothing helps to protect workers by self-extinguishing when they are exposed to flame. It reduces the extent of burn injuries as well as provides workers with valuable escape time. Most severe burn injuries are often caused when a worker is wearing clothes that are not fire-resistant, which may ignite & continue to burn even after the heat source has been removed. By wearing fire-resistant protective workwear, one can prevent such instances.
It reduces the severity of injuries
Whenever there’s a fire or explosion, FR workwear dramatically reduces the severity of the injuries. However, it should be noted that FR clothing does not completely eliminate the risk of burn injury. FR workwear is designed to protect the wearer as it allows them to get away from the heat source. The fabric serves of these FR clothing works as a barrier between the flash fire & skin of the victim, which reduces the level of energy transmitted onto the skin surface.
Moreover, the material of this FR workwear does not melt on the skin, as seen when you wear clothing made of or blended with synthetic materials like nylon, acetate, polyester, or polypropylene. Also, in the event of an arc flash incident, fire-resistant clothing helps to mitigate the overall extent of the injury.
Complies with industry standards
FR clothing not just protects you from fire but also enables you to comply with State & Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. According to these standards, employers need to protect their employees from hazards in the workplace. Staying compliant with these standards is vital for protecting your company’s safety record as well as its financial bottom line. Without having a proper FR program in place, you’re more likely to get into trouble as any non-compliance may lead to sanctions and various other penalties.
Improves employees morale & productivity
The most crucial aspect of any job is personal safety. When employees feel that the organization they’re working with is taking steps to protect their physical well-being by implementing an FR program, it significantly boosts their motivation, which results in higher performance. Employees working in hazardous work environments where nothing is being done for their safety tend to feel less motivated & less-efficient, which leads employers to incur thousands of dollars in lost productivity.
It is extremely important for employers, safety managers, and employees to understand that fire-resistant clothing serves as the last line of defense for end-users in case of flash fires & explosions. Careful consideration must be taken to ensure that the appropriate FR clothing suitable for a particular type of activity conducted by the workers is chosen, and the workers wear it properly!
A diverse array of workplace hazards makes having the right protective gear even more crucial. In many cases, this means flame-resistant (FR) clothing. Working around with high-voltage materials & fire hazards or working as a welder are just a few examples of jobs that require flame-resistant clothing. If you work in any of these industries, you would already know the purpose & importance of flame-resistant clothing. But, what actually makes flame-resistant clothing “flame resistant”?
Let’s get an insight into the science behind flame resistant clothing. A better understanding of this type of safety clothing will help you make smarter buying decisions.
What makes FR Clothing “Flame-resistant”?
Though not the only industry to wear this type of safety clothing, the electric power industry is the one that has a substantial need for flame-resistant protection. One of the most severe threats for workers is electric arcs. Hazards from arc blast/flash include:
- Hot gases
- High temperatures over short periods of time
- Intense pressure waves from explosions
- Shrapnel from vaporized &molten metal particles
It is easy to see the potential lethality of these dangers. That’s why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has introduced the “269” standard. This “269” standard states that workers must be trained in the potential hazards of electric arcs. Coming back to the topic of FR clothing, this standard also prohibits workers from wearing protective equipment that may amplify the potential of injury in the presence of an arc.
Clothing material that might lead to ignition, or will continue to burn, or that may melt on the skin is out of the question. This basically means that FR apparels are not crafted from synthetic materials such as nylon, acetate, polyester, or rayon. OSHA also provides a general explanation for what material may be considered for FR clothing. This requirement states, “Clothing apparel made from materials like 100% cotton/wool may be acceptable if its weight is appropriate for the flame & electric arc conditions to which a worker could be exposed.”
What your flame-resistant gear made out of?
The answer to this question will depend upon the hazardous risk category level & the minimum required arc rating for your job. When it comes to flame-resistance, the “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work. Different jobs have different protective gear requirements, which means each flame-resistant fabric has unique properties that may either help or harm the end-user. However, blending different fibers may allow maximum protection and performance.
Two common flame resistant fabrics include 100% cotton and an 88% cotton/12% nylon blend. The 100% cotton apparel has been permanently treated to provide flame-resistance to the extent of the garment’s life. The other one with 88% cotton/12% nylon blend is engineered to provide guaranteed flame-resistance for the life of the garment. These fabrics are treated to provide flame-resistance.; this treatment involves the application of flame retardant. Some flame retardants are phosphonium salt precondensates; these retardants have been polymerized with gaseous ammonia. They may also be a heat-cured dialkylphosphonamide. The process used for this treatment has minimal impact on the performance of the fabric.
The various types of fabrics may have different combinations of fibers or may have undergone a certain flame retardant treatment process. Still, the flame-resistant clothing you select will depend on the hazards of your workplace & the minimum required arc rating you need. However, it is not enough to consider only one facet while choosing FR clothing; a comprehensive view is needed!
The wearing of flame-resistant (FR) clothing is one of the most crucial factors for companies seeking to comply with industry safety regulations & voluntary performance standards. People working in hazardous work environments are prone to the risk of explosions or flash fire. Situations, where there’s a risk of explosion or flash fire most commonly, requires a form of Flame Resistant (FR) protective clothing. Moreover, workers can also experience an “arc flash;” this can directly or indirectly lead to a garment fire. Such fires often result in severe injury or even death.
The type of clothing one chooses to wear can play a huge role for people exposed to such incidences. Read on to understand why flame resistant clothing is important for people working in hazardous.
Works as Self-extinguishers or Resists Ignition
FR clothing typically protects workers by working as self-extinguishers for people when they’re exposed to flame. It reduces the extent of burn injuries as well as provides workers with valuable escape time. Most severe burn injuries are caused due to workers wearing non-FR clothing, which leads to igniting and continues to burn long after the heat source has been removed. By wearing Flame Resistant clothing, one can significantly prevent instances like these.
Reduces Severity of Injuries
Whenever there’s a fire or explosion, FR clothing dramatically reduces the severity of the injuries. However, it doesn’t completely eliminate the risk of burn injury. These Flame Resistant wear are designed to protect the wearer by enabling them to get away from the heat source. The fabric of this clothing serves as a barrier between the flash fire & skin of the wearer, which reduces the level of energy transmitted onto the skin surface.
The fabric of the FR clothing does not melt on the skin, which is usually seen when a worker is wearing clothing made of or blended with, synthetic materials. Also, in case of an arc flash incident, Flame Resistant clothing helps to mitigate the overall extent of the injury.
Complies with Industry Standards
Investing in FR clothing for your workers will not just protect your workers, but your company will also comply with State and Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. According to these standards, employers are required to protect employees from hazards in the workplace. Compliance with these standards is vital for protecting your company’s safety record as well as for its financial bottom line. Without a proper Flame/fire Resistant program, you are more likely to get in trouble of sanctions and other penalties.
Improves Employees Morale & Productivity
The most crucial part of any job is a worker’s personal safety. When an employee feels that their company is taking measures to ensure its employees are protected, and their physical well-being is taken care of; it significantly boosts their motivation, which results in better performance. Employees working in hazardous work environments where no measures are taken for their safety tend to feel less motivated & less-efficient. This lost of productivity eventually cost employers loss of thousands of dollars.
Therefore, it is extremely important for employers, safety managers, and employees to understand that Flame Resistant clothing wear serves as the last line of defense for end-users in case of flash fires & explosions. However, careful consideration is required to ensure that you choose appropriate flame resistant clothing which is suitable for the type of activities conducted by the workers.