In hazardous work environments, wearing the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can mean the difference between life and death. Flame-resistant (FR) clothes are among the most important pieces of PPE, especially in industries like construction, oil and gas, and emergency response. However, finding the right FR clothes can be a daunting task with so many options and brands available on the market. Use these tips to help you find industry-appropriate FR clothes that suit your needs and budget.
Know the Regulations
The first step to finding industry-appropriate FR clothes is to be familiar with the regulations. In the US, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that employers provide FR clothing to employees working in environments where there’s a risk of flash fires or electric arcs. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets the standards for FR clothing, and compliance with NFPA 2112 and NFPA 70E is essential. Make sure that the FR clothes you choose meets these regulations.
Assess the Risk
The level of risk you face on the job will determine the level of FR protection you need. Different job roles have varying risk levels, and you should choose the appropriate clothing accordingly. A construction worker may require different FR clothing from a first responder, such as flame-retardant pants. Assess the job site and its hazards to identify which risks are present and choose FR clothing that can handle them.
Choose the Right Material
The choice of material is critical when selecting FR clothing for your job. Common materials include cotton, nylon, and polyester. While cotton is comfortable and affordable, it’s not always the best choice for FR clothing. Therefore, materials like Nomex and Kevlar are used because they do not ignite or melt. Be wise in picking a suitable material that can handle the specific hazards of your job.
Consider Fit and Comfort
FR clothes protect you against heat, flames, and electrical hazards, but they can also feel heavy, hot, and uncomfortable. Ensure that the FR clothing you choose fits properly and provides breathability to prevent overheating. Your FR clothes should allow you to move easily and not interfere with your work. Comfortable FR clothes will make you more efficient in your job while still being protected.
Protect Yourself From Fire and Electrical Hazards
If you work in a hazardous industry, it’s important to ensure you have the right FR clothes to protect you from fire and electrical hazards. Finding industry-appropriate FR clothes can be a challenge; however, by following these tips, you will be better prepared to make your purchase.
With these tips for finding industry-appropriate FR clothes, you’ll be able to stay safe and get more done without worrying about your personal safety.