In certain industries with hazardous working conditions, workers must wear fire-resistant clothing. This is because the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that workers wear it for their own protection.
If you work in one of these industries or are considering a job as an auto mechanic, oil extractor, or something else, you might be wondering a few things. The first thing you might be asking yourself is if your employer should be paying for your FR clothing. We explore the answer to that question in our guide below.
OSHA’s 269 Standard
Under section 1910.269 in its Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), OSHA mandates that anyone who works in electric power generation, transmission, control, or transformation should wear PPE while they are on the job because they are constantly exposed to electric arcs. Professionals refer to this section of the CFR as the “269 standard” because it prohibits workers from wearing clothes that could cause injury. Therefore, if they don’t wear fire-resistant clothing while they are working, the workers are effectively committing a federal crime by violating this standard.
Your Employer Must Enforce Compliance
OSHA regulates safety compliance based on the employer’s ability to enforce it. As part of the General Duty Clause, OSHA requires employers to do whatever they can to protect employees from serious harm and death.
There are more specific rules in the CFR that relate to fire and electric arcs. The 269 standard states that it’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees are wearing FR clothing whenever someone could be exposed to electric arcs or flames. Ruling 1910.132 says that the employer must furnish the cost of any FR clothing or PPE used on the job.
Your Employer Pays for FR Clothing
For example, let’s say that you are looking at some FR jackets online. Your employer can buy it for you outright, or you can purchase it on your own, and they could reimburse you for the cost.
However, the jacket must be compliant with the safety standards set by OSHA. If not, you could get in trouble for wearing it on the job.
Overall, FR clothing keeps you safe if you work in a job with hazardous conditions. Now that you know why your employer pays for your FR gear, you won’t be asking anyone, “Should your employer be paying for your FR clothing?” any time soon.