If you work at a jobsite where flash fires, arc flashes, or explosions could potentially happen, then you’re going to need some fire-resistant clothing. Employers will require you to get them if you’re going to be around these hazards, but some people decide to risk it because they think the clothes are too expensive or they can easily avoid potential fires. Employers do try to correct this kind of behavior, but it’s hard to tell if clothing is resistant to flames just by looking at it. That’s why we’re going to go over what can happen if you aren’t wearing fire-resistant clothing when you’re in an area with potential fires.
You’ll Get Burned
We’ll start with the obvious point. Even though you’ll be fine on most workdays, your luck is going to run out eventually, and you’ll going to find yourself in a situation in which you wished that you had fire-resistant clothing.
Granted, fire-resistant clothing doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get burned at all, but your chances of protection are significantly higher if you’re wearing them than if you aren’t. Your non-fire-resistant clothing won’t melt to your skin after catching fire.
You’ll Get Fined
OSHA is not lenient when it comes to a disregard for fire safety. If you get caught without fire-resistant clothing on, you and your company will be in trouble. If you still resist, they can pursue both of you legally, which will end up costing you a lot more money than a couple of fire-resistant shirts.
You’ll Get Fired
If your company finds out before OSHA, they will almost certainly fire you for it. They likely talked about the need for fire-resistant clothing heavily during the training, so blatantly disregarding it means you clearly don’t take direction well. Plus, they don’t want to have to eat that hefty fine if OSHA eventually finds out.
You’ll Lose Any Possible Legal Claims
If you get badly burned while not wearing fire-resistant clothing, your medical bills probably won’t get covered by your company. You can try to find a lawyer who’ll help you sue them, but your case will almost certainly fall apart due to your lack of self-protection. The only way you might win is if someone burned you on purpose, but that would most likely get handled as a criminal case and wouldn’t involve your employer.
We hope that all of these warnings about what can happen if you aren’t wearing fire-resistant clothing have changed your mind about the need for them. If they have, we encourage you to check out our line of fire-resistant vests, which are a stylish way to keep yourself safe while on the job.