OSHA requires workers in a variety of industries to wear fire-resistant (FR) clothing while they’re on the job. If you work in one of these industries, you must understand the importance of wearing a base layer underneath your FR clothing.
For those who don’t know, a base layer is the clothing that touches your skin and serves as the closest layer of protection, basically acting like a second skin. With this in mind, read on to learn what to wear as a base layer underneath FR clothes.
Even in the summer heat, wearing a long-sleeve shirt will help you stay protected from burns. An ideal base layer will cover as much of your skin as possible. For a long-sleeve shirt, you will probably want one made from a slim-fit or elastic material, so you don’t sweat too much in the heat and can stay flexible.
If you must wear a flammable material such as cotton for your base layer, make sure the ARC rating for your top layer is strong enough to handle the anticipated energy level of common workplace incidents in your industry. An FR zip-up sweatshirt should provide you with plenty of protection if you decide to wear it.
Although you might think that FR coveralls will offer you full protection, if they are loose enough to allow you to move around, then fire can enter through these gaps. This means that you should wear thermal pants and underwear to provide your lower half with adequate coverage.
Wearing a thermal long-sleeve shirt is also a great idea. Whatever you decide to wear, make sure that it’s absorbent because you will sweat if you’re all covered up on a hot day.
Even if you wear steel-toed boots to work, underneath them, you should have FR socks on your feet to serve as a base layer. Depending on how well your thermal pants cover your ankles, you will want to pull your socks up to give you full coverage.
Overall, wearing FR clothing is the best way to ensure that you’re always safe when you’re working. Now that you know what to wear as a base layer underneath FR clothes, you can maintain full protection while you’re on the job.