FR Clothing Safety Standards

For petrochemical and utility worker’s protection using fire-resistant clothes during work hours are very necessary. Now, it has become a rule to provide FR clothing as personal protective equipment at free of cost to all the employees who come to work at the highest risk of exposure to flames or electric arcs.

Many organizations – starting from the government based institutions like OSHA, to the industry trade associations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Electrical Safety Code (NESC), and ASTM International have established testing-based standards of FR clothing. This is done to make sure that every cloth has the highest ability to protect the workers.

1. OSHA’s General Duty Clause

It demands that employers must identify the risks and take measures to prevent probable hazards for the employees. In that case, it is a must for the employers to take measures by following the OSHA guidelines by law. The General Duty Clause is applicable to the situations where Federal Law does not exist, and workers have to be exposed to risky conditions.

2. OSHA’s 1910.132

It includes all personal protective equipment to provide protection for eyes, face, head, and any exposed body parts. OSHA’s 1910.132 is about the standard guidelines for employers about the required measures. It includes hazard assessment and its cause, conducts employee training with proper care using personal protective equipment like FR clothes.

One can get such standardized FR clothing on in varied sizes and colors. The availability of various sized FR clothes makes it well fit for all the industrial workers exposed in the oil, gas, electrical, utility, and combustible dust fields. Such clothes are also suitable for other workers who have to work with the same risk factors in multiple other sectors. 

3. ANSI 107

3. ANSI 107
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The standard of American National Standard for high-visibility safety apparel provides compatible, authentic guidelines about the selection and the usage of these safety apparels. These measures are fixed on guiding its consumers and manufacturers. ANSI 107 offers standard performance specification and mentions the required amount of background materials. 

Also, it says about retro-reflective material like high visibility tape with its placement on the garment, procedure of testing, labelling on the garment, and luminance factor. The standard includes three performance classes of garments based on visibility and design. It also indicates the types of garments based on the expected use settings and work activities being performed.

4. ASTM’s F1891-98

This standard applicable for especially arc and flame-resistant rainwear used as flame-resistant and waterproof material in rainwear. These garments are generally prepared with fabrics which are carefully coated or laminated. Recently, these standards have been revised, and this fabric has now acquired a flammable ability.

5. ASTM F1449

Like any other type of clothing, FR clothing needs to be maintained to be kept in good condition to fulfil its purpose perfectly. It is a Standard performance specification or guides for industrial laundering of clothing worn by electric workers whose fabric requires to be flame thermal, and arc-resistant. 

These clothes will not ignite or continuously burn being exposed to an ignition source. ASTM F1449 standard outlines the industrial laundering process, included with the measures and responsibilities of the fibre, fabric, and clothing manufacturers, as well as the processors with the perfect measures of the chemical to be used by the processors, and the responsibilities of the end-users.

This standard also outlines a brief direction about the washing formulas considering the water temperature, drying temperature, water hardness, mechanical action, wash-room chemistry, finishing temperature, alkalinity of detergents, use of bleach, souring, extraction, cycle times.

6. ANSI Z87.1

The American National Standard Practice sets forth the outlines for design, construction, testing, and use of all the penetration resistant devices prepared to protect eye and face. The devices for this standard include safety glasses, goggles, and face shields prepared for using the employees under OSHA jurisdiction. 

This equipment is required to provide comfort with adequate protection against the hazards for which they are designed. By law, eye and face protective devices are required for electric workers working under arc flash or for the workers exposed to flash fire, where is an immense possibility to occur a secondary blast.

7. ASTM D6413/ D6413M

It defines the Standard Test Method of the FR textiles, and it is one of the most commonly used test methods. This test examines whether a fabric will continue to burn after the cause of ignition is eliminated. This test is performed in five steps, such as exposing the FR clothing to the flame, after-flame, afterglow, and char length, and finally, the results are averaged and reported.

Wrapping Up

Developing a fixed safety measure by this scientifically proven standard is very necessary to provide the required protection to your valuable employees’. Also, pay enough attention to the maintenance of these safety garments. Stay safe

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