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Matching FR Clothing to your Workplace

fr clothingSo you know you need to purchase flame resistant clothing for your employees. But how do you know what kind of clothing to buy? To help you match the right FR clothing to your workplace, it helps to follow these steps:

  1. Identify your hazard type
  2. Review applicable standards
  3. Determine the level of protection needed
  4. Research FR clothing
  5. Evaluate FR clothing
  6. Make clothing available to employees
  7. Train employees on use

1. Identify Your Hazard Type

Fire hazards come in different forms. The two main types are flash fire and electric arc flash.

  • Electric arc flash: A brief explosion created by an electrical fault. Arc flashes reach incredibly high temperatures (as much as 35,000 degrees F) and produce a shock wave. Arc flash hazards exist in environments with electrical hazards.
  • Flash fires: An intense fire caused by ignition of flammable materials such as liquids or particles. Flash fires move rapidly and can reach 1,900 degrees F. Flash fires hazards primarily exist in industries that create combustible materials.

While both types of fires can be devastating, they may require different types of protection. It’s important to closely examine each item of clothing to determine what type(s) of flame it protects against.

2. Review Applicable Standards

After determining your hazard types, check to see what standards apply to these hazards and your industry. These standards can change, so make sure you have the latest versions. Visit the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health) for more information.

3. Determine the Level of Protection Needed

Flame resistant garments are rated based on the type and level of protection they provide. These ratings are expressed in calories (i.e. heat energy). For example, our Rasco flame resistant heavyweight coveralls are rated ATPV 14 cal/cm2.

While you might think your best and safest strategy is to buy the highest rated FR protection possible, you may subject your employees to unnecessary discomfort. And this, in turn, could reduce compliance.

4. Research FR Clothing

FR clothing has become more sophisticated over time, as manufacturers develop new and better FR materials and construction methods. Select Safety Sales is proud to carry FR clothing from several top manufacturers, such as Rasco, Saf-Tech and Occunomix, in different styles to suit a variety of uses. Look through our fire resistant clothing selection and see which FR clothing pieces might work best for your employees.

5. Evaluate FR Clothing

Once you’ve narrowed your search and know the clothing you want to buy, conduct a wear trial. Have a few employees wear the garments over a period of time and get their feedback before placing a larger order. To facilitate wear trials, Select Safety Sales offers special introductory pricing on some of our FR clothing products.

6. Make Clothing Available to Employees

When you’re ready to buy, look for bulk purchase deals if you have a larger workforce. At Select Safety Sales, we offer quantity discount pricing on some of our products.

In addition, it’s important to put programs in place to ensure manufacturers’ care instructions are followed and garments are maintained. Otherwise, the garments’ level of protection may be compromised.

7. Train Employees on Use

It’s not enough to simply hand out protective clothing to your employees. Instruct them on how, when and where it must be worn. Review this information periodically and incorporate it into new employee training.

FR Clothing at Select Safety Sales

At Select Safety Sales, we offer a good selection of reasonably priced FR clothing, including FR overalls, FR coveralls, FR pants, FR bib pants, FR shirts, FR T-shirts and FR sweatshirts at reasonable prices.

Contact one of our safety experts for help selecting the best FR clothing for you and your employees at 866-864-3495. You can also reach us through online chat or email at sales@selectsafetysales.com.

 

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