Flame resistant jackets and other attire used by workers in the petrochemical and utility industries are no longer the exception to the rule, wearing it is now “the rule.” As an employer of people in these industries you are faced with a number of choices in fabric and garments. Prior to making decisions on what to purchase it is important that the company knows what the specifications are and what must be done to comply with the rules.
As with everything which has an impact on the safety and health of employees, OSHA; the Occupational Safety and Health Act have issued regulations that apply to flame resistant jackets and other fire resistant clothing.
These standards require that employers of those working in specific areas of a given facility identify the risks and provide what is necessary to protect employees from hazards. In the utility and petrochemical industry the regulations mandate that employees that work in areas where there is the potential of being exposed to an electric arc cannot wear clothing that will ignite which in turn will contribute to burn injuries.
Just as it is important to understand the regulations, it is equally important to understand the specifications that pertain to the performance of the garments. These specifications have been written by ASTM, American Society for Testing Materials and NFPA, National Fire Protection Association. The specifications apply to all garments worn by electrical workers in both dry and wet conditions and protection against flash fires.
Performance standards are set by those organizations mentioned; ASTM and NFPA. Although a standard is not law, they often gain the force of law and in many cases OSHA, which is a law-making entity will incorporate compliance with standards set by these organizations into law, rules and regulations.
It is mandatory that workers in certain high risk industries wear flame resistant jackets and other garments. To ensure your employees are protected from injury you are invited to visit the on-line shop of MPE Inc.