Join National Safety Apparel® in Anaheim, CA October 17th to the 19th as we join more than 14,000 safety professional from around the world for National Safety Council Congress & Expo. Network and engage with safety personnel from around the world, discover the latest technology and safety products, and gain knowledge with the educational opportunities. The possibilities are endless!
National Safety Apparel®'s booth featuring TECGEN Select™ FR PPE will be located at booth #3440. Stop by and see our latest innovations!
TECGEN Select™, a National Safety Apparel® brand, features one of the most innovative fire resistant (FR) technologies on the market. TECGEN Select™ harnesses the power of OPF (Oxidized Polyacrylonitrile Fibers), a precursor to Carbon Fiber, which is a common building material known for being lightweight, yet very strong. The patented OPF fiber blend that goes into TECGEN Select™ features a carbonaceous shell which provides exceptional thermal protection and strength. Beneath the durable shell is a visco-elastic core which provides flexibility and a soft hand. The end result is a unique inherently flame resistant fabric that is both comfortable and highly protective.
After protection, comfort has been rated by wearers as the #1 benefit of choosing TECGEN Select™. According to end user research, comfort is achieved by combining 3 performance characteristics: weight, breathability, and moisture wicking. Achieving the optimal balance of these 3 characteristics was the driving force behind the development of TECGEN Select™. This balance of high performance characteristics combined with the soft hand of OPF is what makes TECGEN Select™ so comfortable.
So, why does comfort matter when selecting PPE? Research shows that workers that are provided PPE and feel comfortable in it are more likely to wear it. It's light weight and high performance characteristics make Tecgen Select™ an ideal solution, especially for high temperature environments. The lightweight garments won't weigh down the wearer or trap in heat so even in warm weather the wearer can remain comfortable while keeping all closures secured.
A number of studies have shown that comfort is a major contributing factor to overall job performance. Wearing PPE that doesn't perform well can actually contribute to heat stress and fatigue which can be extremely dangerous if not quickly addressed. The high performance technology of TECGEN Select™ allows the body to perform its natural cooling processes rather than impeding them. These garments are the perfect solution to use in combination with other preventative measures, such as hydration, to reduce the risk of heat stress. The bottom line is providing workers with protective garments that are actually comfortable can lead to increased compliance and efficiency.
TECGEN Select™ is available in work shirts, coveralls, pants, and knit shirts. With readily available stock options, high performance technology, and Arc Flash and Flash Fire protection, TECGEN Select™ is the ideal PPE solution for a wide range of users.
National Safety Apparel® (NSA) is pleased to announce the acquisition of TECGEN®, a brand of technologically advanced safety apparel designed for use in a wide range of industries including petrochemical and electrical utilities, from INVISTA, Ashburn Hill LLC.
The acquisition of TECGEN® further increases NSA's portfolio of premium flame resistant (FR) brands. TECGEN® brand products will be promoted to NSA's distributor-partners in conjunction with existing brands like ArcGuard®, Carbon Armour™, Arc H2O™, and CARBONCOMFORT™. The addition of the TECGEN® brand further validates NSA's commitment to building a house of PPE brands for our customers.
Chuck Grossman, President & CEO of National Safety Apparel® is quoted as saying "This acquisition further strengthens NSA's position as the leader in high-performance FR garments. We continue to look for strategic acquisitions that complement our organic growth in the protective clothing markets that we serve. "
Anthony Green, INVISTA's Global Business Director of FR apparel, said "the timing was good for National Safety Apparel® to acquire the TECGEN® brand assets. This adds a strong brand to their growing portfolio. INVISTA will continue to focus our capabilities on developing innovative technology based solutions for workwear, military and consumer applications where performance and protection create value for our customers."
With a variety of FR garments on the market, it's important to know what to look for and what to look out for. Keep the following in mind:
1.Select a garment thatmeets all required industry codes. This is essential to protecting workers on the job. Some garments are even dual-certified to meet multiple regulations. To get up to speed on common codes in the electrical and oil and gas industries, refer to the TECGEN® FR Glossary.
2. Read the labels and know the jargon. Keep an eye out for warning signs such as misspelled labels that could indicate labels are not authentic. Garments that are not properly certified can pose risks to workers because they do not protect the body as well as legitimate garments. Just recently, an FR garment manufacturer was put on public notice due to fraudulent labels claiming that its coveralls were UL approved.
3.Assess garments based its benefits. Compare garments by referencing the Comfort Triangle comfort, breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities to ensure they are a good fit.
In the market for new (legit) FR garments? Find a distributor here.
With seasons changing and temperatures rising, it's important to keep in mind how heat can impact worker's comfort, productivity and safety on the job. While taking breaks and staying hydrated can help keep you cool, it's also about choosing proper attire.
Depending on design and fabric construction, garments can be a cause of workers overheating. Now, there's a measurement that can help steer you away from garments prone to trapping heat. It's called Total Heat Loss (THL).
THL measures the amount of conductive and evaporative heat loss through a particular garment to help determine the maximum workload a person can maintain while wearing that garment. It combines the performance of several fabric properties, including air permeability and moisture wicking. Ultimately, when a garment has a high THL performance, it can help keep workers cool on the job and minimize risk associated with the impact of heat.
To help educate you on THL, we've rounded up the industry's most recent articles. Take a look and get up to speed on keeping workers cool and comfortable on the job.
Brite Star, a uniform rental company in South Texas and a distributor of TECGEN® FR, recently attended a STEPS meeting where TECGEN® FR exceeded expectations in a head-to-head burn test with competitive fabrics.
"When I saw the difference between the TECGEN® FR fabric and 88/12, I thought that it was impressive,"
A burn test is a demonstration on how well fabrics in FR garments hold up under extreme circumstances. In this case, a "smart" mannequin was outfitted in a variety of different fabrics including Nomex and 88/12 blended options. The mannequin is designed to evaluate the percentage of second- and third-degree burns a human could experience in a parallel real-life situation. This test is an extreme simulation of a fire directly engulfing a person for four seconds.
"When I saw the difference between the TECGEN® FR fabric and 88/12, I thought that it was impressive," said Richard McIntyre, Brite Star Services General Manager. "In the oil and gas industry, these guys are out in the sun and they usually seek an 88/12 option. But TECGEN® FR performed so much better, it really stood out, plus it's comfortable and breathable in the heat."
"At the very end of the burn demo, a used TECGEN® FR coverall was given to the group who was conducting the burn simulation to test," said McIntyre. "The mannequin in the TECGEN® FR coverall experienced 67% less third-degree burns than when it wore any of the 88/12 blended cotton fabrics tested here today."
If you're looking for FR garments, you need to know about the Comfort Triangle and what it means for keeping you cool and comfortable on the job. Comfort is about more than just the temperature on the site.
The Comfort Triangle refers to three key characteristics of FR garments, and how they can be balanced to provide comfort and protection on the job. Here is the breakdown of the triangle sides:
Lightweight: Legacy FR is heavy and bulky, often weighing workers down, limiting mobility and trapping heat. Lightweight garments allow workers to move more freely while remaining cool. Consider conducting a wear trial to determine how a lightweight garment's performance compares to your current FR garment.
Breathability: Garments that are breathable help keep heat from getting trapped. Select garments with a high total heat loss (THL) rating. Not familiar with total heat loss? Check out the Maintaining Body Temperature in Extreme Conditions article from Occupational Health & Safety Magazine, which explains the measurement and why it's important.
Moisture-management: Fabrics that make up FR garments can be designed with moisture-management properties. Even fabrics that are comfortable around the office (for example, cotton) can retain too much moisture and become uncomfortable or hazardous in extreme heat. Select garments with hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties that allow sweat to evaporate quickly, similarly to sports apparel.
Ultimately, finding a solution that balances all three of the above properties to help keep you comfortable on the job.
At TECGEN® brand, we always strive to push improvement and forward thinking in the flame-resistant (FR) garment industry. Our own Cortlandt Minnich, TECGEN® brand business development manager, weighed in on the industry's latest trends in protective clothing, during an interview with Safety+Health magazine assistant editor Tracy Haas.
Selecting a garment with the comfort triangle lightweight, breathability and moisture management in mind is essential for jobs requiring FR gear. Moisture management is becoming a key focus of manufacturers in the industry to help workers stay dry and comfortable.
"By incorporating inherent fibers that have hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties, manufacturers are able to design flame-resistant garments that perform like sports and outdoor apparel," said Minnich.
In addition to marketing materials, we also stressed the importance of establishing credibility through employee wear trials. Since employees are ultimately the ones who will benefit from the gear, they should be able to ensure that their safety needs will be met before ultimately deciding on a garment.
"Advertising claims are put to the ultimate test when employees actually wear the gear on the jobsite," he said.
We have curated a variety of frequently asked questions from our customers and hope these help expand your knowledge of FR garments.
Q: How long does the protection level of a FR garment last?
A: The only way to gauge the exact protection level in a FR garment is by testing per the 12,000+ American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. Unfortunately, these type of tests destroy the garment in the process. We recommend choosing a FR manufacturer that labels clothing properly and guarantees the FR protection for the entire life of the garment.
Q: What can I do to reduce heat-related challenges when wearing FR garments?
A: There are a number of things you are probably already doing e.g. regular breaks, hydration, rest in cool areas/shade. But one of the best ways to reduce heat stress is to specify FR that is lightweight, highly breathable and has moisture-management capabilities. Additionally, talk to your sales representative about the total heat loss of the garments you are interested in purchasing if heat stress is a concern.
Q: How should my flame resistant clothing be cleaned?
A: Every garment from different FR garment manufacturers is different, so sticking to the laundering instructions provided by the manufacturer is definitely important. For our garments, we recommend commercial laundering options to ensure proper care of your FR garments. However, if you plan to clean FR garments at home, they should be washed separately from other clothing items using standard brand name detergents without chlorine bleach or fabric softeners.
Q: Can I use insect repellent on my FR garments?
A: According to flame-resistance tests performed by the Missoula Technology and Development Center (MTDC), there is a potential hazard with the use of DEET products on FR garments. DEET is a flammable substance and can lower the flame-resistant qualities of FR garments and can actually cause the garments to burn, posing a risk of injury to workers.
Have more questions? The TECGEN® FR team is comprised of flame resistant clothing experts with decades of combined experience. Just click here and let us know how we can help!
Beginning January 1, 2015, there will be a change to what covered employers are required to report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Employers will now be required to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding about the incident.
Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident.
The updated reporting requirements are not simply paperwork but have a life-saving purpose: they will enable employers and workers to prevent future injuries by identifying and eliminating the most serious workplace hazards.
Employers have three options for reporting these severe incidents to OSHA. They can call their nearest area office during normal business hours, call the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742), or they can report online at www.osha.gov/report_online. For more information and resources, including a new YouTube video, visit OSHA's webpage on the updated reporting requirements.
*Employers under Federal OSHA's jurisdiction must begin reporting by January 1. Establishments in a state with a State run OSHA program should contact their state plan for the implementation date.