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 that meets 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.
Maintaining Body Temperature in Extreme Conditions with FR Garments, OH&S
Keeping Cool On the Job with Appropriate FR Attire, Northeast ONG
Regulating Body Temperature with Appropriate FR Garments, Safety Decisions Magazine
Taking on the Heat with Flame-Resistant Garments, ISHN
For more tips on selecting a safety garment, learn about The Comfort Triangle.
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,"
"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 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.
(Source: OSHA Update, December 18)
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.
We've been buzzing all month about our new women's line, because we know the time is now to ensure women are outfitted safely and comfortably in the workplace. As you may have seen in Safety + Health magazine's September issue, we want to share some insight with the industry about designing an appropriate women's FR garment program.
The article highlights three key considerations when including women in your FR garment program: