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.
Great information to have and great presentation. I do agricultural safety training in Alabama and I try to inform outside workers what they need to wear on the job but often fall short. I will use your information if allowed. There have been serious injuries and even at least one fatality associated with work clothing that had gone wrong. So important to safe working environment.