Surprising. Sudden. Scary. Although they don’t last long, the high-temperatures, shock waves, and fast flame fronts that flash fires produce, make them a dangerous threat for workers. People exposed to flash fires can experience devastating burns and even death. In addition to other safety precautions, wearing the right clothing can drastically improve your outcome if you are exposed to a flash fire on the job.
Who is at risk from flash fires on the job?
Flash fires are caused by the ignition of flammable solids, liquids, vapors, gases, or dust (according to OSHA). They can ignite in any environment where fuel and air become mixed with enough concentrations to combust. Due to the nature of their environments and tasks, electric utility line workers, electricians, chemical plant workers, oil and gas industry workers, pulp and paper industry workers and those who work in grinding, welding, machining–and similar occupations–are at risk.
How does ordinary work apparel pose a threat to these workers?
Unfortunately, most severe burn injuries and fatalities in the workplace are caused by non-FR clothing igniting and then continuing to burn. So, if you work in one of the risky occupations listed above, any non-FR clothing at work garb poses a threat to your safety. The intense heat caused by flash fires can ignite or melt clothing that is not designed for flame resistance. That’s why wearing proper flame resistant clothing is crucial to your safety.
How does FR clothing mitigate the risk?
FR clothing can significantly reduce both the extent and severity of burn injuries to your body. When used properly, FR clothing is designed to self-extinguish after the flame source is removed. That means, unlike its non-FR counterparts, FR gear will not continue to burn after a flash fire is over. That gives workers like you extra escape time, so you can quickly retreat from the hazard. The properties of FR gear is also designed to provide insulation that will protect you from severe burns.
According to OSHA, wearing FR clothing greatly improves the chance of a worker surviving and regaining quality of life after a flash fire. Ensure you’re armed with the right flash fire protection by learning the guidelines on performance levels for fabrics and garments from experts–NFPA 2112 and ASTM F1506.
Working Person’s Store is proud to carry an extensive selection of quality FR apparel. Find the wardrobe that will keep you safe on the job at workingperson.com.