Flame-resistant (FR) clothing is required for workers in a variety of industries, and each industry is regulated by different safety standards that specify the level and type of protection that workwear should provide.
To help you better understand the specific requirements for your industry and workforce, Workrite Uniform Company has compiled the following summaries of FR-related standards.
This standard specifies the minimum performance requirements and test methods for FR fabrics and components, and the design and certification requirements for clothing developed to protect workers from flash fire hazards. It requires FR fabrics to pass a comprehensive series of thermal tests, including the following:
This standard serves as a user’s guide for industrial FR clothing. It addresses topics such as hazard assessment, purchasing, cleaning, repairs, storage, decontamination, retiring garments and proper use procedures. It also requires that garments be certified to NFPA 2112.
This standard outlines the requirements for the design, performance, testing and certification of non-primary protective station and work uniforms. It also includes performance requirements for both non-FR and FR fabrics and garments, including heat and thermal shrinkage, thermal stability, seam strength and label durability. The optional FR station wear must meet the non-FR requirements as well as measure up to flammability testing of fabric and other small textile components.
This standard addresses electrical safety-related work practices for employee workplaces. These safety measures are necessary for the practical safeguarding of employees relative to the hazards associated with electrical energy during activities such as installation, inspection, operation, maintenance and demolition of electric conductors, electric equipment, signaling and communication conductors and equipment, and raceways. This standard also includes safe work practices for employees performing other work activities that can expose them to electrical hazards. It does not cover safety-related work practices for ships, railway rolling stock, aircraft, underground mines, or communications and utilities equipment.
The FR fabric and garment requirements are those shown in ASTM F1506. Tables of common types of electrical equipment are included and assigned one of four PPE Categories (1, 2, 3 or 4). Each category has a minimum arc rating for protective clothing measured in cal/cm², plus other personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements.
This specification provides performance requirements for clothing worn by electrical utility workers and other personnel working around energized parts. In addition to non-thermal requirements, the standard requires the fabric to be FR. Flame resistance here is measured using the ASTM D6413 Vertical Flame test (maximum of two seconds afterflame and 6-inch char length). The arc rating is either the arc thermal performance value (ATPV) or energy breakopen threshold (EBT) as measured by the ASTM F1959-06ae1 Arc Thermal Performance test.
This standard states that each employer shall furnish each of his or her employees with a place of employment free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
This standard requires employers to identify risks and protect employees from hazards in the workplace. The rule applies to many types of personal protective equipment, such as safety glasses, hard hats and safety shoes. In some instances in which employees had suffered from burns in the workplace, OSHA used this standard to cite employers that did not require the use of FR protective apparel.
This maintenance standard applies to electric utilities and industrial cogeneration plants when work is performed at existing facilities (e.g., maintenance work). This standard does not apply to the construction of new facilities.
This regulation requires employers to assess risk throughout the entire manufacturing process to ensure that the process is safe. It applies to chemical plants and petroleum plants. It has specific requirements on handling flammable substances, however, it does not specifically require FR clothing. OSHA has used this standard as the basis for citing employers for not requiring FR clothing.
This standard specifies that employees engaged in the use of hazardous chemicals in a laboratory setting must be trained in the measures they can take to protect themselves, including the use of the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). It also states that lab coats should be worn when working with hazardous materials in a laboratory.
Additional information on laboratory safety apparel is found in the OSHA Laboratory Safety Guidance booklet, including a reference to OSHA 1910.132, which requires the provision and use of PPE wherever employees may encounter chemical hazards that have the potential to cause injury or impairment. Additionally, the booklet notes that fire is the most common serious hazard faced in a typical laboratory setting and emphasizes the need to wear the proper clothing and PPE.
For more information on laws and standards related to FR clothing, and how those standards apply to your company, please visit the sources below:
As an ISO 9001:2008-certified company, participant in numerous industry associations and standards-writing organizations, and owner of numerous trusted brands, Workrite Uniform’s expertise is backed by a steadfast commitment to superior protection and quality.