The Crucial Role of FR Clothing in Workplace Safety
As an employer, you understand the importance of workplace safety for your organization and the people who work for you. A comprehensive approach to safety in the workplace keeps employees safe from injury and helps your company avoid breaking regulations that can cost money and time.
If you operate in an industry where electric arcs or fire are known risks, one of the key components of a workplace safety plan is Flame-Resistant (FR) clothing. To help you make more informed decisions about workwear for your business, let’s take a closer look at some of the key factors related to FR clothing – including the basics of how it works, its benefits, and how it relates to meeting regulations.
Understanding FR Clothing
It’s important to understand that there are many different types of FR clothing designed for different applications. Some clothing items provide more complete protection from fire than others, and no piece of clothing is going to be capable of protecting someone from full fire exposure over an extended period.
The term FR clothing covers clothing designed and manufactured to provide protection from thermal exposure and intermittent flames. Although each piece of clothing has its own unique qualities, there are a few aspects that most share:
- Less likely to catch fire when exposed to high temperatures or fire
- Self-extinguish when removed from the source of ignition
- Avoid melting into the skin
In some industries, exposure to workplace hazards necessitates the use of FR clothing. For example, welders are regularly exposed to electric arcs, and firefighters are regularly exposed to fire. They need clothing that won’t ignite easily and that won’t keep burning. There are FR-resistant clothing items designed for both these types of hazards that can increase worker safety considerably by being hard to ignite and quick to go out once ignited.
Benefits of FR Clothing
There are multiple benefits to using FR clothing in the workplace, including:
- Injury prevention. FR clothing is specifically designed to protect against heat and ignition, which means it protects against injuries related to those risks. Burn injuries are some of the worst kinds, so it only makes sense to protect against them as well as you can.
- Compliance with safety standards. Both the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require employers to provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) when employees are exposed to known hazards – including sources of ignition and electrical arcs.
- Employee retention. Employees like to know that you care about their health and safety. Providing high-quality FR clothing is a great way to show you care about keeping them safe.
Compliance and Regulations
Whether you are working in Canada or the U.S., there are regulations in place that require you to protect your employees. One of the major risks that both organizations recognize is exposure to the risk of fire.
CCHOS has recommendations for hot environments overall as well as requirements for flame-resistant clothing. It requires that workers exposed to flash fires or electrical equipment flashovers to wear FR clothing.
OSHA also has rules specific to flame exposure, stating that employees do not wear clothing that could increase the extent of injury.
Some employers wonder if they have to provide FR clothing. The answer is usually yes. Failure to comply with these rules and regulations can result in fines and legal repercussions.
MWG Apparel’s Corporate Program
As a leading FR clothing supplier, MWG understands the importance of protecting your workers while also minimizing expenses. You want wholesale FR clothing that is high quality, but you also need to keep costs down.
Part of what sets us apart as an FR clothing supplier is our commitment to building long-term relationships with our customers. We offer a corporate apparel program that makes it easier to keep your people safe and to save money at the same time. As part of the program, you can access bulk purchase options and customization options. We can create exactly the FR clothing you need for your specific application, including men’s FR clothing, industrial fire-resistant uniforms, and clothing that meets all OSHA FR clothing requirements.
For comprehensive workplace safety and to access top-quality FR clothing, sign up for MWG Apparel's corporate program. Ensure your employees are equipped with the best FR clothing to enhance workplace safety.