Why The Fit of Your FR Clothing is Important

You can get every part of the flame-resistant clothing selection process right -- buying from a trusted, established company with gender-inclusive garments, opting for the best FR materials, picking out garments that offer the flame and arc protection you need -- and still fall short of safety standards if the clothing doesn’t fit properly. FR clothing fit is one of the most important factors in safety and compliance at work. It’s one of the factors you can fully control, prioritizing your safety and affording yourself the highest level of protection.

Why is garment fitting important? Proper FR garment fit is essential for worst-case exposure hazards, comfort, and safety. Workwear that is too loose poses hazards like tripping, getting caught in machinery, and impeding performance. These risks are elevated for women, who often find that garments designed for men don’t fit properly due to male-biased clothing designs. Selecting FR workwear for women instead of unisex or male-biased designs allows for a more snug, body-tailored fit. Since legislation and industry regulations vary inconsistently around the country, it’s up to you to pay attention to fit -- it directly affects the overall safety and performance of your FR workwear.


Fit of Your FR Clothing is Important

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) addressed the importance of snug, properly fitted PPE in a recent fact sheet. It includes a CSA Group survey of a group of almost 3,000 women who wear required PPE and found:

  • 38% of workers modify ill-fitting FR clothing and PPE with rubber bands, safety pins, or duct tape -- these modifications pose safety hazards
  • 58% wear clothing in the wrong size to remedy a poor fit
  • 28% avoid wearing ill-fitting garments altogether

Regulations and legislation are starting to embrace the importance of PPE fit and how to properly wear FR clothing. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Products (CAPP) and the British Columbian Workers Compensation Act Occupational Health and Safety Regulation both detail fit standards and requirements for FR clothing:

  • Must have a snug but relaxed fit -- not too tight or loose for comfort and maximum protection
  • Must leave a layer of air between the fabric and skin to provide a “buffer” during exposure, allowing time to remove yourself from the danger
  • The protective clothing of the worker must fit closely to the body (8.10)
  • The worker must wear PPE that fits properly for the work and hazards that may be faced (8.19)

Interested in learning how to properly wear FR clothing? Ensure every layer, from the base layer to the jacket, fits properly and allows unrestricted freedom of movement. Fasten all buttons and closures to create a full circuit of protection that leaves no opening for exposure. Learn to recognize the signs of an improperly fitting garment, like:

  • Restricts range of motion in the shoulders, hips, or knees
  • Hangs excessively loosely from the body
  • Fits skin-tight or strains closures/fasteners when closed

Let’s look at an example -- how loose should a FR jacket fit? FR jackets should fit close to the body without restricting movement or feeling too tight in the shoulders, arms, or elbows. Ensure there’s a thin layer of air between the jacket and layers underneath. Power Magazine addressed the proper fit of FR clothing as being “slightly baggy” to avoid transferring heat to the skin during exposure incidents.

Proper-fitting FR clothing is the foundation of safety, allowing women to move freely and perform their jobs without hindrance.”

Purchase FR clothing from a brand that understands the importance of dynamic FR clothing fit for all body types and genders. Because fit is such an integral part of the overall effectiveness of FR clothing, it's something we prioritize at MWG Apparel. Our FR clothing for women and men provides a premium, comfortable fit in a range of relaxed and slim-fit designs with supple flexibility. We offer innovative FR workwear designed to fit men and women in industries like construction, mining, wildland firefighting, electric power, and oil & gas.

Don't settle for ill-fitting workwear that puts your safety at risk or impedes your performance at work. Find high-quality FR shirts, pants, outerwear, and additional premium items. Get impeccably fitting FR clothing pieces from MWG Apparel.
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