With the launch of the new Workrite.com, Workrite Tech Notes is now hosted on our newly renovated website. Please click the link below and bookmark it as the new place to view the Workrite Tech Notes blog.
Workrite will be in Canada in November at the Health & Safety Conference in Alberta on November, 19-21. If you’re at the show, stop by to meet our Canadian National Sales Manager, Karim Panjwani.
I just received my new copy of NFPA 654 Combustible Dust Standard 2013 edition. The key sections related to FR clothing are:
Section 220.127.116.11 “Personnel exposed to a dust flash fire hazard shall be protected in accordance with 11.2.2.”
Section 11.2.2 “Operating and maintenance procedures shall address personal protective equipment (PPE), including flame-resistant garments, in accordance with the workplace hazard assessment required in NFPA 2113…”
Appendix A11.2.2 “Where a dust explosion hazard or dust flash fire hazard exists, flame-resistant garments provide a measure of protection for exposed personnel.”
Click here if you would like more information about the combustible dust hazard.
The NFPA 2112/2113 committee finished its most recent meeting last Wednesday. The four key areas of focus were:
1. Review of proposals for the next edition of NFPA 2113. There were a number of proposals reviewed and the committee made suggested actions on each. One proposal of note was suggesting the title of the standard itself be changed. The proposal was to change the words “Flash Fire” to “Short Duration Thermal Exposure.” The committee had a relatively long discussion, but came to a consensus that changing the title more accurately reflects the types of hazard experienced in the field. A flash fire is just one type of thermal exposure that FR garments can protect against and therefore the committee wanted readers to not lose focus of that fact.
2. In section 4.2.3 (1), ‘thermal intensity’ was added to ‘duration and magnitude’ as an additional variable to consider when performing a hazard assessment. This lets those performing hazard assessments account for the fact that different fuels and different conditions can change the thermal intensity along with the size and duration of a short duration thermal exposure.
3. The committee also discussed the type of testing that should be used for insulation materials, since putting these materials through all the same testing as the shell fabric is not necessary and will not allow suitable insulation materials to become compliant. Task groups were formed to propose wording that will address this issue. These proposals will then be submitted as Temporary Interim Amendments (TIA’s) so insulated products can be submitted for compliance sooner, rather than waiting for the next revision cycle.
4. Lastly, the committee discussed the effect of adding external emblems and name tags to NFPA 2112 certified garments by someone other than the garment manufacturer. The committee agreed that this is not a problem as long as they follow the statement shown in section 4.3.6 of NFPA 2113 “Non-flame-resistant heraldry attached to the exterior of the garment (e.g. logos, name tags, non-flame-resistant silk-screened artwork, etc.) shall be kept to a minimum, both in surface area and number.” The certifying agency certifies the garments as they are produced and it is the users/employers responsibility to follow NFPA section 4.3.6.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me: email@example.com
Workrite will be exhibiting at three shows in October. The Lineman’s Rodeo is always a hit with our annual Plinko game and popcorn poppin’ all day long. NSC is our biggest show of the year, so if you’re in the area, make sure to come see the Workrite booth as well as the full sales staff and tons of product.
EEI Fall – Birmingham, AL
Lineman’s Rodeo – Overland Park, KS
National Safety Council – Orlando, FL
Workrite has introduced a new line of innovative knits featuring TenCate Tecasafe® Plus. Our new knits are dual-hazard and can protect against both flash fire and arc flash. They are certified to NFPA 2112 and NFPA 1975 and meet HRC 2 for NFPA 70E. Made from the first inherently knit product engineered to withstand the rigors of industrial laundering, these knits are geared toward both industrial and fire service customers.
Click here for more information on our knew dual-hazard knits.
Safety isn’t seasonal – it’s year round. At Workrite, we make flame-resistant (FR) outerwear that looks good, feels comfortable, and protects workers in the harshest outdoor environments. Be protected all year long with our wide selection, including jackets and fleece in a variety of fabric weights – constructed to be easily layered for better fit and protection. With 100% inspection at every step of our manufacturing process, we deliver long-lasting, wearable FR every time.
With style for all seasons, Workrite has built better FR outerwear for the last 40 years. Don’t leave your employees out in the cold, order your outerwear today!
Click here, or click the image above to browse our outerwear catalog. Call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-521-1888 to order.
The following article was written by Scott Margolin of Westex Inc. Scott discusses possible issues with providing arc flash protective clothing using a task based versus a daily wear approach.
Task Based Versus Daily Wear
Compliance and worker safety can be achieved by both task-based and daily-wear approaches, and the risk/reward calculus is fairly straightforward. A task-based program has the benefit of lower initial cost by virtue of providing a single coverall instead of multiple sets (usually five) per employee, but adds risk and longer-term costs in the form of liability, monitoring, undergarments and productivity, among others. As a result, the majority of companies currently in compliance with NFPA 70E choose not to rely on task-based systems, instead specifying arc-rated (AR) flame-resistant clothing as the only acceptable work uniform for employees and contractors working on energized electrical equipment.
A task-based system burdens the individual worker with deciding when to don AR clothing, when it is safe to remove it, and who else in the vicinity may need to be excluded from the flash protection boundary or required to don AR to enter it. Training each employee to this degree is time-consuming and expensive, documentation is required, and the potential for inconsistent and inaccurate application of the rules is enormous. Some workers who are asked to take this responsibility work much more slowly, while others cut corners; one approach is inefficient and the other is unsafe.
Clothing worn under the AR outer layer also can be unsafe if it is meltable. Standards require non-AR garments worn underneath to be made of all-natural, non-meltable fibers. This is much more difficult to mandate and monitor when workers are wearing “street clothing” in a task-based program. A second layer of clothing under the AR also has much more potential to cause heat stress than a single layer of AR.
When an incident occurs, the company will be held liable even if it can prove the hazard was analyzed, the appropriate personal protective equipment was provided and the worker was trained, because OSHA requires the employer to monitor appropriate use of PPE. Thus, despite doing everything else right, in a task-based situation where a worker fails to don the appropriate FR clothing, takes it off too soon, or wears it improperly, the company still will face fines, potential legal action and the extreme expense of a burn injury. Therefore, most safety managers will not allow each worker to make dozens of decisions every week, out of sight or reach of supervision, any one of which could result in catastrophic injury or death and the attendant costs and issues.
The average worker will tackle many tasks in any given day, each with different hazard levels. If he or she is required to retrieve, don and doff FR coveralls each time a given task demands it, the cost of these delays quickly can exceed the supplemental cost of daily-wear AR over the three-to four-year service life of the clothing. This situation is exacerbated when a worker faces tasks that can range across three or more hazard risk categories.
Safety managers generally are not gamblers; they prefer a known to an unknown and want to remove as many human error variables as possible. The simplest solution, with the least possibility for error and injury, is to specify AR clothing as daily wear and require all employees working on or near energized electrical equipment to report to work in AR. This best-practice approach ensures productivity stays high, liability is dramatically reduced and monitoring is almost automatic.
Article by: Scott Margolin of Westex, Inc.
Workrite will be represented at three shows in the month of September:
Oil Sands Trade Show & Convention – Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Alliance Hazardous Materials Show – Anchorage, AK
South Texas Oilfied – Corpus Christi, TX