Posts Tagged ‘NFPA’

Comfort Meets Style with Workrite Dual-Hazard Knits

September 27, 2012 Comments off

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.

Voluntary Standards Requirements – ANSI, NFPA et al — Should you comply?

June 26, 2012 Comments off

In the June 2008 issue of  ISHN, I wrote an article about compliance with voluntary requirements that I think bears repeating. Please read the article below.

Distinguishing between voluntary requirements and mandatory regulations can be daunting as you work for optimal levels of safety and compliance. It’s essential to understand what “voluntary” can really mean in the business of safety. What is OSHA’s position on complying with industry general consensus standards? Companies that understand expectations regarding voluntary requirements will stay on the leading edge of worker safety and cost control.

“Incorporation by Reference” Safety and facilities consultant Eddy Valdes of World Class Solutions Group (WCSG), located in southern Florida, points out how OSHA’s General Duty clause and the topic of voluntary requirements are intertwined. “1910.6 ‘Incorporation by Reference’ is a very interesting OSHA regulation that few understand,” Valdes explains. “The regulation states that OSHA will incorporate voluntary industry consensus standards.”

1910.6(a)(1) states: The standards of agencies of the U.S. Government, and organizations which are not agencies of the U.S. Government, which are incorporated by reference in this part, have the same force and effect as other standards in this part.

This regulation was approved by the director of the Federal Register, and a few of the agencies and organizations that are referenced include the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and American Welding Society (AWS).

Valdes stresses the direct relevance of 1910.6 to the General Duty clause, Section 5(a)(1) which stipulates: “Each employer shall furnish to each employee employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”

“In short, OSHA’s General Duty clause is saying that you have a duty to make your workplace safe and OSHA’s Incorporation by Reference is saying that there are voluntary industry consensus standards, while not officially written into regulations, that should be adopted,” Valdes asserts.
Valdes presents the following hypothetical scenario as an example of the interplay between the General Duty Clause and “the voluntary industry consensus standard”:

Company A has just moved into its new facility and is in the process of setting up its emergency response plan that will include first-aid requirements for the facility. OSHA regulation 1910.151(b) states that first-aid supplies are required to be readily available, but it does not state what supplies are needed. That is where OSHA references American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z308.1-1998 “Minimum Requirements for Workplace First-aid Kits.” This is a classic example of OSHA’s “Incorporation by Reference” standard, better known as the “general consensus standard.” OSHA is using the requirements of another organization (ANSI) to dictate what the contents of the first-aid kit need to be.

Regulations and voluntary consensus standards combine to create a safety practice framework to maintain employee safety and health. “Voluntary requirements” become much less voluntary when one examines OSHA’s intent and language. The simple existence of an industry consensus standard may be sufficient evidence that a hazard is “recognized” and that there is a feasible means of correcting such a hazard.

Reap what you sow “Some companies may focus on the minimum law simply to maintain legal compliance,” says Valdes. “But they are missing the big picture. Companies and organizations that take a proactive and voluntary approach to compliance and employee safety and health programs are positioned to have a more effective and productive work environment.”

Accepting safety and standards requirements as an ethical responsibility demonstrates a sincere concern for each employee and establishes the foundation for a safety-first culture. OSHA urges companies to go “above and beyond” in examining and adopting safety standards from leading safety organizations like NFPA and ANSI.

Whether it’s flame-resistant clothing or first-aid kits, knowing and implementing both mandatory OSHA requirements and voluntary national consensus standards will keep your company compliant and your employees safer.

Featured expert Eddy Valdes is a facilities and safety consultant and head of World Class Solutions Group.

NFPA Combustible Dust Seminar

June 21, 2012 Comments off

I recently spent 2 days attending a seminar about Combustible Dust put on by the NFPA’s Guy Colona. Its purpose was to discuss and inform those attending of the safe practices for dust hazard processes. The seminar went into great detail about how to identify a dust problem, how to determine if the dust is combustible and possibly explosive, as well as a review of the various standards associated with this hazard.

Guy reviewed various combustible dust explosions in the past and explained various terms like Minimum Explosible Concentration (MEC), Minimum Ignition Energy (MIC), Deflagration Index (KST) and more.

We discussed OSHA’s past and current role in attempting to address this hazard and reviewed in some detail NFPA 654 Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids.  He also informed us of a new NFPA guide to Combustible Dust which will be coming out in a month or so. Overall it was very informative and would be worthwhile for any safety manager that works in an industry that has a potential Combustible Dust hazard. The more you know about possible hazards the better able you are to protect workers should an incident occur.

Article: “Electrical Safety, Certified” NFPA Journal

April 2, 2012 Comments off

The March/April issue of the NFPA Journal featured a great article written by Jeffrey Sargent about new certifications needed for electrical workers and supervisors. Click this link to be taken to the article.


NFPA F23 Meeting Update

February 1, 2012 Comments off

I’m currently in Atlanta, GA for the ASTM F23 meeting.  My task group is developing a guide for Combustible Dust hazards, and we discussed the latest draft. The draft was reviewed and a number of minor changes suggested. The plan is to update the draft with the suggested changes and distribute for final comments prior to submitting for balloting.

It was noted that OSHA has moved the combustible dust rule making process to long term action status which could mean the rule isn’t coming out anytime soon. The next step is for OSHA to complete the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act  (SBREFA). We just don’t know when it will be completed, and neither does OSHA.

The NFPA is also looking to initiate a new committee to consolidate their multiple combustible dust standards. We’ll see where that goes in the coming months.

We’ll keep track of the status of both OSHA’s and NFPA’s progress and post and update here once we get information.

– Mark

Hazard Risk Categories (HRC) and Using Them to Identify Your PPE Need

June 20, 2011 Comments off

What are NFPA HRC’s? HRC is a numbering system used for arc-protective clothing.  The HRC label externally identifies clothing or clothing systems (PPE) with different levels of protection.  Industrial employers can use HRC’s to determine the FR clothing that should be worn by employees who are doing specific jobs or tasks. Workrite pioneered the use of external HRC labeling and it is now an industry standard.

The employer can look the task up in the NFPA 70E Task Tables, then look in the Task Table for the corresponding HRC required. These Task Tables are used by employers in lieu of calculating the actual arc energy exposure hazard of a specific job or task. 

The different HRC numbers correspond with a minimum Arc Rating requirement for the PPE, stated in cal/cm² and called Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV). The HRC’s were established to cover a range of arc energy exposures by task. The HRC is only used when a hazard risk analysis is not performed by the employer and the actual exposure potential is not established. The HRC numbers, minimum PPE Arc Ratings (ATPV), and arc energy exposure ranges are as follows:

Task Table Numbers – HRC Levels Apply When Task Tables are Used

HRC Number

Arc Rating Range (cal/cm²)

Exposure Range (cal/cm²)



below 1.2


4 or greater

1.2 to 4


8 or greater

4.1 to 8


25 or greater

8.1 to 25


40 or greater

25.1 to 40

 As you can see the arc rating is the minimum number or greater while the exposure range that it covers is from that same minimum number down to the next lower level. This provides a safety factor because the maximum exposure is never greater than the minimum arc rating. For example the HRC 2 exposure can never be greater than 8 cal/cm², and the HRC 2 arc rating range (ATPV) starts at 8 cal/cm².

You only use HRC numbers when you use the task tables. HRC numbers are not relevant when you’ve done the hazard risk calculations and have established the exposure energy (cal/cm²) of the job task.

You only use the arc rating (ATPV) number when you have done the hazard risk calculations and have established the exposure energy (cal/cm²) of the job task. Once you have the exposure energy (cal/cm²) calculated, then you simply match the garment’s arc rating (ATPV) to the exposure.

It is important to remember– it is the user’s responsibility to determine either the arc energy exposure they are protecting against or the HRC level they need.

Categories: Arc Flash, NFPA, NFPA 70E, Workrite Tags: , ,

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