Welders are constantly exposed to sparks and open flame as perform the duties of a welder require intense heat. Industrial safety regulations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) often require flame resistant safety apparel for welders, machinists, electricians, and other occupations.
Additionally, many companies voluntarily require their employees to don flame resistant apparel for their employees' own safety. Flame resistant safety apparel can also protect a company from downtime and workers compensation claims due to injured workers. Here is a look at the benefits of flame resistant safety apparel and the conditions it is designed for.
When Should Flame Resistant Safety Apparel Be Worn?
In addition to obvious occupations like welding, any employer who works in an industrial setting that uses ignitable liquids or fine combustible particles, such as coal dust, should be mandating flame resistant safety apparel, even if OSHA regulations don't require it in your specific setting.
An atmospheric fire from hydrocarbon vapors or other compounds can breakout in an instant, hence the term "flash fire." Industries that create combustible products and byproducts, especially those from petroleum products are most at risk.
Another industrial setting where flame resistant safety apparel should be worn is when there is a risk of electrical arc flash. This happens when ionized air becomes charged from an electrical fault and a substantial electric current results. An electrical arc flash typically lasts for less than a second, but it creates extreme heat. Electrical arc flashes are most common in electrical utility occupations.
What Are the Benefits of Fire Resistant Safety Apparel?
Burns, even small first-degree burns, are extremely painful. While all injuries are painful, no one wants to ever suffer the pain of getting burned. Severe burns can take months or even years to heal. Burns can cause massive disfigurement in addition to tremendous pain that can linger for life. Sadly, some burns are so severe, they are fatal. Fire resistant safety apparel can dramatically reduce the severity of burns when they do happen. Fire resistant safety apparel cannot eliminate burns, however.
The biggest benefit of fire resistant safety apparel is it resists ignition to begin with and if it does catch fire, it self-extinguishes. Normal work clothing does not do this, and synthetic fabrics may melt into the skin. Flame resistant safety apparel also provides insulation from the extreme heat of a fire. Because it protects the skin, the likelihood of third-degree burns are lessened.
For more information, contact companies like Oil & Gas Safety Supply.