Just like clothing needs vary for casual and formal occasions, so does it for the work time and hence the name, workwear. Safety at the workplace is vital both for the worker as well as the employer.
People working in different professions are exposed to different hazards and therefore, they need to be equipped with workwear adapting to the specific needs of their professions. It is essential for the safety of people and as a business owner, it becomes the responsibility of the company to furnish all its workers with the right kind of workwear with desired design and properties.
So, if your business has welders, electricians, blacksmiths, industrial workers, offshore workers, engineers (chemical, mechanical, civil, electrical), and similar others, then a periodic encounter with hazardously high heat, sparks, electricity, harmful chemicals, oils, gases, molten metals, rain, foul weather, fire and more can be expected. For the best protection in these likely events, the best flame-retardant workwear needs to be selected.
Here are some basic highlights that any business needs to consider when purchasing flame-retardant workwear:
#1. Optimum protection adapted to the profession:
The workwear should ensure the protection of the worker from high heat, radiation, steam, sparks, flames, and other hot materials. Flame retardant workwear is certified according to specific standards. Therefore, the workwear suitable for an electrician may not be enough for a welder. Similarly, what may be a perfect safety suit for a blacksmith may not do well for a chemical engineer. Therefore, the first thing is to pick the equipment following the hazards the worker will be exposed to. A worker exposed to chemicals will need acid-resistant workwear.
If you are looking for safety equipment for workers who may be exposed to heat and flames, you should look for the ones certified by EN ISO 11612 and EN ISO 14116. The equipment certified with these standards has a reduced risk of ignition on brief exposures to heat and flames. These norms cover heat hazards from different heat sources, viz., convective, radiant, and contact heat. Additional protection may be needed if the exposure is for longer periods.
If you are looking for flame-retardant workwear for workers working in oil and gas industries or others where combustible dust particles are generated during an ordinary course of work, you should pick the ones that can protect against flash fires. In the aforementioned industries, there can be events of a sudden, intense fire caused by the ignition of a mixture of air and a dispersed flammable substance such as a solid (including dust), flammable or combustible liquid (such as an aerosol or fine mist), or flammable gas. The flame front can expand rapidly over a short duration also characterized by high temperatures and hence your workers will need protection against the same.
Certification following the norm IEC 61482-2 ensures workwear protection against electric arcs. This kind of workwear protects against short-term exposure to electric arcs and is best for electricians, industrial workers who are required to work on voltage grids or inspection of switchboards and/or distribution boards, etc. The origin of electric arc accidents may occur from the ionization of a conductive electrical interconnection that can accidentally occur between electrodes of different potentials, different phase relationships, or one of these & the earth. The high temperature and associated risks and potential hazards depend upon the power & combustion period of the electric arc. A huge amount of radiant energy is released as a result and hence the workwear needs to ensure protection against radiant heat in such events. High chemical aggression may lead to the formation of a plasma cloud where high radiant heat can ignite nearby flammable materials. And, hence the necessity of protective workwear.
Similarly, if your worker is required to be working with electronic gadgets, their inspection, installation, and repair, then exposure to static electricity and electrostatic discharges can be expected. To ensure protection against these, the workwear needs to be furnished with electrostatic properties. These come with certification according to EN 1149-3 and EN 1149-5. The workwear with this certification breaks down electrostatic charges from the fabric surface and discharges them into the air.
For chemical engineers and other industrial workers who are required to be working with dangerous chemicals, the preferred safety workwear needs to be certified according to the standard EN 13034. The seams of this kind of workwear are designed to face downwards so that drops or splashes of harmful liquids do not get stuck in the clothes.
For personnel involved in welding and allied services, there can be an encounter with molten metal splashes. Such events may be the result of accidental contact of moisture or any liquid bearing material to the hot melt deck. The explosion can range from mild to moderate to severe throwing away the molten metal and high-temperature solids out of the bath exposing workers nearby to considerable risk.
Flowing the hazards, suggested norms for picking the best kind of workwear, here’s a quick guide.
|The hazard||Suggested norms|
|Protection against heat and flame||EN ISO 11612: 2008|
|Protection against static electricity||EN 1149-5|
|Protection against flash fire||NFPA 2112|
|Protection needed in welding and allied processes||EN ISO 11611: 2007|
|Protection against thermal hazards of electric arc||EN 61482|
|Protection against electrical hazards||NFPA 70 E|
|High visibility requirements||EN ISO 20471; ANSI 107; AS/NZS 1906.4|
|Protection against rain, snow and high velocity wind||EN 343|
|Protection against liquid chemicals||EN 13034|
Flowing the hazards, suggested norms for picking the best kind of workwear, here’s a quick guide.
#2. High-quality material to ensure maximum flame-retardant properties:
The flame-retardant workwear must be manufactured using high-quality materials that can provide optimum protection as and when needed. The choice of fabric, its quality, and thread count play a massive role in minimizing flame spread and thus in the selection of the best quality workwear for your organization’s workers.
Certifications consider the manufacturing material and hence certified workwear equipment has to maintain its flame-retardant properties for up to 50 industrial washings and 75 household piles washings.
Flame-resistant materials are used to engineer the clothing of these protective garments.
#3. Closed details:
Good-quality flame-retardant workwear has all the pockets and seams properly sealed to leave no space for any heat, flame, spark, or splashes of dangerous liquids and chemicals to enter.
#4. Choice of colors:
Though all flame-retardant work-wear comes in different traditional colors, yet fluorescent colors are preferred for outer suits since they make the worker’s visibility the maximum during the daytime. Also, there is workwear with reflectors for maximum visibility in the dark. Workwear certified following EN ISO 20471 ensures maximum visibility at any hour of the day.
Treatment of workwear with Teflon further makes it dirt-resistant thereby ensuring more visibility that can be hampered due to dirt.
High visibility garments are an essential requirement by maximum workers and include all construction workers, engineers, and other personnel working on off-shore platforms. Such personnel is often required to work in volatile environments with low-visibility conditions, such as rain, fog, smoke, dust, dim light, etc.
#5. Multi-protective workwear:
Flame retardant workwear is not just a single bodysuit. It can consist of different things altogether contributing to the safety, flexibility, and comfort of the worker. Different climates and regions may need different kinds of workwear. So, you’ll have to select from jackets, trousers, boilersuits, bib and brace overalls, shirts, T-shirts, sweaters, innerwear, hoods, masks, flash kits, and more.
Some multi-protective workwear protects against multi-dimensional hazards like electric-arc tested equipment also protects against static electricity, heat, flames, and even chemicals.
While there is nothing better than complete bodysuits, but some circumstances require workers to be using a combination of jackets, trousers, and more. In such situations, it is best to also equip the worker with additional protective equipment for the exposed parts. Some of them include helmets, footwear (shoes, boots), gloves about risk level exposure.
#6. Functionality and comfort go hand in hand:
While making the selection of the best flame-retardant workwear, it is imperative to check for comfort. Since it is the workwear equipment, it will be worn while working in high-risk environments and if the worker is uncomfortable, both work and worker’s safety can be ruined. It, therefore, becomes obligatory to look for the comfort side along with the functionality of the equipment. After all, work has to be carried out both efficiently and safely, both of which rely on worker’s safety and comfort.
To comply with the various safety regulations and keep employees safe, the factory is proud to have SA8000, ISO9001, ISO14001 certifications. Multiple certifications ensure the workwear being protective against multi-dimensional hazards. Besides, there are 4 fully automatic assembly lines and more than 200 sets of equipment for businesses to select the best workwear for their employees suiting their work environments and comfort.
Though there is no substitute for prevention, accidents may arrive unannounced. And therefore, protection from risks is the best that can be done for employees’ safety. Equipping appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is imperative to serious injuries and fatal burns.
Excellence in safety, highest in functionality, and best in comfort are what make any workwear the best.
With these key lines as the points of consideration, purchasing flame retardant workwear can become much easier.