Safety Focus of the Week: Flame Retardant (FR) Clothing
Flame Retardant (FR) Clothing is required in energized electrical substations to protect a worker from injury from an arc flash. An arc flash is an instantaneous release of energy that causes both an intense radiant heat (which can cause fire and burns) and frequently the violent release of molten/vaporized metal. The heat from an arc flash is intense enough to instantaneously ignite non-FR Clothing.
FR Clothing provides a protective layer for workers exposed to this type of hazard. Our work on VELCO, GMP, CVPS, and VEC typically requires protection for a NFPA 70E Hazard/Risk Category 2 which means a minimum of FR shirt, FR pants, and cotton underwear. NPFA stands for the National Fire Protection Association and their standard 70E is for electrical safety in the workplace.
In addition working in arc flash hazard jobsites, FR Clothing can be useful protective layer where there is a danger of burns or fire such as:
- Exothermic (CAD) Welding
- Arc Welding
- Torch Cutting