Workers in industrial settings face a heightened risk of burn injuries. Some electric arcs and flash fires reach temperatures that are hotter than the surface of the sun. When a person suffers burn injuries, they face a lifetime of medical struggle and a reduced quality of life. The Occupational Health & Safety Administration requires fire-resistant clothing because of the prevalence of burn injuries from industrial accidents.
What Does Flame-Resistant Clothing Do?
Depending on its quality and materials, flame-resistant clothing can protect a worker in a variety of ways. Notably, clothing that is flame resistant will never be produced from synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester.
Flame-resistant clothing accomplishes the following:
- Self-extinguishes when ignited
- Resists ignition when introduced to heat
- Insulates the wearer from heat
- Does not melt and burn the wearer even worse
- Helps to reduce the severity of burns
What Does OSHA Require for Fire-Resistant Clothing?
OSHA has two requirements that employers must meet for flame-resistant clothing. First, all employers must train their workers about the hazards of their job, so they know when flame-resistant clothing is required. Second, OSHA requires employers to ensure that workers are wearing proper clothing.
If an employer does not enforce proper safety standards at their job sites, they can be held liable by the injured after an accident occurs. An employer is required to make sure that all flame-resistant clothing being worn by employees is in functional condition and not too worn to be effective during a fire or blast.
Who Provides Fire-Resistant Clothing?
Many large companies will supply safety clothing to workers. However, in some cases, workers will be allowed to bring their own. In this case, employers are responsible for ensuring that employee-supplied fire-resistant clothing meets safety requirements. When it is time to wash clothes, employers must provide cleaning services if employees are unable or unwilling to accomplish washing that protects the clothing’s protective properties.