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People working in any industry that has a hazard of clothing igniting should wear flame-resistant clothing. The bottom line is that FR clothing saves lives!
Most serious burns from industrial mishaps are caused by regular work clothing igniting and burning off the wearer's back. Thousands of clothing-related injuries due to fire occur each year. The most severe burns are often not caused by the original hazard, but rather are the secondary result of clothing igniting. FR clothing does not ignite and continue to burn. Even single-layer FR work clothing can significantly protect employees..
FR clothing is essentially worn as insurance. In the unlikely event of a flash fire or electric arc flash or other catastrophe, FR work clothing reduces burn injury, provides escape time, and increases chances of survival. Even though a person caught in a flash fire or electric arc will likely have some injuries, FR clothing can dramatically reduce their severity. This can mean the difference between life and death.
Survivors often consider burn injury treatment to be worse than the burn itself. Treatment and recovery is extremely painful and can take months if not years. Burn victims can be severely debilitated and permanently disabled. A survivor's quality of life is dramatically affected by the extent and severity of burn injury. FR clothing not only increases the chances of survival, but can significantly enhances the quality of life after the injury.
There are a number of workplace hazards that have the potential to ignite work clothing and cause burn injury. Two common hazards are hydrocarbon flash fires and electric arc flash. This table lists various industries in which these hazards might be present, either as a primary (P) or secondary (S) hazard.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements worn by electrical workers and other personnel working around energized parts.
Safety standards have been developed to protect workers from industrial hazards. Standards related to the performance requirements of FR garments include: