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Webinar: What to know about FR to keep your employees safe

ByTom Weeks | Published: August 24, 2018
Presented by Radians
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Key Takeaways

Choosing the right FR workwear for your employees can greatly impact their ability to work safely and efficiently.

Jamie: Hello, and a warm welcome to everybody. We would like to wish you a good morning, a good afternoon, or a good evening, depending on where you are in the world today. My name is Jamie, and I’m one of the co-founders of Safeopedia. Safeopedia’s mission is to support the EHS professionals, operational folks, and any safety-minded individuals through free educational content, tools, and resources. A huge thank you to those dedicated professionals for the great work they do on a daily basis.

Today we’re very proud to present How to Select the Right Flame-Resistant Work Wear to Keep Your Team Safe. This Safeopedia webinar has been made possible by Radians, a valued member of Whether you wear, sell, or manufacture safety equipment, Safety Network is for you. It’s your personal safety community and resource center, with partners consisting of the best safety equipment manufacturers and distributors on the planet. It is now my pleasure to introduce to you today’s presenter, Tom Weeks.

Tom has over 20 years of experience wearing a multitude of hats in sales, marketing, business development, and product design and development. He has worked for Red Wing shoe company, Wenaas USA, and Ironclad. Many of his customers are in the oil and gas and utility markets, which are heavy users of the arc-rated flame resistant (AR/FR) work wear. To help support Radians' expansion into the AR/FR protection category, Tom joined the Radians team as the product champion for flame-resistant clothing. He is responsible for the initial launch of VolCore, Radians’ new line of FR clothing, and for managing the transition and integration of Radians’ most recent acquisition, Neese Industries, with their complementary line of FR work wear and rain wear. His other responsibilities include growing the business, training and educating end users and distributors, and expanding the VolCore and Neese product lines to meet customers’ needs. He also provides technical support and expertise to those who need information on the performance and use of AR and FR apparel and on the regulations and standards that govern the industry.

He is an active and voting member on several ASTM committees for FR garments in the workplace. He studied business administration and petroleum safety at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. And now, I invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the presentation. With that, Tom, please take it away.

Tom: Thank you, Jamie. I appreciate the opportunity to present to you all today. So, today, I’m going to give you about a 10,000-foot overview of how to select the right FR work wear to keep your team safe. Let’s start out by viewing a 25-second video. There is no audio on this video. So, why does FR matter? I think the video pretty much explains it all in 25 seconds, but let’s dive into and talk about a few of the standards in the industry. You’ll hear buzz terms like NFPA 2112, NFPA 70E, ASTM 1506, ATPV, EDT—what do all those mean? Well, let’s get into this now.

AR versus FR—let’s start with AR. AR means arc rating. It’s a value describing a fabric’s performance under exposure to electrical arc discharge, based on testing that determines when the amount of exposure results in a 50% probability of causing the onset of second-degree skin burns. This is expressed in calories per centimeter squared, and it also uses either an ATPV or an EDT value, and I’ll get into that more in a minute.

What is FR? FR means flame-resistant. It is a fabric or product that resists ignition and self-extinguishes after the removal of the ignition source. The current standards for arc flash protection, as detailed by the NFPA 70E standard, states that all PPE clothing must also be flame-resistant to qualify for an arc rating. So, in other words, all AR clothing is FR, but not all FR clothing is AR.

Let’s look at a few of the industry organizations that provide testing and standards. You might recognize some of these, like the UL or NFPA or ANC or OSHA or ASTM. We’ll talk about a few of these now. NFPA 2112 is the standard for flame-resistant garments for protection of industrial personnel against flash fire. It is a national consistent standard, and it defines the minimum performance requirements worn by workers who face threat of exposure to flash fire in their workplace.

ASTM 1506—this is merely a self-certification performance specification. It is intended to supply minimum requirements for apparel used by electrical workers exposed to momentary electric arc and related thermal hazards. It uses a vertical flame test, which consists of an unwashed fabric, a fabric that has been home laundered 25 times. It has a maximum char length of 6 inches and an after flame of 2 seconds.

What is NFPA 70E? Well, OSHA, who requires employers to protect employees from electrical hazards, including arc flash—yet OSHA does not specifically explain how to comply with these regulations. Well, insert 70E, NFPA 70E, is basically the bridge between the OSHA regulations and the compliance. It is the national consensus standard for electrical safety in the workplace, deferred to by OSHA on numerous occasions.

ATPV means arc thermal protective value. It is tested with an ASTM 1959 performance specification. It is the rating of the arc burn protection capability of a garment, so the higher the arc rating equals more protection a garment gives, because it has a higher resistance to catching on fire, and it is measured in calories per centimeter squared, which, as I mentioned earlier, is basically the thermal exposure from an electric arc that will create a second-degree burn in human tissue.

Then there’s EBT. What is that? Well, EBT is the energy of break-open threshold. It also uses the ASTM 1959 performance specification, and if the APTV cannot be calculated because the fabric breaks open during the vertical flame test, then the energy causing the fabric to break open is expressed as the EBT. And remember, the higher the value, the greater the protection.

So, it gets kind of confusing, but just remember this. The ATPV and EBT—they’re both evaluating the same test, but the first one to be reached is the reported arc rating. While both values (ATPV and EBT) can be reported, only one arc rating is given to a fabric, and it’s only the lowest value that will be used on the clothing label. So, you’ll see on a clothing label—it will say ATPV 8.6 Cal or EBT 8.2 Cal. This is what we’re talking about.

So, let’s talk about the hazard risk category. I mentioned arc ratings and Cal ratings and all those, so the hazard risk categories—there’s four categories. A Category 1 has a minimum arc rating of 4, and it basically consists of an FR shirt, FR pants, or an FR coverall, a single layer. You jump to Category 2, which has a minimum arc rating of 8 Cal, and it’s an arc-rated shirt, pants, or FR coverall, and it could be one or two layers, and that’s important to know, because for example, you take a no-max four and a half pound coverall. It has an arc rating of around 4-5 Cal, so by itself, it will not be a Cat 2. It will be a Cat 1. But if you layer it with, for example, a 100% cotton undergarment, then it could be an 8 Cal or higher, so that’s two layers.

Then you get to Category 3, which is a minimum arc rating of 25 Cals, and it consists of an arc-rated FR shirt, FR pants, or FR coveralls and an arc flash suit, selected so that the system arc rating meets the required minimum, so now you’ve got two or three layers. Then you get into a Category 4, and these are guys that may be working on real high energy 220,000-volt panels, and they need a minimum arc rating of 40, which would consist of the arc-rated shirt or pants, the FR coveralls, and arc flash suit, possibly arc flash hood and shield, and the arc flash gloves. These guys are really wearing some heavy-duty equipment.

So, let’s talk about the categories a little bit more.Each category has a range on its Cal rating. Category 1 is between 4 and 8 Cals, up to 8 Cals. Category 2 is 8 up to 25 Cals. Category 3 is 25 up to 40 Cal, and Category 4 is 40 and greater. So, the bottom chart is actually the old ratings, but I like to include it, because it lists a 0 Cal, which is basically a guy just needs to be wearing some work clothes. But the column on the right I like because it also gives you suggested PPE you probably should be wearing in addition to the arc-rated clothing.

For example, Category 1—they should be wearing coveralls or a long-sleeved shirt and pants, face shield or arc flash suit, hood, gloves, jacket, parka, rain wear, any hard hat liner. In addition to that, they need to be wearing a hard hat, safety glasses or goggles, possibly hearing protection, heavy-duty leather gloves, depending on the job, and safety shoes or steel-toed boots.

And if you jump down, say, for example, Category 4, when you should be wearing a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, coveralls, arc flash suit jacket, arc flash suit pants, arc flash suit hood, gloves, jacket, parka, rain wear, hard hat liner, in addition to the other PPE, hard hat, glasses, gloves, steel-toed boots, this is a very good chart for resellers and distributors to use to help their end user customers pick out the right products and to give them a little nudge on, “Make sure your employees are wearing all the proper PPE.”

Some industry terms—flame-retardant is basically a chemical treatment applied to a flammable fabric. For example, 100% cotton is very flammable, but when it’s treated with a chemical flame retardant, it becomes flame-resistant. Inherent—an inherent fabric is an FR fabric that is made of fibers that are flame-resistant due to the chemical structure of the fibers, and has not been chemically treated, for example, Nomex. Nomex is an inherent FR fiber. Treated—treated is an FR fabric in which the flame-retardant chemicals are added to the fabric after it has been woven and knitted, which would be a cotton or any of the cotton-blend fabrics.

The vertical flame test—I mentioned that earlier. Basically, that’s just a test that determines whether or not a fabric is FR by measuring how much of the fabric is consumed after 12 seconds of flame exposure, and then that test uses a char length, which basically is measuring the damaged fabric after the flame test.

Some fabric types—an inherent is the synthetic fabrics, like the Nomex and Kevlars. Nomex is basically just a brand name of fibers produced by Dupont. Same thing for Kevlar—it’s a Dupont fiber. Kevlar—I’m sure you’ve all heard of Kevlar bulletproof vests. Kevlar is also used in gloves and other garments that are worn.

Mode acrylic is basically a generic name for an inherent fiber, so some manufacturers will make a mode acrylic or mode acrylic blend fabric that is inherent that competes against the Nomex brand or the Nomex garments.

And a common term in the oil and gas business is FRCs, basically, just flame-resistant clothing, so a lot of people refer to their FR garments as FRCs.

So, who should decide what type of FR garment an end user should wear? Well, first of all, as a manufacturer or distributor, we do not recommend what FR garment a worker should wear. That decision should only be made by a qualified safety professional, who should evaluate the hazards on a job and then recommend the correct FR garment that meets the appropriate standard for that application. And usually, safety professionals will have a company guide on FR work wear, and if it’s in the electrical industry, they’ll have a guide based on certain jobs that have a minimum arc-rated garment. Then they’ll specify that. In the oil and gas business, most of them will say, “I need a Cat 2 coverall,” that simple.

Some types of garments for the jobs at hand—you’ll see pants and jeans, shirts, coveralls, some hi-vis, and lab coats. Pants and jeans—those are best suited for electric arc hazards. They’re very common with workers in the electric utility industry. You’ve got electricians. You’ve got linemen, contractors—you have mechanics. Also, in the petrochemical industry, a lot of times, you’ll find supervisors who will be wearing shirts and pants, instead of coveralls. Same thing, supervisors in the electric arc companies, and also some jobs may require a worker to wear a higher arc-rated garment for additional protection, depending on that potential hazard exposure.

Same thing for shirts—best suited for electric arc hazards, very common electric utility industry, mechanics, petrochemical industries, and there are also several types of shirts that are very popular, long-sleeved, button-down shirts or three-button, long-sleeved Henley shirts, and then some manufacturers also make a long-sleeved T-shirt.

Coveralls are best suited for flash fire hazards.They’re very common for workers in the petrochemical industry, in the drilling, oil and gas, upstream, downstream, offshore, refinery sectors. These are garments that allow for the greatest possibilities of movement, because you don’t want a tight-fitting garment when you’re working with these types of garments on. You want something that fits a little loosely, so you have room to move. Coveralls that feature a pleat or an action back will enhance comfort and support your job performance. They’re typically dual-rated, pretty standard nowadays. AR and FR are commonly used.

Hi-vis—not all hi-vis is FR, but a lot of it is. But hi-vis is also best suited for fire, law enforcement, emergency response, construction, transportation, fixed industry, and other specialty markets. It’s applicable for workers that are exposed to either low-light conditions, needing greater visibility under inclement weather conditions, or to help protect workers from potential struck-by hazards.

Lab coats are best suited for laboratory workers primarily, but they are used in other ways. And there’s also many types, styles, and fabrics that exist in lab coats, but when properly used, lab coats can provide protection of skin and personal clothing from incidental contact and small splashes. They can prevent the spread of contamination outside of the lab, provided they’re not worn outside the lab, and they can provide a removable barrier in the event of an incident involving a spill or splash of hazardous substances.

So, a question that should be asked is, “What am I trying to protect myself against?” to determine what type of lab coat you need.You want to protect yourself against a flammability hazard? An exposure to a toxic substance? A chemical splash? A biological exposure? Or you just want to keep your street clothes clean?

That concludes today’s webinar. I hope you all found something very useful. If you have specific questions that you want to reach out to me for, my contact info is below. If you do have questions you want to submit now, please do so, but in the meantime, I would like to thank everyone who signed up and attended today’s webinar, and I also want to thank the and Safeopedia for hosting it and for Radians providing the support, as well. Now it is time for questions.

Jamie: Great. Thank you, Tom. Yeah, we actually had quite a few questions come in, so let’s get right to it. First question is from Mike. He says, “What’s the difference in performance between an inherently FR and a treated FR piece of clothing?”

Tom: That’s a great question, Mike. Really, from a protection standpoint, there is no difference.It’s basically two ways of accomplishing protection of your workers for AR and FR hazards. It’s just like you can drive a Cadillac or a Kia. They both have four tires, and you put gas in it, and it gets you from Point A to Point B, and they have minimum protection standards, based on crash tests. So, there’s really no difference between inherent and treated fabric, other than cost, as well, so cost is a big factor.

Jamie: Great. Thank you, Tom. All right, I have a question from Glenn. Does fit have a factor in utilizing FR clothing?

Tom: Yes, it does. Like I mentioned a while ago, you don’t want garments to fit too tight, because that will restrict movement, which could present hazards to you doing your job properly, so you want garments that fit slightly loosely, because you also may be wearing other garments underneath it, and you want to be able to move freely, so fit does present a factor. You still get the same protection on the garment, but it will restrict your movement, which could cause other hazards to you.

Jamie: Great. Thank you, Tom. All right, Rosemarie has a question. Is bug spray OK to use when wearing FR clothing? Great question.

Tom: That is a good question. The answer is no if it contains DEET. DEET will ruin the FR properties of a fabric. But there are some bug sprays out there that use another type of chemical that does not mess with the FR properties, and I’ve actually seen some manufacturers testing fabrics that have bug protection built into the fibers, but it’s a real niche product into a very narrow market. But that was a great question.

Jamie: All right, so Michael has a question here.There have been cases where FR clothing has created a heat hazard because of the material. So, I think we’re talking about heat stress here. Can you talk a little bit about this and maybe using FR work wear in hotter climates?

Tom: That has been a major concern with FR work wear forever, because it’s a trade-off. If you want to be protected against flame and arc exposure, the trade-off is the garment is going to be hot. Now, you can counteract that by, one, wearing the proper undergarments, wearing 100% cotton undergarments that help absorb moisture from your skin, but a lot of manufacturers are trying to find ways to help keep the wearers cooler by putting vented mesh in the back or putting vented mesh under the arms and behind the knees to help circulate more air into the garment between the garment and your skin to help keep you cooler.

Some end users, some companies, will purchase from manufacturers like Radians cooling towels and cooling vests to help keep them cooler. Some end users also provide cooling trailers to help keep their workers cool. But I can guarantee one thing. The garments will be hot. If you’re working out in the heat, they’re going to be hot. But if you take breaks, you drink lots of water, you use a vented coverall or some of the cooling products that the company provides, cooling tents and trailers—utilize those and help keep you cool as much as possible.

Jamie: Great. Thank you, Tom. All right, here’s one from Mark. Can add-ons, like reflective striping and patches, be safely applied to FR garments?

Tom: That’s a great question. Yes, they can, and it’s very common. It’s almost rare that you see somebody wearing an FR coverall or shirts and pants, and they don’t have a company logo either on a patch or a direct embroidery. A lot of industries are requiring their workers to have reflective striping on there, so reflective striping and patches and direct embroidery—that can be applied very easily. There is FR-rated tape that is pretty common. Patches, based on the industry standards—if you have a patch that’s no more than the size of a business card, it does not have to be FR. It can be applied with FR thread, but the patch itself can be non-FR.

Because of the nature of the garment, if it’s applied in the manufacturing level, you can sew on reflective tape. If it’s applied at the distribution level, then it can be heat applied, and according to the NFPA standards, as long as it doesn’t take up more than so many square inches of real estate on the garment, then it will be fine. So, that was a long answer to the question. The answer was yes.

Jamie: Great. And actually, that was some pretty key information at the different levels of manufacturing and the distributor and the size of the patch, and I thought it was a fantastic explanation. Thanks, Tom.

All right, one here from Blaine. I am quite often questioned as to how long FR/AR resistant clothing is good for. In other words, is there an expiry date association with this type of PPE?

Tom: That’s a great question. I get asked that a lot. The answer is no. There’s not an expiry date, per se. It all depends on how the garment was cared for. Now, for example, all manufacturers, if they adhere to the industry standards—the NFPA 2113 standard for care and maintenance states that, if the garment is laundered and dried properly, meaning don’t use any bleach, no chlorine, no Oxi-Clean, no fabric softener, the proper temperatures, it should last up to 100 uses, and after 100 uses, it must be replaced. Well, theoretically, depending on the job, if a guy has 5 or 6 sets of uniforms, and he’s wearing one a week, theoretically he could wash it 50 times a year, so in 2 years they’ve been washed 100 times.More than likely, he has worn that garment out before then, and it needs to be replaced. So, the standard is it has to be replaced after 100 washes if it’s been cared for properly.

The kicker is that there’s no national consensus on how to track how the garment has been cared for. It’s up to the employer to educate their employees that they properly care for their garments to make them last. If it gets ripped or torn, then garments can be repaired, but if it gets soaked in oil and chemicals that just won’t come out, and it gets washed, it needs to be replaced, because that just creates another hazard if it gets hit with a flash fire.

Jamie: Great, thanks, Tom. All right, I have a question here from Renee. Does fabric softener affect the FR properties of a garment?

Tom: Yes, it does. You cannot use fabric softener when washing FR garments.

Jamie: Hey, Tom, just a side note on that—do you have any sort of cheat sheet or list of things, like dos and don’ts from an FR perspective, or FR/AR, that we can share out with the audience later?

Tom: I can put something together, some dos and don’ts.

Jamie: Yeah, I can just imagine trying to keep all this front and center, front of mind. It would be certainly nice if there were some sort of cheat sheet out there. That would be helpful.

Tom: Exactly, yeah, and there is—in some of the fabric, manufacturers provide that type of information, but a lot of it is also the owner going through the safety director that manages their safety program to make sure their employees are educated, and it could be bringing any manufacturer or distributor to put on a lunch and learn or a seminar and educating them the proper use of garments.

Jamie: Yeah, it shocked me when it was like, “Only wash it 100 times,” and I was like, “Wow, who, A: knows that, and B: who’s keeping track?”

Tom: Exactly, yeah.

Jamie: And then I thought, “Maybe that’s doable,” and then you threw the fabric softener in there, and I thought, “Oh, boy, I’ve got to make a note.”

Tom: Exactly, but the 100 times—but if a company’s using a laundry service, they potentially can track it, but there are times where they will replace garments because one may have gotten damaged during the laundry process, so that person may not get the exact shirt he turned in to be laundered, so—

Jamie: Yeah, interesting. All right, thank you. All right, we have a question here from Paige. It’s two phases here. Do regulations vary from state to state?

Tom: The standards that I went over in the presentation are national standards, so the states don’t get into that level of regulation when it comes to FR clothing. It is a national consensus.

Jamie: Great, thank you. All right, Pam has a question—inherent versus treated—does treated wash out after so many washes?

Tom: It could wash out if it’s not laundered properly, and that’s a question I get asked pretty frequently. Back in the day when fabrics first started being treated, manufacturers used to say, “Well, this coverall’s good for 25 washes,” or “It’s good for 75 washes.” Well, technology has advanced quite a bit, and a lot of manufacturers have updated their manufacturing standards, which have gotten a lot better, so that’s when the NFPA 2113 standard came out, stating that, hey, your fabric needs to be certified by this standard, which states the 100-wash cycle, and if it doesn’t, then it won’t qualify.

So, technology has come a long way in helping that, and then there’s some manufacturers that have engineered their cotton fibers to contain flame-retardant chemicals, which won’t wash out, technically, and you’ll see some of that, too, but for the most part, if a fabric is labeled with the 2113 standard, then that fabric has been tested to withstand up to 100 washes.

Jamie: Great, thanks, Tom. Thanks, Pam, for your question. All right, Karen has a really interesting question regarding safety boots. Are steel-capped toe safety boots not a hazard to electrical safety? Great question.

Tom: No, they’re not, because they’re typically covered in leather, so they’re not directly exposed to the open air or where electrical arc would happen. Now, there’s a couple of manufacturers that have experimented with FR rated boots, where the leather was actually treated with a flame retardant. It’s a niche product. There’s no national standard on requiring FR boots, per se. So, for the most part, you’re fine with the way boots are manufactured today. Now, some boots use a non-steel cap made out of a real rigid material, which is lighter weight, and it doesn’t have the same weight or the properties of a steel cap, even though it gives you the same protection for your toes, so I guess that’s my answer to that question.

Jamie: Oh, great, thanks. Let’s see here. Trixie—can clothing be waterproof and fire-resistant at the same time? It’s a two-part question, so I guess answer that one first. Can clothing be waterproof and fire-resistant at the same time?

Tom: The answer to that would be no.

Jamie: All right, and then the second part—what is the difference between EH rated and FR rated? Which is safer?

Tom: EH stands for electrical hazard. You’ll find that specifically in footwear, where it’s EH rated. It means that if you get struck with the electrical arc, then that will pass through the boot. And so, you’re not really comparing—those aren’t two things that are strictly comparable. It’s apples to bananas, so—

Jamie: All right, thank you. All right, Jonathan has a follow-up to the fabric softener question. Do dryer sheets affect the FR properties in fabric?

Tom: Yes, so don’t use dryer sheets, no fabric softener, no bleaches, no Oxi-Cleans, no bug spray with DEET.

Jamie: Thank you. All right, let’s see, Deborah—the FR clothing, like your extrication gear, that is not NFPA-certified—what is the recommended lifespan? And would this apply if a garment is kept in a bag when not in use and only used a few times per year?

Tom: Repeat that question.

Jamie: Yeah, sure, there might be some spelling mistakes. So, the FR clothing like your extrication gear, clothing that’s not NFPA-certified—what is the recommended lifespan? So, it’s FR clothing that’s not NFPA-certified. What is the recommend lifespan? And would the same lifespan apply if the garment is kept in a bag and only used a few times per year? Can you extend the lifespan?

Tom: Well, there’s no lifespan. It all has to do with how the garment is worn, what it’s exposed to, and how it’s cared for. Just keeping it in a bag doesn’t extend it. It just means you hadn’t worn it.

Jamie: Great. Thanks, Deborah, for your question, and thank you, Tom. Let’s see here. OK, this is Gary’s question. Can the garments be sent back to the manufacturer for retreatment?

Tom: No. I don’t know any manufacturer that takes a garment back for retreatment. First of all, how do you know it needs retreating? And the only way to find out is to hit it with a flash fire or an arc, and if it does so, then that garment has to be taken out of service.

Jamie: I see. Let’s see here. Here’s a question from Gabe. Does FR-rated ink need to be used if a logo is silk screened on FR clothing? Great question, Gabe.

Tom: Yes, and for example, we do use silk screening, and we use FR additives to inks, which is pretty standard.

Jamie: Here’s a question from Barbara. Does dry cleaning affect FR-rated clothing?

Tom: No, it doesn’t, if it was dry cleaned properly. There are some chemicals that could affect the FR properties of a garment being dry cleaned, but there’s some that are not, so if you go to dry clean it, you need to notify the cleaners that you’re using that this is an FR garment, and that way, they know what to use and what not to use.

Jamie: Thank you. Here’s a question from Lucanola. I hope I said that right. Lucanola asks, “What is the ideal duration for using an FR laboratory coat? Three months or one year?”

Tom: There’s no time schedule, per se. The same thing as the coveralls and shirts and pants—it all depends on what the garment’s been exposed to and how it’s been cared for, so if it’s been—if you have a lab coat, and you spill hazardous chemicals on it, or biological chemicals on it, then that garment would probably need to be replaced.

Jamie: Thanks, Tom. Here’s a question from Eric. Eric is asking, “Could you please explain the difference between”—and I think this is AR-rated and FR-rated clothing, or ratings. Oh, I’m sorry, flash fire rated and FR-rated. Thanks, Eric.

Tom: It’s the same thing, so FR means flame resistant, so it’s resistant to flames from flash fires.

Jamie: Perfect. Eric, if that answers your question, or if you want to dive deeper, just let me know.

Tom: Yeah, and Eric, if you want, you can reach out to me. Send me an email if you want to talk about it further, and I can give you some additional information.

Jamie: Great, thanks, Tom. A couple people on here are talking about—can you talk a little bit about FR/AR rated rain gear? I think it’s a follow-up on the waterproofing question. So, talk a little bit about some rain gear that’s FR or AR rated.

Tom: There’s a lot of rain gear out there. I don’t have a lot of exposure to rain gear, but I would say with our acquisition of Neese—Neese does sell some FR rain gear. I am just now getting up to speed on that, so if you have specific questions, I’d say shoot me an email, and then I can go into more detail with you about specific FR rain gear.

Jamie: Perfect. Tony has a question. Is treated polyester also treated FR that will meet ASTM 1506 standard?

Tom: Treated polyester—I’m trying to think of who would make a treated polyester FR garment. I would say no. I don’t think polyester is a fabric that could be used to protect against AR and FR.

Jamie: All right, thank you. Let’s see here. Let’s see.This is Trixie. If an FR-rated clothing has tiny holes or gets torn, does it lose its FR protection? And here’s an example—it says, “For example, from a bullet”—so maybe a police officer has FR clothing. Does it reduce the FR protection?

Tom: Well, in that hole, it does. That hole would need to be repaired or patched with FR material, the same material that the garment was made with, or it just needs to be replaced.

Jamie: All right, thank you, Tom. All right, it looks like we’ve got only a couple questions left here, so if you have a question, get it into the control panel. Otherwise, we’re almost out of time here. Maria has a question. Is there a minimum percentage of cotton that an FR garment should have in order to be considered FR?

Tom: No, there’s not, because cotton is not FR. Cotton is a flammable fabric, so there’s no minimum amount. All cotton would have to be treated to be FR.

Jamie: Thank you. Well, actually, that looks like that is the last question, so there you go, Tom. Any last words for the audience?

Tom: Yes, I’d like to thank everybody for listening to the webinar today. My email address is on the screen now. If you have any other specific questions, feel free to reach out to me. If you have product-specific questions, reach out to me about those as well, too. And again, I want to thank you all. I want to thank Safeopedia and for hosting the webinar, and I look forward to hosting another one in the future for you all.

Jamie: Yeah, thank you, Tom. It’s really been our pleasure. I also really want to thank Tom. Great presentation. I know it’s a huge ordeal to put these things together, and for taking your time to present today—a lot of behind-the-scenes work, so I really appreciate you working so hard to get this webinar together.

Tom: You’re welcome.

Jamie: Thank you, Radians. Without Radians, definitely, this wouldn’t be possible.Safety Network, as well—we really appreciate the partnership and all your support, and most important, the audience. Without you guys, this wouldn’t even be possible. We’d just be having a conversation with ourselves, and it’s all about keeping the audience and the workforce safe, so we really appreciate you guys taking your time out of your busy day to attend the webinar.

So, with that, we’ll wrap it up. Again, take care, and stay safe.

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PPE Fire Safety Protective Clothing Arc Flash Flame Resistant (FR)

Presented By

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Written by Tom Weeks | Product Champion Flame Resistant Clothing

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To help support Radians’ expansion into the Arc Rated/Flame Resistant (AR/FR) protection category, Tom Weeks is the Radians Product Champion for Flame Resistant Clothing, also known as FRC.

He is responsible for the initial launch of VolCore™, Radians’ new line of flame resistant clothing. Other responsibilities include growing the business, training and educating end users, and expanding the VolCore product line to meet customer needs. He will also provide technical support and expertise to those who need information on the performance and use of arc rated and flame resistant apparel and on the regulations and standards that govern the industry.

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