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Posts tagged ‘personal protective equipment (PPE)’

5 Keys to Selecting an FRC Clothing Supplier

Proper protection starts with a flame resistant clothing supplier that has the industry knowledge and experience to provide you the correct quality products. However, what to look for in a FR clothing supplier is based on a number of additional factors, including: price, quality, performance and overall value.

FRC is the last line of defense, and its primary function is to protect workers in the event of accidental exposure. What most companies don’t consider is that FRC does more than protect your employees; it can protect the company as a whole as well. The cost of one serious burn injury can be significant – often exceeding the cost of an entire FR program.

After identifying the hazards your workers face and conducting your hazard assessment, you can review the applicable standards for your hazard to determine the appropriate clothing and level of protection needed. To be effective, a protective clothing program must not only ensure proper selection based on the hazard, but also address cost and care of the garment as well as employee comfort.

What you need to know is that you can rely on your FRC manufacturer, supplier and program manager to do their job while you do yours. In this upcoming series, we will outline five key points you should address when selecting an FRC supplier: Tyndale FRC Supplier Series

1.       Experience and Expertise 

Consider the supplier’s current customers and reference list to gauge their experience, expertise and credibility. What is their retention rate? How big is the supplier – do they have the capacity and capabilities in place to handle new accounts, both small and large? The right supplier will be able to help you understand the best products for your specific hazard to meet your protective needs and budgetary requirements.

2.       Products and Programs Offered 

If your workers need protection, it’s important to know that your budget will be respected and enforced. Understand that products and programs initially perceived as being the “cheapest” or most cost-effective solutions in the short-term can end up being more costly in the long run. What is a supplier’s product mix and do they have the technology to customize programs to meet different companies’ needs? Be sure to consider products that will last and suppliers that are not only flexible, but whose services also save your company time, money and headaches.

3.       Inventory and Manufacturer Relationship

Not all FR is created equal. Do you know where your FR clothing comes from, how it’s manufactured, or how the supplier assures quality? Suppliers should be able to compete in the marketplace by offering a variety of garments that provide different levels of protection, comfort and durability. Additionally, in today’s economy, it’s more important than ever to support companies that are doing their part to keep jobs in America. Diverse companies, such as minority-owned or women-owned businesses, also positively impact on our economy. However, buying Made in USA products or sourcing a diverse supplier doesn’t necessarily equal more cost.

4.       Purchasing Process

Know what terms and conditions you’re agreeing to, as well as length and exclusivity of the contract you are signing. Consider how often your company – and employees – could experience price increases on their FR clothing. A supplier’s quality control and assurance process will ultimately affect your bottom line and impact how frequently your company, and employees, are spending money on new or replacement garments. Select a provider that can get your employees the apparel they need, when they need it, and at a price your company is willing to pay.

5.       Program Administration and Management

Choose a company that has support available and will give you the individualized attention needed to ensure your program runs smoothly. When you have a question or issue, will you deal with an employee you recognize who is also familiar with the details of your program? Know where the supplier’s team is located, including their customer service and account management teams. The supplier you choose should be providing support that allows you to concentrate on larger issues and your professional priorities.

Implementing an FR clothing program can be complex and your employees will trust these products with their lives. With so much that needs to be taken into consideration, we are here to help simplify what to look for and answer some basic questions. Protection afforded by FRC is too great to manage without a good understanding of all of these factors.

Stayed tuned for the first post in this series, How to Evaluate the Expertise and Experience of an FRC Clothing Supplier.

ASTM D6413: Vertical Flame Test for Flame Resistance of Textiles

ASTM D6413 is the Standard Test Method for Flame Resistance of Textiles (vertical test). ASTM D6413 is used to determine flame resistance of fabrics used to protect against both electric arc and flash fire hazards. This is the defining test method for compliance with OSHA 1910.269 and one of the most commonly used tests on flame resistant fabrics in the United States. Adopted from Federal Test Standard No. 191A, the vertical flame test is the ASTM version of the Federal Test Method 5903.1.

The purpose of this test is to determine whether a fabric will continue to burn after the source of ignition is removed.

How ASTM D6413 Works:

  • A 12” specimen of fabric is suspended in an enclosed chamber and secured on three sides. The cut edge of the fabric on the bottom is exposed to a controlled methane flame for 12 seconds.

Tyndale Vertical Flame Test for ASTM D6413_fabric

Tyndale Vertical Flame Test for ASTM D6413_test chamber

  • After exposure to the flame, afterflame, afterglow and char length are measured:
    • Afterflame is the number of seconds during which there is a visible flame remaining on the fabric.
    • Afterglow is the number of seconds during which there is a visible glow remaining on the fabric.
    • Char Length is the length in inches of fabric destroyed by the flame.
    • The occurrence of melting or dripping, if any, is also recorded.

Tyndale Vertical Flame Test for ASTM D6413_char length

Five tests are performed and the results are averaged and reported as the final test result.

This test method is utilized in garment standards ASTM F1506, the Standard Performance Specification for Flame Resistant and Arc Rated Textile Materials for Wearing Apparel for Use by Electrical Workers Exposed to Momentary Electric Arc and Related Thermal Hazards, and NFPA 2112, Standard on Flame Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire.

ASTM D6413 is used to determine a pass/fail criteria for ASTM F1506, which requires a maximum char length of 6 inches. Note: ASTM F1506 requires a maximum char length of 6 inches under this test method, whereas NFPA 2112 requires a maximum of 4 inches.

Garments that meet these standards are used to comply with:

Did you know? Tyndale performs voluntary safety auditing on Tyndale garment fabrics. The ASTM D6413 test method is utilized to evaluate the flame resistance of every production lot of fabric used in Tyndale-branded clothing. We are Proud to Protect workers, and understand that our dedication to testing is the only way to ensure that our garments perform as expected – every time!

Tyndale’s FR Explorer™ Work Shirt Featuring REALTREE AP™ Camouflage (K145T)

Tyndale’s Explorer™ FR Work Shirt (K145T)At Tyndale, we work to produce FR products that are as close as possible to what you’d wear if you weren’t wearing FR. Inspired by our customers’ two most popular interests, fishing and hunting, our flame resistant Explorer™ work shirt features REAL TREE AP™ camouflage print on the lower arms, shoulders and plackets. Made of a 6 oz Amtex FR Sateen fabric, this shirt is designed to be comfortable whether you’re working on a rig, up an electric pole, or enjoying some time in a field or stream!

The Explorer shirt features a button-down banded collar and two-button cuffs. The two chest pockets have button flaps and the shirt offers long tails and a box pleat back allowing for a relaxed fit without restricting your movement.

Lightweight and comfortable, this work shirt is flash fire rated and has an Arc Rating of 9.5 providing HRC 2 protection. Made in USA by Tyndale, the Explorer™ features exterior Tyndale FR, arc rating and HRC labels. Available in regular sizes Small through 5XL, this shirt also comes in Long sizes Large through 5XL.

The Explorer is in-stock and available to order today or contact your Tyndale Account Manager to add this shirt to your program today!

Tyndale’s Flame Resistant Hooded Windbreaker (K660T)

Tyndale's Hooded Windbreaker (K660T)Prepare yourself for spring with Tyndale’s FR Hooded Windbreaker (K660T). Inspired by a popular LL Bean jacket, the Hooded Windbreaker was recently redesigned; it now features a new, athletic fit, and a contemporary, stylish design.

Made of 9 oz Amtex FR 88% Cotton/12% Nylon Twill, this jacket resists wind chill and light rain so that you can stay warm in breezy spring conditions. Plus it has an attached one-piece hood with drawstring closure and storm flap to protect against windier gusts.

The windbreaker features a two-way zipper that extends to your neck with a Velcro front closure. Additionally, this jacket has two front slash-style pockets, raglan sleeves and open cuffs. Since it’s made by Tyndale, the exterior of the jacket displays Tyndale FR, arc rating and HRC labels.

Tyndale’s Hooded Windbreaker is flash fire rated and Made in USA offering HRC 2 protection and a 12.2 Arc Rating. Available in sizes small through 5XL, plan ahead and order your windbreaker now!

Work Safely with Tyndale’s Boot Program for Foot Protection

Tyndale can develop a boot program to meet the needs of any organization requiring foot protection for their employees. The goal of our program is to deliver flexibility, choice and convenience to your company’s employees. Tyndale’s standard boot program offers two options for workers to purchase boots: direct from Tyndale at prices approximately 20% below retail, or from their favorite store for reimbursement from their program allowance.

Direct Purchase: Tyndale offers a limited selection of boots that may be added to any program and purchased the same way that employees purchase FR clothing—via online ordering, phone, or fax.

Allowance Reimbursement: Tyndale offers a flexible boot reimbursement option that allows employees to shop and try on boots at the store of their choice:

  • The employees purchase the boot directly from the store.
  • They obtain supervisor authorization for boot reimbursement acknowledging that the boots meet the safety specifications for the hazards the worker faces on-the-job.
  • The form and receipt are submitted to Tyndale for reimbursement via email, mail, or fax.
  • Tyndale records the boot purchase in the employee’s allowance account against their annual allowance. The check is cut and sent out to the employee.

Included in Tyndale’s program are a variety of boots with composite toe that are EH-rated and labeled to meet ASTM F2412. Tyndale offers many boots with steel toe and several without steel toe. The approved boots are made by a variety of manufacturers: Tyndale Boot Program for Foot Protection

Standards on Foot Protection

ASTM F2413 is the Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Foot Protection. This standard covers the minimum design, performance, testing, labeling and classification requirements, and prescribes fit, function and performance criteria for footwear designed to be worn to provide protection against a variety of workplace hazards that can potentially result in injury. It references test methods outlined in ASTM F2412, Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection. Replacing the specification ANSI Z41, ASTM F2413 covers performance criteria for a wide range of footwear.

One of the biggest misconceptions related to ASTM F2413 is the idea that footwear needs to “meet” the standard. Footwear does not need to meet all of the requirements listed below to conform to ASTM F2413 but should clearly state which of the requirements the footwear does meet:

  • Impact resistance for the toe area of footwear
  • Compression resistance for the toe area of footwear
  • Metatarsal protection
  • Conductive properties
  • Electric shock resistance
  • Static dissipative (SD) properties
  • Puncture resistance of footwear bottoms
  • Chain saw cut resistance
  • Dielectric insulation (1)

In all, there are nine categories that footwear may protect against.

Boot Selection for Foot Protection

There are a broad variety of boots available on the market. Many of the boots are EH-rated and meet the specifications of ASTM F2412 and F2413, the most recent standards for footwear. In addition, there are other protective characteristics that may be important to your workers:

  • Steel toe boots provide a steel protective covering over the toe, which protects the wearer from injury – meeting ASTM standards for impact and compression. Steel toes are generally required by most industries, but are uncomfortable for people who walk long distances (like meter readers) and difficult for those who go through metal detectors in the course of their daily work (like nuclear workers).
  • Composite toe boots include non-metallic, non-magnetic protective covering over the toe, which resists corrosion and serves the same function as the steel toe. Tyndale’s composite toe boot meets ASTM standards for impact and compression—except it does not set off metal detectors.
  • Single composite toe boots contain metal plates in the sole of the boot that make it more comfortable for a worker to stand on a narrow peg. It also provides extra support for the foot and is used for climbing.
  • Composite shank boots contain non-metal plates in the sole of the boot, serving the same function as a steel shank.
  • Insulated boots are another option designed for protection against the cold in cooler climates and winter weather.

Tyndale also offers women’s boots with protective toes and recommends purchasing these instead of men’s boots when a protective toe is needed.

NFPA 70E has a provision for heavy-duty leather work shoes for any task with an estimated energy level of 4 cal or higher, but stops short of requiring EH-rated boots. However, most electric utilities require their workers to wear EH-rated boots.

For more information on Tyndale’s boots, please visit our Foot Protection Q&A on www.tyndaleusa.com or Contact your National Account Manager to discuss how you can add boots to your clothing program.

References for this post were accessed January 2014:

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