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Posts tagged ‘personal protective equipment (PPE)’

3 Things to Look for When Signing a Contract with an FRC Supplier

This is the fourth post in a series looking at Keys to Selecting an FRC Clothing Supplier. Click here to read the third post of the series on The Importance of FRC Suppliers’ Inventory and Manufacturer Relationship. The final post will cover How an FRC Supplier Manages Your Clothing Program Can Impact its Success.

Now that you’re on your way to selecting an FRC supplier for your company’s FR clothing program, what should you know before signing the contract? This post outlines important aspects of the clothing purchasing process with regards to the terms and conditions you’re agreeing to, as well as the length and exclusivity of the contract you are signing. Another very important, but potentially overlooked, consideration is how often your company – and employees – could experience price increases on your FR clothing.

Tyndale FRC Purchasing Process Tips

Before you enter into a contract, the following are three key terms to look for:

  1. Indemnification
  2. Exclusivity of Contract
  3. Price Increases

Indemnification

FRC suppliers indemnify customers when they use protective products as expected; they are backing up their word with regards to the quality of their garments. Usually quality comes in the form of clear warranty language. FRC suppliers with a status of manufacturer-distributor have a unique advantage in that all garments can be warranted against manufacturing or fabric defects for the useful life of the garment. In the event of a manufacturer’s defect, a quality supplier should offer to repair or replace garments at no charge to you, the customer. An FRC supplier willing to make a financial commitment is important, as is having adequate insurance to make good on their indemnification.

Why it matters to you: If a supplier is willing to indemnify their products, they are confident their products will perform the way they should. Quality is an important factor regarding indemnification related to flame resistant treatment. A supplier will not indemnify their goods if, for instance, the FR treatment were to wash out of their garments when proper care and maintenance instructions are followed. It’s important to note that there are certain circumstances under which indemnification would be ruled invalid, such as wearer negligence in not following their company’s work procedures or if FR or protective garments are not used for their intended purpose, as outlined on the product label. Indemnification is security for you, the buying company, to know that your FRC supplier is reinforcing their commitment to protecting your workers. A supplier’s willingness to indemnify a customer is an important part of choosing a quality FRC provider.

Exclusivity of Contract

An exclusivity agreement is a contract between companies to maintain dealings only with each other. One of the most important features of this type of contract is the time frame that it specifies. Typically, an exclusivity agreement will stipulate that the companies involved will not engage in business activities with other companies for a specified period of time. More specifically, buyers of FR clothing will agree to purchase only goods from one particular seller.

Why it matters to you: Exclusivity agreements matter to you because they could lock you into a long-term contract even when the products or services do not meet your expectations. The first important step is to do some research into the company you’re entering into an agreement with. Find out everything you want to –and need to know – about the FRC supplier: the way they work, their support structure, their work ethics, etc. Request references from the supplier so that you understand what it’s like to do business with them, from a company that is a current customer. While you are getting to know the company, you will likely want to find out the reason behind an exclusivity agreement, if one exists in their business dealings.

Additionally, exclusivity agreements will undoubtedly be partnered with some sort of termination penalty or buyout clause should you want to terminate the contract early and seek out another FRC supplier. Many industrial laundry contracts have enormous buy-out clauses with high contract buy-out costs. A four year contract (or more) with full liability on signing means no incentive for an industrial launderer, for example, to provide good service. Please read our previous post for more information on The Ins and Outs of FRC Laundry Rental Contracts.

Price Increases

Automatic price increases often speak to the transparency of the overall contract. What else is the supplier potentially hiding within its contract language? What other costs exist that can’t be easily verified or budgeted? The last thing you want is to be caught in a contract where annual price increases are done across the board automatically without sufficient warning that this could happen when you first signed the deal. Notifications of price increases should be made clear and should be easy to understand.

Why it matters to you: Most companies have it written into their request for proposal (RFP) or initial program solicitation that prices must remain fixed for a certain amount of time (i.e. one year). After that period of time, prices can be adjusted according to an agreed upon price index, such as CPI, or prices may be eligible to increase by a certain percentage. Price protection is an agreement whereby a buyer and seller fix the price of good – FRC in this instance – for the duration of the contract or other specified period. In the end, you want to 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.

FRC is considered 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. In fact, the cost of one serious burn injury can be significant – often exceeding the cost of an entire FR program!

In the end, how do you know if you’re getting the best deal from your FRC supplier? The most important factor in an FR clothing program is that employees have their garments to wear and protect them on the job – and as of July 10th, this is now law per OSHA 1910.269.*

Visit www.tyndaleusa.com to learn more about an FRC or arc-rated clothing program that can be customized to fit your needs. Not only will there not be complex contracts to decipher, but you can also select from FR clothing your employees want to wear!

 

*It should be noted that OSHA has issued a temporary enforcement delay on citations under the new rule until October 31, 2014.

Tyndale Introduces Our New Layer 1 Performance T-Shirt (M010T)

Tyndale's Layer 1 Performance T-Shirt (M010T)Tyndale is pleased to add NFPA 2112-certified garments to our complete catalog of clothing offering flash fire protection. For companies facing flash fire hazards in their workplaces, Tyndale offers a dynamic mix of products that meet manufacturing and testing criteria for flash fire protection.

As part of this new product offering, Tyndale is proud to introduce our 2112-certified long sleeve performance t-shirt, Layer 1 (M010T). Made of 4.6 oz FRMC® fabric, Layer 1 is the most comfortable 2112-certified garment available as a single layer of protection.

This performance t-shirt has excellent stretch and is breathable. The lightweight fabric helps keep your body temperature regulated to prevent risk of overheating while wicking moisture away from your skin. Layer 1 is a fast-drying shirt that is designed to keep you comfortable while you work – without slowing you down.

Made in USA by Tyndale, this shirt features exterior FR labeling with a 4.6 Arc Rating and provides HRC level 1 protection. This shirt is tagless and features flat-lock seam construction for added comfort. Now available in three colors: navy, tan and grey in sizes Small through 3XL – order yours today!

Click below to launch the Layer 1 Performance T-Shirt product video!

Tyndale’s status as a manufacturer and distributor allows us to offer the most comfortable, diverse, and innovative flame resistant product mix in the industry. Call Tyndale at 800-356-3433 to order M010T or add it to your program today!

Meet with Tyndale at NJATC/NTI Trade Show – July 26 & July 27

What: NJATC/National Training Institute Trade Show

When: July 26 & 27

Where: University of Michigan – Track & Field Building, Ann Arbor, MI

Booth: 710

At the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee’s annual trade show, Tyndale will provide a firsthand look at new and upcoming Tyndale products, as well as the opportunity to meet up with one of Tyndale’s National Account Managers, Clyde Wolfe.

The NJATC was founded in 1941 and has since developed into what is perhaps the largest apprenticeship and training program of its kind. In this time, the NJATC has trained over 350,000 apprentices to journeyman status. The NJATC’s goal of developing and standardizing training ensures the Electrical Construction Industry is provided with the most highly trained and highly skilled workers possible.

Meet with Tyndale at NJATC/NTI Trade Show - July 26 & July 27

Visit Tyndale at Booth #710 at the NJATC/NTI Trade Show July 26 & 27

The trade show floor opens on Saturday, July 26th at 10:00 am, after the 9:45 am traditional Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the show’s entrance. The floor closes at 6:00 pm and reopens for a brief session on Sunday morning, July 27th from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm.

Interested in discussing your FR, safety or managed apparel program with Tyndale’s expert at NJATC? Come to booth 710 and meet with Clyde Wolfe.

Can’t make the trade show? Visit http://www.TyndaleUSA.com to learn all about our managed safety apparel programs and services.

What Is the Difference Between Arc-Rated Clothing and FR Clothing?

Understanding all of the acronyms for clothing and standards in the electric industry can make your head spin. One common question we get is: what is the difference between arc-rated and flame resistant clothing – if there is any difference at all?

FR stands for “flame resistant clothing,” specifically. An easy way to think about the difference between arc-rated clothing and FR clothing is that all arc-rated clothing is FR but not all FR has an arc rating. Confusing, we know. Let’s look at the two in more detail below.

One primary requirement for both arc-rated and FR clothing is to resist ignition, as tested by ASTM D6413, or the Vertical Flame Test. The second requirement for arc-rated clothing, specifically, is to insulate the wearer from arc flash hazards, thus reducing or eliminating any 2nd or 3rd degree burns through the garment. This is where a garment’s arc rating is important.

The term arc-rated was first introduced in the 2012 version of NFPA 70E. Informational Note No. 1 on page 12 of the standard explains, “Arc-rated clothing or equipment indicates that it has been tested for exposure to an electric arc. Flame-Resistant (FR) clothing without an arc rating has not been tested for exposure to an electric arc.” Due to the misuse of the term “FR,” NFPA 70E removed the term favoring arc-rated.

ASTM 1959 is the official arc rating test standard, and requires fabrics to be FR in order to even qualify for testing. The purpose of the ASTM 1959 test is to determine how much heat a certain fabric (or system of fabrics) will block from an electric arc before the onset of second degree burns to the wearer. This is the reason why all arc-rated clothing is FR.

OSHA 1910.269 Update: Arc-Rated vs. FR Clothing Requirements

One of the goals of OSHA, in its update, is to require protection from arc flash hazards – going beyond the legacy of 1910.269’s “do no additional harm” requirement.

FR Clothing: In the new standard 1910.269, OSHA does not define FR. However, OSHA does specify that clothing must be “non-melting.” OSHA prohibits the use of clothing made from acetate, nylon, polyester, rayon, and polypropylene, either alone or in blends, unless the employer demonstrates that the fabric has been treated to withstand the conditions that may be encountered by the employee or that the employee wears the clothing in such a manner as to eliminate the hazard involved (1).

As part of the revised OSHA standard becoming law on July 10th, there is a federally-enforceable requirement for FR clothing under the following conditions:

  1. The employee is exposed to contact with energized circuits parts operating at more than 600 volts;
  2.  An electric arc could ignite flammable material in the work area that, in turn, could ignite the employee’s clothing;
  3.  Molten metal or electric arcs from faulted conductors in the work area could ignite the employee’s clothing, or
  4.  The incident heat energy estimate exceeds 2.0 cal/cm2 if a hazard analysis has been completed, or could reasonably be expected to exceed 2 cal/cm2 if a hazard analysis has not been completed (p. 390). (2)

Please Note: FR clothing, for use in instances outline above, does not currently have to be matched to the hazard, but must be provided by the employer at no cost to the employee. OSHA has issued a temporary delay on citations under the new rule until October 31, 2014. With this delay, workers need to be outfitted in “non-melting” FR clothing at minimum. The new ruling won’t be enforced by OSHA until the end of October.

There are several different methodologies that one could use to determine if an item is FR or not. The most common test in the United States is the Vertical Flame Test we previously mentioned. The European standard is a flame impingement test, which is a lower threshold of resistance to ignition. Some organizations cite 100% cotton denim’s natural resistance to ignition from electric arc as a type of flame resistance – assuming the hazard is electric arc (IEEE Paper No. PCIC-97-35 cites the ignition threshold of 12.8 oz. blue denim at 15.5 cal).

Under the third scenario, 100% cotton jeans may be considered acceptable as flame resistant since they are non-melting. However, depending on the weight, color and condition of cotton jeans, as well as the incident energy of the arc, 100% cotton jeans can ignite. Click here to watch Tyndale’s testing video showing results of FR and non-FR pants exposed to an electric arc. As the video shows, cotton fabric can and will ignite, and continue to burn if exposed to an ignition source. The non-FR jeans tested are made of 100% cotton, and continue to burn after the source of flame is removed (on the left), even though they do not “melt.” However, the FR jeans immediately self-extinguish (on the right). This video is a valuable demonstration of why it is important to protect both the upper and lower body with FR clothing.

Arc-Rated Clothing: OSHA is requiring employers to complete an arc flash assessment (previously called a hazard assessment) by January 1, 2015. Arc-rated clothing is required when employees are working on or near exposed live parts greater than 600V. Under such conditions, clothing could be ignited by:

-          nearby flammable material that could be ignited; and/or

-          molten metal splatter from electric arcs (1).

OSHA’s revised standard will be the first law with a national scope to require arc flash calculations (effective January 1, 2015) and electrical PPE to be arc-rated (flame resistant). Employer-provided arc-rated clothing matched to the hazard must be provided by April 1, 2015. This extended date for arc-rated clothing allows time for the industry to adapt from the old requirement of simply FR.

Tyndale FRMC Arc Rating Label

Exterior arc rating/HRC label with FRMC® on front shirt pocket.

FRC Suppliers, like Tyndale, can help you stay compliant with OSHA’s updated ruling, and help you explain how their clothing can protect your employees, and against which hazards. All Tyndale-branded clothing meets both FR and arc-rated clothing requirements, as defined by OSHA. As a safety enhancement, Tyndale now includes an exterior label on all our manufactured garments that indicates both a garment’s arc rating and its hazard risk/PPE category rating. This means that your employees’ garment protective levels are visible at all times—and that you know it’s arc-rated.

For more information on Tyndale’s complete line of arc-rated and flame resistant clothing, please visit www.tyndaleusa.com. Not in a Tyndale-managed clothing program? Email 1910.269@tyndaleusa.com to learn more about Tyndale’s solution for OSHA’s updated standard.

 

References for this post were accessed June & July 2014:

(1) Hugh Hoagland e-Hazard OSHA 1910.269 Presentation June 2014

(2) 2014 Final OSHA 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V Rule

OSHA 1910.269 FR Clothing Update: 3 Reasons to Act Now

In April 2014, OSHA issued a ruling revising 29 CFR 1910.269 and 1926 subpart V, standards governing workplace safety in ele
ctric power generation, transmission and distribution work, that clarified and expanded employers’ responsibility to protect employees from arc flash hazards.

In fact, electric utilities large and small—including municipalities and cooperatives—will now be legally-required to supply employees with appropriate FR clothing.

Although the ruling will not be enforced by OSHA until October 31, 2014, employers should act now. Here’s why:

1. If you don’t currently provide full-body arc-rated clothing to your employees, your workers are at risk.

Based on the protective clothing your company currently provides, what would the quality of life be like for one of your employees after an arc flash incident?

OSHA’s previous requirement was simply that a worker’s clothing “do no harm” in the event of an arc flash. As a result, some utilities chose to meet the requirement by providing employees with natural fiber—rather than FR—pants.

The new ruling represents a distinct departure from the past, as it now explicitly requires employers to provide employees with full-body FR clothing matched to the hazard. Tyndale recently tested a pair of FR jeans against a pair of non-FR 100% cotton jeans. The video of the testing is a valuable demonstration of why the new requirement for full-body FR clothing is important.

Did you know that not all FR is created equal? FRC simply means non-melting whereas Arc Rated clothing is actually matched to the hazard workers face. Remember, all AR is FR but not all FR is AR.

2. As of July 10, 2014, it’s the law.

As part of this standard becoming law, the requirement for employers to provide employees with “non-melting” FR clothing is law as of July 10, 2014 and will be federally-enforced beginning October 31, 2014.

Further, under penalty of government-issued citation, employers are required to provide head-to-toe AR clothing matched to the mandated hazard assessment for hazards above 2 calories or work above 600v by April 1, 2015.

3. Supplies are Limited

Employers should take immediate action to evaluate current employee PPE offerings and schedule the required hazard assessment. The ruling will significantly increase demand for required arc rated items—particularly pants—and the effects of the demand will be felt throughout the supply chain.

The last time an FR clothing PPE standard was issued in 2010, there were significant industry-wide shortages.  Working with a supplier like Tyndale to reserve inventory now will ensure your Company is positioned to be in compliance before the April 1st 2015 deadline.

What to do next:

In a Tyndale managed FR clothing program today? You’re on your way to compliance! Contact your National Account Manager for next steps.

Not in a Tyndale managed FR clothing program? Contact Tyndale at 800.356.3433 to learn more about solutions for this new standard.

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