OSHA’s 2014 1910.269 ruling marks a distinct departure from its predecessor. In fact, up until the new rule was promulgated, 1910.269 simply required that clothing “do no harm” in the event of an arc flash. In stark contrast, the 2014 ruling specifically requires employers to provide arc/flame resistant (FR) clothing for employees.
Employers must now make sure “each employee who is exposed to hazards from flames or electric arcs does not wear clothing that could melt onto his or her skin or that could ignite and continue to burn when exposed to flames or the heat energy estimated” (Paragraph (l)(8)(iii) of 29 CFR 1910.269).
While the updates made to OSHA 1910.269 are generally regarded as much-needed improvements to worker safety and are expected to save dozens of lives each year, the ruling also sparked some new questions.
In October 2014, NFPA released the 2015 edition of NFPA 70E, a voluntary standard developed to reduce exposure to major electrical hazards in the workplace. This standard includes guidance on risk assessments, selecting appropriate PPE, training, and practices that support safe work conditions, with the goal of avoiding workplace injuries and fatalities from shock, electrocution, arc flash, and arc blasts.
To make it as easy as possible to establish a safe working environment, NFPA 70E is designed to be straightforward and user-friendly. However, the 2015 edition introduces four key changes that represent shifts from the 2012 edition and require adjustment for some employers and workers.
With more than 30 years of experience in the flame resistant (FR) clothing industry, Tyndale’s knowledge of industry standards keeps your workers safe and you informed of changes that impact your workforce. We are here to help companies with questions like this one:
Since OSHA promulgated the new 1910.269 in April 2014, Tyndale has been hard at work partnering with employers to understand and gain compliance with the new provisions—helping workers return home to their families safely each night.
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