Hugh Hoagland Addresses Comfort & Contamination in FRC
Although many utility employers began providing arc-rated clothing well before the new OSHA 1910.269, those who are now installing arc-rated clothing programs may face questions and sometimes friction from workers who are accustomed to wearing non-FR on the job.
“One of the most common complaints about arc-rated PPE is that it is hot,” explain arc flash testing, training, and accident investigation consultants Hugh Hoagland and Mikhail Golovkov in an article in Incident Prevention Magazine.
Luckily, in their article, Hoagland and Golovkov point out that “this doesn’t have to be the case.” The authors recommend several first steps for employers just getting started in arc-rated flame resistant clothing (FRC) programs and make three key recommendations to consider when launching FRC programs.
Be sure to read the full article for more insight and complete details on the authors’ recommendations.
Using a Choice Program to Maximize End User Comfort and Compliance
Beyond discomfort, FRC that is too bulky or too hot poses challenges for end-user compliance and proper use; workers who are uncomfortable in their FRC are more likely to compromise their protection by rolling up sleeves, opening shirt fronts, shedding protective layers, or even violating company safety policy in favor of clothing that provides increased comfort.
In order to do their jobs, workers need protective clothing that does its job. Luckily, one of the most pervasive trends in the FRC industry today is the growth of style options. This trend, driven by the realization that fabric styles at comparable weights provide comparable protection, poses one of the largest opportunities to drive end user satisfaction for years to come. As a result, Tyndale recommends:
- Evaluating fabric options based on traditional methods—comfort, softness, durability, style or fit, and breathability; and
- Offering employee-level choice between multiple fabrics and garments, as many of the evaluation factors are subjective and vary from individual to individual.
Ultimately, employees are often more comfortable as a result of a choice program. By allowing your workers to choose their apparel based on a wide selection of available styles and personal fit, your company can meet company safety standards, industry regulations, and company image requirements without jeopardizing end user satisfaction.