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OSHA’s Recent Standard Update to Clothing Labels

Posted by PK Safety Team onFri Mar 01st 2019

OSHA hasmade six changes to NFPA 2112-2018 that will be important for industrialworkers. These updates will help ensure that FR gear will performproperly and as claimed in the event of exposure to fire. Here are changes thatwill help workers stay safe in oil protection and other industries where firesare a common hazard.

Flash Fire Terminology

The biggest change in the standard comes with the title: “Standard on Flame-Resistant Clothing for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Short-Duration Thermal Exposures from Fire.” The change from “flash fire” to “short-duration thermal exposure from fire” is meant to be more descriptive of a variety of hazards. The standard covers more thermal events than just flash fires, including vapor cloud fires, jet flames, liquid fires, solids fires, and warehouse fires.

Cold Weather Insulation

NFPA 2112now has guidance for FR cold weather insulation. The requirements for FR coldweather insulation clothing are the same as textile body materials with somedifferences. The big change is how flame-resistance tests are performed. TheVertical Flame Test requires cold weather FR gear to fold face cloth over thebottom edge of a sample before testing. 

Headand Hand Protection

In theupdate, shrouds, hoods, balaclavas, and gloves are now addressed. Thefabric for this gear should not melt and drip, separate, or ignite during theheat resistance test. It also needs to comply with requirements for spacedmethod and contact method Heat Transfer Performance, char length, after flametime, and thermal shrinkage.

ASTMF1930 Instrumented Thermal Manikin Test

This testdetermines an FR fabric’s percent body burn. The changes will improvestandardization between testing facilities. The test now requires specificsizes and cuts of FR garments placed over 100% cotton shirt and briefs on amanikin with sensors, ensuring that the only variable is the fabric itself. Themanikins must also be calibrated for three heat flux exposures.

ASTMD6413 Vertical Flame Test

This testdetermines an FR fabric’s char length, or how much a fabric might burn whenexposed to flames. NFPA 2112-2018 references the latest version of the testfrom 2015, which changes how tear weights are chosen. This makes the standard alittle more stringent, as some fabrics that passed before no longer will.

GarmentLabeling

Therequirements for FR clothing labels expanded to account for all FR items,including those that were just added. The following information must beincluded on all FR gear labels:

  • The words: “This clothing item meets the requirements of NFPA 2112-2018. NFPA 2113 requires upper and lower body coverage”
  • The model name, number, or design
  • The manufacturer’s name, identification, or designation
  • The manufacturer’s address
  • The country of manufacture
  • The manufacturer’s garment identification number, lot number, or serial number
  • The size
  • The fiber content of each primary fabric layer. This does not include interlinings and labels but does include cold weather insulation if present
  • The words: “DO NOT REMOVE”

These changes will help with the traceability of the fabricsused to make FR gear and ensure that it’s from a quality lot.

FRClothing from PK Safety

Employersin industries that have fire hazards should know the appropriate OSHAstandards. They should also outfit their employees with FR PPE that’sdesigned to stand up to the hazards that they face on the job, and PK Safetycan help. If you have questions about the gear that you need for your job, message one ofour safety experts online or give us a call at 800.829.9580.

Be sure to check out PK Safety's new private FR clothing line, GRIT, offering the highest quality UL Classified gear at a great value that's backed by our 2-year quality guarantee.

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