EHSDA Shorts: Why Should Professionals Wear Flame Retardant Clothing in Hazardous Workplaces?

In this installment of EHSDA Shorts, Derek Sang, Senior Technical Training Manager at Bulwark Protection, explains why professionals should wear flame retardant clothing in hazardous workplaces.

This clip was taken from a webinar titled “FR Myths & Misconceptions.” The full session is available for FREE on-demand here.

The webinar was sponsored by Bulwark.

Transcript (edited for clarity):

Question: Why should professionals wear flame retardant clothing in hazardous workplaces? 

Sang: Without clothing ignition, you do not sustain catastrophic body burns, you are not extending a short duration thermal event beyond the ignition source. In an arcing fault, a six cycle arc flash is an eternity, but six cycles is a tenth of a second. We test garments in a short duration thermal exposure for flash fire up to 3 seconds. That is an massive amount of time, but overall, relatively short so once the ignition source has been removed extending that 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds while all the garments that you wore to work that day burn off and/or someone is around to help you put them out is what causes catastrophic body burn, which ultimately leads to potential fatality. By eliminating clothing ignition, when that short duration thermal exposure is over, the garments self-extinguish. By doing that, they eliminate and mitigate catastrophic body burn and eliminate fatality, so we are really wearing these garments to protect against clothing ignition. That is the ultimate hazard.