When it comes to safety, gas and electric utility workers and petrochem workers can never be too careful. That’s why it’s essential that any flame-resistant (FR) rain gear they use is dual hazard rated. But how can you tell if your gear complies with the necessary standards? Let’s take a look at what you need to know.
WHAT IS DUAL HAZARD PROTECTION?
Dual Hazard refers to the ability of a product to protect against both electric arc flash as well as hydrocarbon flash fire. Dual hazard testing measures the protective qualities of FR clothing in extreme heat or flames. It essentially rates how well the fabric will hold up to short-term exposure to intense heat and fire. To be considered safe and effective, FR rain gear must meet certain industry standards for arc and flash fire protection.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOUR FR RAIN GEAR MEETS THESE STANDARDS?
The first step in determining if your rain gear meets these standards is to know what the standards are and what the rating means. For rain gear, there are only two standards to consider. ASTM F1891 for electric arc protection and ASTM F2733 for flash fire protection. To be dual hazard, the label must state that the product complies with each of these standards.
Additionally, look for an “ARC” rating on the label, which indicates the 50% probability how much energy (in calories per centimeter squared) it takes for a person wearing the garment to experience second-degree burns from an arc flash. The higher this number, the better protection you have. Anything below 5 cal/cm2 should be avoided as it does not offer sufficient protection against electric arc flash
Furthermore, take note of the predicted burn injury percentage. This is the amount of the body, covered by the rain gear that would sustain a second-degree burn during a 3 second flash fire. The lower the number, along with the younger you are, the greater the survivability is. Be aware of any number that is 40% or higher as that does not provide sufficient protection.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF FR RAIN GEAR
Another important factor to consider when buying dual hazard rain gear is the care and maintenance of the products. Products that can be laundered or decontaminated have a longer life cycle than products that cannot. You should also make sure that any cleaning instructions provided are followed carefully; improper cleaning can reduce flame resistance over time.
BUY AMERICAN MADE FR RAIN GEAR
Lastly, note where the FR rain gear is made. Products that are made in America, from American materials have longer life cycles, greater design options and fewer supply chain issues than those made overseas. For the best quality, reliability, and conformance to standards, choose Made in USA.
In conclusion, when it comes to dual hazard rain gear, safety should always be your top priority! Make sure you do your homework before purchasing any flame-resistant garments; check labels for compliance statements, ARC ratings and burn injury percentages and country of origin to know exactly what kind of protection you’re getting from your rain gear in case of a thermal hazard emergency! Doing so will help ensure that you stay safe while on the job and keep yourself out of harm’s way in any hazardous situation.
NASCO offers a full line of dual hazard flame resistant rain gear to protect gas and electric utility workers and petrochem workers, too.