2013 means a new year of challenges, opportunities, and a new budget for those necessary equipment expenditures you’ve been putting off until next year. With the winter cold settling in, if you haven’t already gotten yourself some of our wonderful Refrigiwear coats, boots, and gloves, now is an excellent time to do so. For those of you who need to protect your workers and customers from slip and fall accidents at entranceways due to the weather, we recommend industrial matting to absorb snow and water and remove debris that would otherwise be tracked through your workplace. Don’t forget a good carpet dryer to blow-dry those wet carpets quickly and efficiently!
It’s that time of year again, when those of us who work or walk outdoors are reminded that they need a new coat to keep the wind and weather at bay. Fortunately, Anchortex Corporation has you covered, however, with a wide selection of insulated work jackets to choose from, as well as high visibility jackets for those who work near high-traffic areas.
If you work in an industry that regularly handles or utilizes toxic chemicals, you probably keep Level A hazardous material suits or Level B chemical protection suits on hand in case the worst happens and you need protection in the event that an environment becomes toxic or dangerous. What you may not know is that many common brands of chemical protective apparel have a shelf life – the maximum recommended time that these suits be kept in storage before being replaced. As there is no currently known standard for determining the shelf life of chemical barrier fabrics in advance, this is dependent on verifying whether the fabric degrades under the normal conditions present in a proper storage environment – stored away from direct sunlight in a cool, dry location that is not subjected to cold or hot extremes. In particular, some chemical protective barrier fabrics such as those used in common disposable apparel have a shelf life of as little as three years or less.
Kappler has rigorously tested their Zytron film composite fabric lines and determined that even fifteen year old Zytron 500 material, tested against dichloromethane (methylene chloride) suffers no breakthrough in exposures over eight hours long. Likewise, these aged fabrics have been tested for physical properties and been determined to still meet original manufacturing specifications. As such, the shelf life of all Zytron products is undetermined, but is proven to be at least fifteen years.
When using a chemical protective suit that is still within its valid shelf life, be certain to perform a visual inspection to verify that it is safe to use, and in the case of vapor protective (level A) garments, perform an ASTM F1052 pressure test to verify that they still qualify as Level A garments. It is recommended that suits that no longer pass the visual inspection and/or pressure test be downgraded to ‘Training Use Only’ and be replaced immediately.
It is the responsibility of the wearer to ensure that all components, including fabric, valves, visors, gloves, zippers, seams, and suit-to component interfaces are in good working condition, and provide adequate protection for the operation and chemicals to be encountered. Any suit which does not pass the visual and/or pressure test, should be immediately removed from service. Yearly inspections of suits are recommended to ensure that suits in storage will be ready to meet emergency needs when the situation demands, and to determine what replacements are necessary.
If you are preparing a yearly inspection, call Anchortex Corporation today at 856-768-5240 and mention this post to receive a 10% discount off of current web prices on all Kappler items, as well as to receive quantity discounts on other safety products and supplies that you may need to reorder in order to meet OSHA regulatory requirements, or if you prefer, you can submit your quote request through our online form.
This month, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health celebrates the one-year-anniversary of Total Worker Health, a program focused around integrating occupational safety and health protection with health promotion in order to reduce incidents of worker injury and illness and advance health and well-being. The program is focused around finding ways to improve the health and well-being of workers in ways that go beyond traditional focuses of incident management, including developing a supportive and hazard free environment, and where workplace policies encourage healthier choices.
The role of the employer in ensuring the quality of life of their employees cannot be overlooked, not only by focusing on a safe environment, but by focusing on a friendly environment. Depression and anxiety can exacerbate existing health conditions or create new health issues, resulting in increased incidents of worker illness; stress and frustration can result in increased on-the-job accidents even in an otherwise safe working environment. NIOSH has been hard at work conducting research to identify and address risk factors in the workplace, and will be discussing their findings through a number of conferences and symposiums throughout the year.
Flame-resistant clothing is a necessity for employees working in environments where flash fires or explosions are a concern. There is a wide variety of fire retardant fabrics available to meet the needs of an HRC 1 or HRC 2 situation. Knowing the difference between these fabrics and their uses can help save your life.
DuPont Nomex is an inherently flame-resistant anti-static fabric that has been engineered to reduce nuisance levels of static. It will not ignite, melt, drip, or burn, and is self-extinguishing. These qualities make it ideal as an all-around fabric for applications in the petrochemical, gas, electric, and fire service industries, as well as for other professional uses. A single layer of 4.5 ounce Nomex has an NFPA 70E arc rating of 4.6, and qualifies as HRC 1 protection.
TenCate Advance combines the dependability of Nomex in situations that require flame resistance with the rugged strength and durability of Kevlar to form a uniquely hardworking fabric that provides uncompromising performance when you need it for strength and durability far surpassing either alone. A single layer of 7.0 ounce Advance has an NFPA 70E arc rating of 8.5, and qualifies as HRC 2 protection.
TenCate TecaSafe Plus
TenCate TecaSafe Plus is an inherently flame-resistant fabric that delivers NFPA 70E category 2 electrical arc protection while remaining comfortable and lightweight. It also meets the performance requirements of the NFPA 2112 – Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire. This fabric gives exceptional value due to its excellent after wash appearance, good color fastness, durability, and long life cycle. A single layer of 7.0 ounce TecaSafe Plus has an NFPA 70E arc rating of 8.4, and qualifies as HRC 2 protection.
Reliant EMC (engineered modacrylic cotton) is an inherently flame-resistant knit fabric designed to smother flames when exposed to fiber. The protective qualities of modacrylic fiber are locked in and cannot be washed or worn out regardless of usage. This knit fabric combines the comfort, softness, and breathability of combed cotton with uncompromised fire resistant protection. Reliant has not currently been rated under NFPA 70E standards.
Indura is a 100% cotton fabric treated with a permanent flame-resistant finish. Indura offers affordable, comfortable protection and is most popular in industrial applications for protection against potential risks associated with welding and similar activities. Indura retains the properties of natural cotton for comfort and absorbancy purposes. A single layer of 7.0 ounce Indura has an NFPA 70E arc rating of 7.7, and qualifies as HRC 1 protection.
Indura Ultra Soft is a cotton / nylon blend of fabric treated with a permanent flame-resistant finish. The addition of high tenacity nylon increases the wear life of the garment significantly without compromising the garment’s comfort. Indura Ultra Soft fabric is designed to withstand regular industrial launderings and provides excellent protection from flash fires as well as electrical arc flash exposure. A single layer of 7.0 ounce Indura has an NFPA 70E arc rating of 8.7, and qualifies as HRC 2 protection.
FireWear is an inherently flame-resistant fabric blended from cotton and fibrous flame-retardant fiber designed to smother flames when exposed to fire. The FFR Fiber is designed to emit a noncombustible gas through microscopic pores in the fiber when the fiber is exposed to flame. This gas smothers flames much like a fire extinguisher. Firewear fabrics are blended with cotton and thus have many of the same benefits as cotton, including breathability and lightweight comfort. A single layer of 5.5 ounce FireWear has an NFPA 70E arc rating of 7.0, and qualifies as HRC 1 protection.
There are many choices for the user looking to purchase a flame resistant garment. Verify that the material you are purchasing is rated for the task you intend to perform; HRC 3 or 4 requirements usually require additional full layered suits, whereas one or two layers of the fabrics listed here is usually sufficient for HRC 1 or 2 requirements. For a more in-depth explanation of hazard risk categories, see my previous article, Understanding Hazard Risk Categories.
Some of the information in this article was provided with the assistance of Topps Safety Apparel, manufacturers of flame-resistant coveralls, jumpsuits, public safety uniforms, and other apparel. Anchortex Corporation is a full line leading distributor of Topps Safety Apparel.