Flame-Resistant Clothing

Date: November 20, 2023

Carrie Kolodji, Sr. Risk Control Analyst

How It Works and Why It's Important

Flame-resistant clothing is worn by people who work in industries where they are exposed to heat sources – such as oil and gas, welding, manufacturing, mining, and electrical. It is crucial for employers to provide their workers with flame-resistant clothing when working in high-risk environments. This not only helps protect employees from injury, but also helps to comply with safety regulations and reduce the risk of workplace incidents.

How Does It Work?

Flame-resistant clothing is made from self-extinguishing material. The fabric prevents the entrance of oxygen through the material, starving the fire.

Flame-resistant clothing does not melt onto the skin, provides thermal insulation from heat, resists breaking open and exposing skin, reduces burn injury, and increases your chances of survival. 

While flame-resistant clothing may be more expensive, this is not the place to cut corners. Having the correct clothing can be a matter of life or death.

Types of Flame-Resistant Clothing

There are several options for flame-resistant clothing – pants, overalls, vests, lab coats, rainwear, high-visibility gear, jackets, welding wear, hoods, masks, and balaclavas.

Who Needs Flame-Resistant Clothing

It’s imperative that employers familiarize themselves with the safety standards and conduct regular audits to determine where workers may be at risk and the appropriate type of flame-resistant clothing for each application. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you need flame-resistant clothing:

  • Is there a possibility of explosions?
  • Are workers near radiant heat?
  • Are workers near liquids or chemicals?
  • Are workers near particulates like dust or asbestos?

When Choosing Flame-Resistant Clothing, Consider These Features:

  • Wear life
  • Durability
  • Comfort and fit (men and women's sizes may fit differently)
  • Material composition
  • Ability to wick sweat
  • Ability to exceed minimum requirements
  • Meet the minimum standards of potential exposure of arc flash if the exposure exits. (When it comes to AR and FR clothing, all arc-rated clothing is flame resistant, but not all flame-resistant clothing is arc-rated.)

Know the Standards

  • OSHA's general duty clause and 1910.269, 1910.335, and 1910.132
  • NFPA 2112, 2113 and 70E

Flame-resistant clothing is a necessity for workers in many industries. For more tips on ensuring you are providing proper personal protective equipment and keeping your employees safe at all times, reach out to your dedicated BITCO Risk Control Consultant. Click the button below to find an agent. We are here for you!

Find an Agent

For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.

Let's Talk

Looking for a long-term partner that works hard for you and your business? Contact a local BITCO agent today.