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 Post subject: Issue with Getting Arc Rated Flame Resistant Clothing Laundered
PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:48 pm 
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I work at a nuclear facility, Elec shop and we use Arc Flash Suits on a nearly daily basis. We have approx. 25 electricians that share 6 suits. Our suits are sweated in Heavily. They've been rotated in use for 2 years without cleaning. We are running up against "budget" issues that prevent them from being professionally cleaned. We are beginning to worry about bacteria, etc because they are pretty disgusting. Any thoughts or similar problems?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:58 am
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Location: Charlotte, NC
nmpnukie wrote:
I work at a nuclear facility, Elec shop and we use Arc Flash Suits on a nearly daily basis. We have approx. 25 electricians that share 6 suits. Our suits are sweated in Heavily. They've been rotated in use for 2 years without cleaning. We are running up against "budget" issues that prevent them from being professionally cleaned. We are beginning to worry about bacteria, etc because they are pretty disgusting. Any thoughts or similar problems?


Home laundering, or more specifically get the plant to buy a washing machine and do them at the plant, just be certian to follow the materials recommended home laundering instructions.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:44 am 
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the suits are the 50 cal. and are in the radiation controlled area..the bigger problem is convincing management that they need laundering


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:52 am
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Location: Yankton SD/ Lead SD
nmpnukie wrote:
the suits are the 50 cal. and are in the radiation controlled area..the bigger problem is convincing management that they need laundering


Tell management that you need their advice on an issue, in the radiation area. See if they want to wear the suits in their present condition.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:09 am 
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Hygiene is a big issue with shared AF suit hoods. What kind of suits are you using? I would request a user's guide and laundering instructions from the manufacturer. What about using Lysol spray inside to kill the bacteria? This solution works great if you're using Oberon hoods (wipe off the inside of the shield after). Lysol is not a substitute for laundering, but at least it will help kill the bacteria inside your hoods. Make sure you don't soak the material and that you allow time for the hood to dry before using. See an attached FAQ for more details...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:16 am 
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nmpnukie wrote:
the suits are the 50 cal. and are in the radiation controlled area..the bigger problem is convincing management that they need laundering


In an RCA? That puts a monkey in the wrench :) Who launders your yellow and magenta suits?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:45 am 
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nmpnukie wrote:
the suits are the 50 cal. and are in the radiation controlled area..the bigger problem is convincing management that they need laundering


No they aren't. Two years of skin oil build up has reduced that rating. It has been reduced more if the suits have picked up flammable contamination from the environment also.

They need to be laundered per the label.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:09 am 
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Posts: 27
Location: Canada
nmpnukie wrote:
the suits are the 50 cal. and are in the radiation controlled area..the bigger problem is convincing management that they need laundering


Proper hygiene is essential. There should be laundering instructions in the garments. Most arc flash clothing is made from launderable fabric such as FR cotton or Nomex.

Do you know the manufacturer of the AFC?


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:28 am 
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Location: Michigan
[url="http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9777"]OSHA 1910.132(a)[/url]
Application. Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact.

OSHA 1920.132(b)
Employee-owned equipment. Where employees provide their own protective equipment, the employer shall be responsible to assure its adequacy, including proper maintenance, and sanitation of such equipment.


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