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 Post subject: FR PPE over Non-FR Clothing
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:33 am 
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Hello all,
New to this forum and I have a question on a dilema regarding our work uniforms. We are required to wear high visability clothing in the plant due to forklift traffic. High Viz FR long sleeve cat 2 shirt's have been issued to us as well as a High viz cat 2 hoodie sweatshirt. Where the problem excist is summertime. Without air condition in the plant, long sleeves can get rather hot. It has been proposed to wear short sleeve non fr high viz shirt to perform duties that do not require the use of FR clothing and if a condition presents itself where FR PPE is required, either our long sleeve high viz FR shirt or hoodie would be put on. The question I have is whether we would need to take the short sleeve shirt off or could we leave it on under our FR shirt. The short sleeve shirt in question is made of a 4.25-ounce, 100% polyester bird?s-eye knit. Most panels/equipment we work in are cat 0. I would say up to 90%, however we do have cat 2 and 3 panels.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:49 am 
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Polyester is not a nonflammable natural fiber, and cannot be worn beneath arc rated clothing (FR is no longer the NFPA 70E term used.) You would need to wear something natural, not cotton, if not wearing something that is actually AR (arc rated). There is another thread on this general topic active at the moment that you may want to read.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:01 am 
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You cannot allow the polyester to be worn UNDER an arc rated FR shirt. This will melt at a rather low temperature and cause burns. NFPA 70E does not allow polyester even in blends to be worn. For the electrical workers use an ANSI 107 compliant material which also meets ASTM F1506. There are many t-shirts, vests (even mesh vests) which meet this standard. I recommend a t-shirt since it will be cool all the time and never ignite or melt, then add the long sleeved shirt for energized work and creating a safe work condition and you will have extra protection under the AR shirt.

The t-shirt doesn't have to have any specific rating. Just be sure it has a rating, you can't count it as official extra protection unless the system is rated and the short sleeved vs. long sleeved thing is an issue too but see this as non-contributory and high vis.

Let us know if we can help. We do not sell arc rated materials but we do the testing and training so we are happy to assist.


Hugh Hoagland

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p 502-333-0510 c 502-314-7158 f 502-371-6300

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:20 am 
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Why non-cotton? Exception No. 1 to 130.7(C)(12) allows nonmelting, flammable (non-arc-rated) materials to be used as underlayers to arc-rated clothing.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:24 am 
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I don't know of any non-FR cotton that meets the ANSI 107 High Visibility Standard. Polyester and Modacrylic are the only materials which do to date. Modacrylic is non-melting and can be arc rated. Polyester cannot.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:57 am 
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Cotton does not meet the colorfastness for high visibility. It fades too much. We have this issue as well. Three approaches. Buy the pricey arc rated vests or other clothing. Wear the non arc rated vest/shirt, and strip before doing work where an arc flash is a concern, or...this is where Hugh and I will disagree, ANSI 107 has 3 levels. Federal highway rules have banned level 1 which is for traffic under 25 mph but it is still relevant elsewhere. You can buy vests that are really just a striped harness, and coal miners frequently use denim or cotton work shirts that have 3M Scothbrite sewn onto the outside with both a high visibility and reflective patch. This meets ANSI level 1, often level 2, ANSI 207, and sometimes even the NFPA standard for turnout jackets. It might be considered as stretching the "incidental amount of material" rule since it is less than 10% of total body surface area, and even though it will melt, it might not get through the underlying shirt to the skin (test?) I have beentrying to find a shirt because vests tend to get caught on things like switchgear operating handles and themselves become hazardous even if they breakaway.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:02 am 
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Actually I would agree with Paul totally in an underground mine. Background material (yellow, pink, green, orange) is for visibility and conspicuity in low light situations but the fluorescent ONLY works when you have UV radiation such as at dusk or through clouds so in an underground mine the reflective and color would only work when you have lights shining on it. My bet is in that kind of a test that the background would not be as meaningful as a reflective trim. I have no issue with reflective trim on an arc rated material but the melting vests can be dangerous (not from melting THROUGH the fabric but from melting and rising onto the face). This has happened in a few real life situations. I really think it would be rare but the standards do not allow melt and drip since you can't count on everyone wearing all the right things. I personally think some reflective is better than nothing. The federal laws are currently only directed at roadside flaggers. Anything you do in the workplace is based on your hazard assessment. Sounds like Paul has a good handle on what works for his workplace. Let me know if I can ever assist.

Hugh Hoagland
e-Hazard.com
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:35 am 
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Hello, regarding this clothing thread, I am currently researching the new 2015 NFPA standard to find the clothing requirements. We currently outfit our staff with Category 2 compliant AR shirts and pants, and in our southern locations, while working on roofs, it is so hot it makes them dizzy (do building maintenance). We have gone to our uniform vendors and asked them what fabrics they have that are cooler, and still meet HRC 2. They want to know the standards they need to comply with. In my research I have found it references ASTM F1506-10a. We don't have the need for high visibility. Do you know if I need to reference any other standard to meet the requirements? A reply ASAP would be much appreciated! Thank you.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:41 am 
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Probably warrants a new thread. However, you have the standard right. NFPA 70E cites ASTM F 1506-10a as the standard for arc rated apparel. To meet H/RC 2, the clothing will have to be able to withstand greater than 8.0 cal/cm2 within that standard. (Someone else will probably get the technical terminology better, but that's the essence of it.)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:45 am 
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Voltrael wrote:
Probably warrants a new thread. However, you have the standard right. NFPA 70E cites ASTM F 1506-10a as the standard for arc rated apparel. To meet H/RC 2, the clothing will have to be able to withstand greater than 8.0 cal/cm2 within that standard. (Someone else will probably get the technical terminology better, but that's the essence of it.)




Thank you so much! I'll also open a new thread.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:11 am 
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ASTM F1506 has nothing to do with high visibility but ANSI 107 (High Vis clothing) does require arc rated gear to use ASTM F1506 thus the thread above. You have the right standard. The most comfortable option for AR gear is to use layers. Try a 4 cal t-shirt and a 4-8 cal shirt. There are many garments which are VERY comfortable but they aren't the cheap ones. You can write a spec around what you want on weight and keep out the cheap stuff if you want for your company. I recommend wear trials to try out what you want then spec to get what you want. Let me know if I can help. We don't sell the gear but can edit a specification to get a specific product if you deem that is what you want.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:43 am 
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But wouldn't it have to be a tested clothing configuration to be able to combine layers such as 2 - 4 cal shirts to be able to make an 8 cal shirt or is it a case of as long as the rating you are trying to obtain is equal to or less than the combined straight arithmetic number then testing is not needed?

For example: Two 4 cal shirts worn would be good for 8 cal or less without testing the combination. But if one was trying to get a 10 cal rating with these two particular shirts, then the combination would have to be tested.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:49 am 
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There is no straight math on this. You have to have tested layers to claim more than the greatest single layer. Most of the manufacturers are getting these tested, if you have multiple brands you have to find data. We have done a few and give the data away when an end user has paid and allowed them to be released. Manufacturers should be the first source, then the free database, then, test if it makes financial sense.

http://www.arcwear.com/arc-flash-testing-data.php


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:44 pm 
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But you should be able to wear an 8 cal shirt over a 4 cal t-shirt and call it only an 8 cal outfit.
You only need the testing, when you want a 'higher' rating.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:34 am 
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You can wear an 8 cal shirt over virtually anything and call it 8 cal. (Obviously don't start wearing meltable clothing underneath).


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:42 am 
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I don't see how an arc rated t-shirt could be counted toward any increase in level of protection (tested combination or not). The arm below the elbow is not protected by the t-shirt, only the outer garment.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:57 am 
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If you had arc rated sleeves that extended up to the elbows, leaving no gap. That is how the T-shirt, in theory would count. In practice, it is why I don't count the arc rated reflective vest I wear as part of my total. Your protected value would be the part of your body (excluding hands and feet) that has the lowest value.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:26 am 
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JJH wrote:
I don't see how an arc rated t-shirt could be counted toward any increase in level of protection (tested combination or not). The arm below the elbow is not protected by the t-shirt, only the outer garment.

You lead a sheltered life, if you think all t-shirts are short sleeved.

For example,
http://www.frsafety.com/product/category-6ebd5924-7c4d-4f2a-907e-947728405663.aspx


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:56 am 
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IEEE 1584 and 70E are geared towards protecting the critical face and chest area. There is no intention to protect the arms and hands to the same level of protection. Otherwise, the working distance would be narrowed down to inches at best because the focus would shift to the nearest vulnerable object (hands). So I don't see where it would matter if it was long or short sleeve, at least from a standards point of view, unless that is the one and only FR layer.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:24 am 
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It's probably more important, from the emphasis of 70E, to have a higher AR in the trunk and head, but we still need to make sure that all areas of the body meet the minimum value called for for the task being performed. I tend to wear an arc rated reflective vest most of the time when I am needing protection. It gives part of my body extra protection, but since it doesn't cover my arms, I don't count it toward my AR total.

Hands and feet don't really even have ratings as of 70E right now (although I believe you can purchase rated items), you just wear thick leather gloves or rubber gloves with covers for hands, and leather boots for feet.


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