Essential Considerations for Oil and Gas FR Clothing
Burn injuries are a severe concern for those who work in the oil and gas sector. Employers never know when a pipeline fire might break out when their workers are performing routine maintenance tasks in the field. In case of such unfortunate events, organizations could bear huge expenses like the death of a worker, hospital fees, lost productivity, facing fines from Organizational Safety and Health Administration OSHA, legal costs, enhanced insurance premiums, and reputation damage.
Preventing fire explosions through safe work practices is better than trying to overcome the damage afterwards. Protecting your employees who operate in such a hazardous work environment through suitable safety workwear such as FR clothing is a key for ensuring workers’ safety and maximizing workplace productivity.
What is FR Clothing?
FR clothing is a type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is designed to protect workers from fire-related incidents. There are mainly two kinds of FR clothing. People often confuse both of them, which is why it’s important to distinguish between these FR clothing options.
Flame Resistant clothing: the substance used in the manufacturing of flame-resistant outfits is inherently resistant to embers and sparks. These types of protective garments are also known as fire-resistant attire. The high-quality fire-resistant coveralls are self-extinguishing, which means they will not continue to burn once ignited by a fire event or a flame. The primary objective of utilizing flame-resistant clothing is to reduce the extent of burn injuries
Flame Retardant Clothing: the substance used in producing flame-resistant attire is the one that is chemically treated, making it flame resistant. The difference is that the original material of this type of safety clothing is not inherently fire resistant; instead, it’s made out of cotton or a cotton-blend. Flame-retardant coveralls are also able to self-extinguish when exposed to flames or a fire-related incident
It’s worth noting that FR clothing is not entirely fire-proof - at first, it ignites when exposed to fire, but will self-extinguish afterward. This way, it prevents the fire from spreading to other parts of the body and clothes and helps workers avoid potential catastrophic events.
When to Wear FR Clothing
As per OSHA, workers of the oil and gas industry have to wear FR clothing during different production processes, including servicing, drilling, and other activities. To be specific, oil and gas employees must wear FR coveralls under the following circumstances:
- When the drilling process hits formations of hydrocarbons (oils and gases)
- While extracting oil and gases
- While servicing active wells of any type
- While stimulating, capping, or plugging any inactive wells
- When the well has been placed into operation after drilling
- When the well fluids are ready for delivery after extraction, separation, and storage
The OSHA guidelines are meant to protect workers from potential flash fires when they are busy rigging up the operations. They also help in reducing the overall risks associated with a drilling operation that has still not reached the levels of hydrocarbons and gases. Since oil and gas workers continually face numerous work-related hazards, it’s best to direct your employees to wear FR clothing all the time.
FR Clothing Maintenance
It’s vital to maintain your company’s FR clothing in good condition. Some organizations hire specialized cleaning services to wash and maintain their workwear; others let their employees take care of their safety garments by themselves. However, proper training will be required in case a company allows its workers to clean and maintain their FR clothing.
Different FR fabrics will have different washing requirements. Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions that are written in the inside label of FR clothing. Also, it’s preferable to replace the old FR safety garments if you find visible defects such as holes or stretching in them.
Selecting the Best FR Clothing Producers
Employers in the oil and gas sector have to provide their workers with the right type of insulated workwear as per their workplace requirements. Make sure the FR clothing you are purchasing for your employees is fully compliant with the OSHA standards. Choose the best FR clothing manufacturers who provide proper instructions on how to use, clean, and maintain these protective attires. Last but not least, confirm whether the sellers know about the level of hazards faced by the workers in the oil and gas industry, only that way will they be able to produce high-quality FR fabrics.
Wildrose Garments produces premium quality safety garments of all kinds right here in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Check out the safety workwear we offer on our website or contact us directly for customized service.