1. Who is Carhartt® flame-resistant clothing designed for?
Carhartt® flame-resistant clothing is designed for electricians and workers in the utility, oil, gas and petrochemical fields who are at risk of exposure to electric arc and flash fires, which could cause severe or fatal burn injuries. Some typical candidates for flame-resistant clothing include: electric linemen, pipeline and refinery workers, as well as industrial electricians.
2. How does Carhartt® flame-resistant clothing help protect against burn injury?
Wearing flame-resistant clothing will provide thermal protection, which if exposed to electric arcs or flash fires, will self-extinguish after the source of ignition is removed, limiting the degree of burn and body burn percentage. The flame-resistant fabrics are impregnated with chemicals that extinguish flames and help char the fabric. It is not designed to be flame proof; however, it is flame-resistant.
3. Can the flame-resistant chemicals be washed out?
No. Carhartt® flame-resistant clothing is guaranteed to be flame-resistant for the useful life of the garment; regardless of the number of washings (servicings) in either the home or industrial laundering, provided the garment care instructions are followed.
4. Will non-treated 100% cotton and other natural fibers help protect against possible burn injury?
Non-treated cotton and wool are flammable fibers. If exposed to electric arcs and flash fires, these materials will continue to burn causing possible severe injury and death.
5. What is NFPA70E?
The National Fire Protection Agency's (NFPA) 70E is the Standard for Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces. NFPA70E requires employees to wear flame resistant protective clothing wherever there is a possible exposure to electric arc flash. Although it is a voluntary standard, NFPA70E is considered a "generally accepted industry standard" and thus OSHA will fine companies under the general duty clause, which requires employers to take the appropriate steps to protect workers. NFPA70E is widely accepted throughout general manufacturing as well as the electrical industries. NFPA 70E requires employers to perform a flash hazard analysis to determine the flash protection boundary distance. The standard is designed to protect employees working inside these flash protection boundaries by requiring protective clothing for the corresponding Hazard/Risk Category (HRC) that has an arc thermal performance value (ATPV) of a least the value listed in the "Protective Clothing Characteristics" section of the standard.
6. What is NESC?
The National Electric Safety Code (NESC) is the standard used by electric utilities to implement safety procedures for utility workers. NESC is also the standard OSHA uses when enforcing electrical utility safety. The latest revision, NESC 2007, includes flame-resistant clothing as a requirement. Similar to NFPA70E, the NESC standard requires utilities to perform a risk assessment and then to require workers to wear flame-resistant clothing with an effective rating equal to the risk. NESC is effective starting January, 2009.
7. What is ATPV?
Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV) is a rating assigned to FRC indicating the level of protection provided. Higher fabric weights typically have higher ATPV's and provide increased protection as does the layering of flame-resistant clothing. ATPV is measured in calories per centimeter squared (cal/cm2).
8. What is EBT?
Like ATPV, Breakopen Threshold Energy (EBT) is a rating assigned to FRC indicating the level of protection provided. EBT is used when ATPV cannot be measured due to flame-resistant fabric breakopen. EBT is also measured in calories per centimeter squared (cal/cm2).
9. What is HRC?
Hazard Risk Category (HRC) is a rating range directly related to ATPV. There are 5 HRCs ranging from 0 to 4, with a hazard risk of 0 presenting the least risk and a hazard risk of 4 being the greatest risk.
10. What is OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) 29 CFR1910.269 covers the operation and maintenance of electric power generation, control, transformation, transmission and distribution lines and equipment. Part (l) (6) (iii) states: "The employer shall ensure that each employee who is exposed to the hazards of flames or electric arc does not wear clothing that, when exposed to flames or electric arcs, could increase the extent of the injury that would be sustained by the employee." This is the only federal law relating to FR clothing for electrical purposes. It is currently being rewritten and is expected to closely mirror NFPA70E. Once approved, flame-resistant clothing requirements would become law.
11. What is ASTM F1506?
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) developed F1506, the Standard Performance Specification for Flame Resistant Textile Material for Wearing Apparel for Use by Electrical Workers Exposed to Momentary Electric Arc and Related Thermal Hazards. This is a pass/fail standard that requires a sample of flame-resistant fabric to self extinguish with a < 2 second afterflame and a < 6" char length. The FR fabric must also stand up to these requirements after 25 washes/dry cleaning. All Carhartt® flame-resistant garments meet the ASTM F1506 requirement.
12. Does Carhartt® flame-resistant clothing meet protective clothing standards?
Yes, Carhartt® flame-resistant clothing meets the requirements of ASTM F1506, NFPA-70E and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269.
13. Who should determine what Arc Thermal Performance Value/Hazard Risk Category an FR user should be wearing?
The ATPV/HRC protection level worn by an FR user should be determined by the user's employer. The employer must do a hazard risk assessment for the user's job and inform them of the protection level needed. This should never be determined by the apparel manufacturer (Carhartt®) or the retailer.
14. Can Carhartt® flame-resistant clothing be used for wildland fire fighting?
Carhartt® flame-resistant clothing has not been tested to meet the requirements of NFPA 1977, The Standard for Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting, therefore, Carhartt® flame-resistant clothing is not recommended for this use.
15. What is NFPA 2112?
The National Fire Protection Agency's (NFPA) 2112 is the Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire. The standard provides requirements for design, performance, certification requirements and test methods for flame-resistant garments for use in areas at risk from flash fires.
16. Is Carhartt® flame-resistant clothing recommended for welding?
Carhartt® does not make any garments that are specifically designed to be worn while welding, or performing similar jobs that involve exposure to spark and flames. Our flame-resistant clothing will protect better than our 100% cotton or synthetic garments, because the fabric is self-extinguishing. However, flame-resistant garments are susceptible to holes and fabric burns created by sparks and metal debris generated by activities such as welding.
17. How do you care for Carhartt® flame-resistant clothing?
Flame-Resistant Clothing / Quilt-Lined
Machine wash warm at temperature not to exceed 140°F (60°C). Do not use chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide bleach, softeners or starch. Tumble dry low, remove promptly. Iron with low heat. Do not dry clean.
Flame-Resistant Clothing / Unlined or Twill-Lined
Machine wash warm at temperature not to exceed 165°F (74°C). Do not use chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide bleach, softeners or starch. Tumble dry low, remove promptly. Iron with low heat. Do not dry clean.
All information provided by Carhartt®