OHS Canada Magazine

Workrite Uniform Canada ULC shares top five FR outerwear considerations

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January 10, 2018
By Jean Lian

Health & Safety fire resistant personal protective equipment

OXNARD, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2017) — The weather may be getting colder, but the risk of thermal hazards such as flash fire and arc flash is still just as significant, and selecting the right flame-resistant (FR) outerwear is essential to keeping workers safe. Workrite Uniform Canada ULC, an FR clothing manufacturer, recommends the following considerations for evaluating FR outerwear options.


The first and foremost consideration when selecting FR outerwear, or any type of FR clothing, should always be safety. Be sure to select FR outerwear that is designed to meet or exceed all relevant safety standards, such as CSA Z462 and CGSB 155.20. These standards, among others, are a great place to learn about the levels of FR protection required in various work environments.


Some types of FR outerwear are significantly warmer than others, and selecting garments that offer the appropriate level of warmth helps ensure the outerwear will be worn consistently and compliantly. Depending on the manufacturer and style, some FR outerwear comes with a temperature rating to help you gauge the climates it is best suited for. In the absence of a temperature rating, fabric type and weight provide some indication of how warm FR outerwear will be.


In cold environments, outerwear that traps moisture on the skin is not only uncomfortable, but also potentially dangerous. If excessive moisture remains on the skin, it can cause chilling and even hypothermia. FR outerwear made from moisture-wicking fabrics can help prevent this issue. However, it is also important to look for garments that allow sufficient breathability to prevent workers from overheating and further reduce the likelihood of trapped moisture.


If FR outerwear makes workers uncomfortable or impairs their job performance, they are less likely to wear it and, therefore, less likely to have the protection they need if an accident occurs. Ease of movement is vital to comfort, so it is important to look for garments that are designed with features such as action backs to promote a wide range of motion.


Small details can make a big difference in the performance of FR outerwear. Features such as water-resistant finishes, comfort-enhancing knit cuffs, zip-in hoods, elastic waistbands and beyond can improve the functionality of FR outerwear as well as workers’ satisfaction with the garments.

For a fun video showing what happens if non-FR outerwear is exposed to flame, visit https://youtu.be/j241k4rESpI. To learn more about FR clothing and Workrite Uniform products, visit http://www.workrite.com.


Founded in 1973, Workrite Uniform has delivered high-quality flame-resistant (FR) workwear for more than 40 years. A brand of VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), Workrite Uniform is solely focused on the development and manufacturing of FR clothing for industries throughout North America. The company is also a leading supplier of FR station wear for fire service, as well as FR and chemical-splash protective lab coats. An ISO 9001:2008-certified company, Workrite Uniform offers four top-quality FR brands — Workrite® FR, Workrite® FR Fire Service, Dickies® FR and Walls® FR — in the business-to-business (B2B) market. For more information on Workrite Uniform, visit http://www.workrite.com.



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