When it comes to dressing for work, some jobs need something besides a suit and tie. In addition to work uniforms designed to identify workers, equipment to keep employees safe is sometimes also necessary. Jobs and work sites with high risk for fires and other accidents require apparel specially designed to keep workers safe, and these garments are especially important in preventing injury or accidental death from fires and intense heat. Fire resistant jackets and clothing are necessary in some industries in order to minimize risk, and in the United States, some employers can be fined if their staff members are not outfitted in fire resistant work clothes and high visibility shirts and apparel.
If you work in one of the following careers, make sure you have the right fire resistant clothing for the job. Safety is about more than hardhats and work boots: knowing how and when to shield yourself from flames, sparks, other hazards is necessary for doing your job and saving your life.
· Emergency Response: While police officers and other first responders will sometimes need to brave dangerous conditions to save lives, fire resistant jackets and other protective gear are most commonly associated with firefighters. This FR clothing serves two purposes. The first is that it is made out of materials meant to withstand heat, flames, and sparks and can allow the wearer enough time to escape the garment safely in case it catches fire. The other important feature of this gear is that it contains high visibility or reflective details that make it easy for others to spot an emergency worker in a fire or other low visibility conditions, such as smoke. Having fire retardant or flame resistant apparel in these careers is a requirement, not an option.
· Construction: Construction can cover a wide variety of fields, from builders to automotive technicians and beyond. Anyone who uses welding equipment, power tools, and heavy machinery should make sure to wear both flame resistant and high visibility clothing. A single spark from welding equipment can ignite a flame, and clothing made of cotton can catch fire almost immediately. Additionally, high visibility gear is especially important in construction zones on private property and on roadways as well.
· Mining and Drilling: Jobs that involve drilling or mining for natural resources, such as coal or oil, are also high-risk careers where a fire can occur at any moment. Drilling for oil and gas is especially dangerous because explosions can happen in an instant. Always make sure to wear the required protective gear when working in these types of facilities.
· Manual Labor and Other High Risk Environments: From working in airports and ships to handling hazardous materials, there’s a good chance you might need fire resistant clothing. Even if flames aren’t a risk, high visibility clothing can save your life if you work in any extreme conditions.
Check with your employer to ensure that you have all of the safety gear you need to be safe and successful on the job. Your employer may be able to cover some or all of the costs of your protective gear, as well. Remember, not only are fire resistant jackets and clothes required by law in some industries in the United States due to OSHA regulations, but they can prevent serious injuries and tragedies from occurring at work, too. Helpful links.