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The Importance Of Flame Retardant Clothing in Preventing A Workplace Burn Injury

Rick Plezia June 21, 2016 Work Accidents

Everyday, at least one arc flash explosion occurs that sends a victim to a burn center. Many workers are exposed to the risk of fire on a daily basis, but with the use of flame retardant clothing, workers can greatly reduce accidents and/or the severity of injuries.

Who Is Most At Risk For A Workplace Burn Injury?

Workers in the oil and gas industry are regularly faced with an increased risk of fire or explosions due to the nature of the job. From refineries to oil rigs, the oil and gas industry can be dangerous. Workers who are exposed to electrical equipment are also at risk from electrical fires and flash explosions. While these two industries account for the majority of workplace fires, any person who works with or around flammable material is at risk.

Why Flame Retardant Clothing?

Flame retardant clothing is clothing designed to protect the wearer from both flash fire and electric arc flash and reduce the severity of injuries sustained. Flash fires occur when an atmosphere containing volatile particles like coal dust, grain, or flammable vapors is ignited. Flash fires can reach up to 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit. An electric arc flash occurs when a large amount of electrical current travels through air that has an electric charge. While an electric arc flash only lasts for a fraction of a second, the heat it generates is incredible. An electric arc flash can reach temperatures up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flame Retardant Clothing Protects the Wearer in the Following Ways:

  • Self-extinguishes or resists ignition
  • Does not melt onto skin
  • Provides thermal insulation
  • Resists breaking open and exposing skin
  • Reduces burn injuries
  • Increases chances of survival

Some of the most severe burn injuries and fatalities are caused by non-flame retardant clothing catching fire and continuing to burn. Adopting a safety first mindset in regards to fire protection can greatly decrease the severity of fire in the workplace. Employers are required to provide a safe workplace for employees, and this includes providing all necessary safety equipment like flame retardant clothing.

Houston Workplace Burn Injury Attorneys

The experienced workplace burn injury attorneys at Richard J. Plezia & Associates know how catastrophic burn injuries can forever change the lives of victims and their families. If your employer failed to provide you with the appropriate safety equipment or training and you sustained a workplace burn injury, call the Houston workplace accident lawyers at Richard J. Plezia & Associates today for a free consultation.