FR Clothing Protection System – Why Daily Wear versus Task Based Approach?

Through the years this subject has been diagnosed and evaluated from multiple angles.

Option A: Daily Wear Approach – For Hazard Risk Categories 0, 1 and 2 (typically 85% – 90% of all electrical tasks) the employee will wear a FR Clothing System (Shirt and Pant or Coverall) as their everyday clothing.

Option B: Task Based Approach – The employee will “gear-up” by typically wearing a FR Coverall or Arc Flash Suit (11 Cal Jacket and Bib Overalls) over non flame resistant clothing to meet the specific requirements for given identified electrical task.

While each workplace has unique factors, in general most safety professional opt for Option A – Daily Wear Approach for the following reasons:

  • Places less PPE decision making burden on the employee
  • Significantly increases proper safety compliance
  • Reduces heat stress that can be caused by wearing an extra layer of clothing
  • Provides the most hazard prevention mitigation to reduce/eliminate non-compliance

Due to the significantly increased protection needed for HRC 3 and 4, a task based approach (as illustrated in Annex H Example will probably need to be taken. However, experience has illustrated that the amount of exposure to these higher risk hazards is insignificant portion of the total electrical work performed.