EN1161 – Welding
If wearers of FR clothing are carrying out welding tasks, it is important that the garments meet BS EN ISO 11611, which covers additional protection which is required for the hazards of welding and allied processes. The final standard applicable is the ARC standard IEC 61482-2:2018, which protects workers against the Thermals Hazards of an Electric Arc. The Arc generates a high level of energy for a very short span of time (up to 1 second). The intense heat can create temperatures as high as 19,000°C, and it also produces electric shock, force, and large quantities of thermal radiant energy.
It is then very important to select the most appropriate garment for the tasks that are being carried out. Coveralls can be very effective for welding and more heavy engineering tasks, but it is essential to ensure that they are correctly fitted, for example, sleeve, leg length, ladies fit etc. as there can be a safety implications if wearers have poorly fitted garments. Certain roles find that two-piece options are more appropriate, especially in warmer conditions where there can be more ventilation and the option to reduce layers, providing that all layers meet the FR standard. Sometimes the two-piece option can help the wearer to get a better fit as a different size can be selected for upper and lower garments, and again it is really important that sleeve and leg length is correct and that women have the correct ladies’ fit garments. With two-piece combinations, FR polo shirts or T-shirts can be worn in the summer instead of the jacket, making them very popular in some environments.
EN20471 and EN13034 Hivis and Chem Splash
There are additional standards which may be applicable for wearers of FR clothing such as the Hi-Vis standard EN20471 and the limited chemical splash standard BS EN 13034. The coverall and two-piece options do have the option to include these additional standards if risk assessments indicate that this is important. Finally, the care of FR garments is critical to ensure that the garments perform correctly. Most importantly, they should not be contaminated with oil or flammable materials as this reduces the protection afforded. It is also essential that washing and drying instructions are followed, as exceeding the temperature that is recommended can reduce the life of the garment and, in some cases, the protection provided by the garment.
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