Imminent OSHA Electrical Rule Change Regarding FR Clothing

Tyndale's Premium FR Relaxed Fit Jean (F293T)

According to Safety+Health Magazine an industry representative has confirmed, among other sources, that the much anticipated final OSHA rule for 29 CFR 1910.269 is imminent. This Federal standard governs employee safety in activities related to the construction and repair of electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution equipment.

The following changes are expected to be incorporated into the final Federal Rule:

  • Employers will be required to conduct a workplace hazard analysis to determine need for FR clothing.
  • Changes to the National Electric Safety Code (NESC) in recent years may now be adopted and enforced at the Federal level. Critically, these changes would include the requirement for FR pants to be worn during all work above 600V.

Read more about the requirements found in the 2012 edition of the National Electrical Safety Code here.

As covered in a previous blog post, Tyndale recently tested a pair of FR jeans against a pair of non-FR jeans. This test is a valuable demonstration of why it is important to protect both the upper and lower body with FR clothing, especially when workers are performing tasks on equipment at or below waist level.

Watch the video testing this electric arc flash protection here:

As the video shows, cotton fabric can and will ignite, and continue to burn if exposed to an ignition source. The non-FR jeans tested are made of 100% cotton, and continue to burn after the source of flame is removed (on the left). However, the FR jeans immediately self-extinguish (on the right).

As a leader in the FR industry, Tyndale is an active participant in organizations like ASTM, NSC, EEI, and IEEE establishing standards that impact worker safety and maintains intimate familiarity with industry standards and test methods. Our knowledge of pending industry regulation keeps you informed of changes that may impact your workforce.

Tyndale will continue to monitor the status of the rule and advise accordingly. Once released, we will provide information and guidance regarding the changes and how to comply. Tyndale anticipates OSHA will expect employers to demonstrate a good faith compliance effort almost immediately.

Tyndale has a wide selection of FR pants and other garments in stock to help customers meet these changes promptly. Please contact your account manager to discuss options today.

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