This is the third post in a series covering how to layer FR clothing during colder months. Previously, we covered inner FR layers and the cold stress hazards workers face during winter months. Next we will explore the final, or waterproof, layer of FR.
Today, advancements in cold weather FR apparel are making safety and compliance easier than ever. You might think that more clothing layers means that you’ll be warmer during the winter, but is this true?
We’ve covered tips on the inner layer of FR, or clothing that’s worn against the skin. Below we cover what to wear as the outer FR layer that will provide you not only warmth and insulation, but also an added layer of flame resistant protection.
Since the inner layer of FR clothing is meant to keep you dry, the outer layer should focus on added warmth and insulation against the cold. Dressing in removable layers helps in regulating your body temperature while doing physically stressful work. Loose layers provide insulation whereas tight outer layers on top of an inner layer can constrict blood circulation to your extremities.
As we touched on, wearing an FR outer layer over a non-FR inner layer (or vice versa) does not provide adequate protection. Wearing a bulky FR jacket over a non-FR shirt or bottom layer simply provides the wearer a false sense of security. Outerwear must be flame resistant since flammable outerwear can ignite and continue to burn, essentially eliminating the protection of flame resistant clothing worn underneath.
Progress has been made over the past few years related to worker comfort. In the minds of a wearer, insulation has a direct correlation to weight. Vests are a great example of a versatile FR garment that meet standards compliance but are an option to keep workers comfortable yet warm. FR vests provide significant flexibility on top of FR shirts/sweatshirts or under outerwear to combine comfort with protection throughout a cold day.
Using the right FR clothing in the right conditions ensures that you can do your job warmly and safely. However, promoting FR layering to a workforce does require safety professionals to educate their workers on the standards requirements for all layers to achieve compliance and to regularly monitor all the FR layers in a worker’s outfit.
Check back for information on wearing a final, waterproof layer of FR clothing or click here to see our previous post on inner FR layers. Stay tuned for more information on the Tyndale Chore Coat (K650T)!