Our Dangers of Improper Wear series examines many of the common mistakes people make when wearing arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing, with real-world arc flash video footage that shows just how substantial each mistake can be. In each episode, you’ll find powerful examples of why wearing the right PPE, and wearing it properly, makes all the difference – with expert commentary from Scott Margolin, Vice President of Technical.
Are You Required to Tuck-in Your AR / FR Shirt?
The answer is YES, you should always tuck-in your arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) shirts. We’ll show you why it’s so important in this week’s episode from our Dangers of Improper Wear series. Watch the video below for real footage from an arc-flash testing facility, where Tyndale demonstrates how an arc-flash impacts a worker whose protective shirt is not tucked-in.
Why Wearing an Untucked AR / FR Shirt is a Mistake
As demonstrated in the video above, a wearer who leaves his or her AR / FR shirt untucked is potentially exposed to a very dangerous hazard. This is true EVEN IF the arc’s incident energy rating is below the arc-rating of the untucked shirt and the arc hits the wearer’s AR / FR shirt in the area above where it’s untucked.
The arc-flash or flash fire hazard can – and sometimes does – get inside the shirt trapping the hazard in the shirt, catching the flammable base layer on fire, with the possibility of causing severe burn and injury to the wearer. This is why industry standards do not allow protective clothing to be untucked.
If video proof isn’t reason enough for you to wear your clothing properly tucked in, below we’ve broken down what flash fire and arc flash standards and OSHA have to say about tucking in your AR / FR shirts.
According to Flash Fire Standards
NFPA 2113 is the Standard on Selection, Care, Use, and Maintenance of Flame Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire – it focuses on selection and training on how to properly wear FR clothing in the field. Both NFPA 2113 and NFPA 70E require that your AR / FR shirt be tucked in to your AR / FR pants.
According to Arc Flash Standards
NFPA 70E is the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. This standard says, “clothing shall cover potentially exposed areas as completely as possible, shirt and coverall sleeves shall be fastened at wrists, and the shirt shall be tucked in to pants.” The key word is “shall” which is proscriptive, meaning, your AR / FR shirt must be tucked in – it is not an option.
According to OSHA
While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not explicitly say that AR / FR shirts should be tucked in to pants, it does say that AR / FR garments shall be worn according to their manufacturer’s instructions. Almost all quality manufacturers of AR / FR clothing state that AR / FR garments shall be tucked in. By that logic, OSHA does in fact recommend AR / FR shirts to be tucked in to pants.