Top 3 Recent Changes to AR/FR Clothing Standards

As you know, the ongoing pandemic has impacted every single area of life. As a result, it is no surprise that the past two years have been relatively quiet in terms of major changes to safety standards with impact to arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing requirements.

Tyndale is not only well-versed on the standards that impact worker safety, but an active participant in organizations like ASTM, NSC, EEI, and IEEE that maintain responsibility for establishing those very standards. Led by Scott Margolin, Vice President of Technical, we are dedicated to keeping you informed about industry standards – critical to making sure workers are both safe and compliant.

Although major changes have been few and far between during this time period, there are several recent and planned updates to make sure you are aware of:

Recent Updates

  1. NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace:​ Previously, this standard did not contain a great deal of specificity around non-FR heraldry (logos, patches, etc.) used on FR garments. This standard has now been formally updated to specify that non-FR heraldry must be limited to 40 square inches per garment, and no single piece of non-FR heraldry may exceed 16 square inches.
  2. NFPA 2112 Standard on Flame Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire:
    • Non-FR Heraldry: This standard was updated with the same requirements limiting non-FR heraldry to 40 square inches per garment, with no single piece of non-FR heraldry to exceed 16 square inches.
    • Hand Protection: Hands deserve the same protection as the rest of the body – especially since hands are so closely tied to both quality of life and ability to return to work after a flash fire incident. However, gloves were not included in NFPA 2112 until 2018 and in NFPA 2113 until 2020. This is because of the complexity in testing protocol, since gloves are made from a variety of materials and can feature a wide range of layers and variations in design and features. Now, nearly three years after gloves were added to NFPA 2112, the protocol has been solidified and the first gloves to successfully pass the NFPA 2112-18 standard for flash fire protection are becoming available; look out for an upcoming blog post examining this change in detail, and be sure to consider hand protection in your workplace flash fire protection plan going forward.

Anticipated Updates

  1. ASTM F1506 Standard Performance Specification for Flame Resistant and Electric Arc Rated Protective Clothing Worn by Workers Exposed to Flames and Electric Arcs: We are anticipating an upcoming change in how vented garments are tested, adding additional requirements to ensure vented garments are safe. Similarly, NFPA 2112 just passed a TIA for the upcoming 2023 edition with changes to testing requirements for vented garments. Stay tuned for more information as the details around this change are solidified.

Want to learn more about industry standards and test methods? We’ve made it easy – check out our How it’s Tested series. With Scott Margolin, Vice President of Technical as our guide, we examine many of the major tests used by key industry standards to ensure AR / FR clothing delivers the protection you need to stay both safe and compliant. You’ll learn what these tests measure, how they measure it, and what that means to someone like you who is specifying or wearing the garment.

And don’t miss our FR Safety Resource Hub to access our online technical safety library, read our blog, and watch educational videos. On this page, you can also explore tools, learn the answers to frequently-asked questions, browse training guides on topics like best practices for garment care and maintenance, and more. 

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