As Tyndale extends our managed arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing programs into Canada, we invite you to follow along in our Proud to Protect Canada series. While many of the topics in this series contain Canadian-specific content, there are some topics that are relevant on both sides of the border. We hope you enjoy “meeting” our Canada Team, exploring engaging and relevant content, while learning about our unique solution and the benefits it provides to companies and wearers alike.
Regulations for arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing vary slightly across Canada’s provinces. At their core, they align with general, federal requirements while expanding to provide additional best practices that, all together, give us a straightforward takeaway to understanding and ensuring compliance.
It’s important to note that the information covered in this post is relevant to AR / FR clothing and does not include items like firefighting and welding gear. It’s always best to check your area’s regulations to be sure you understand all specific wording for your situation.
To help us navigate the language at each level in practical terms is Tyndale Canada’s Technical Advisor, Sara Olsen:
As Sara points out, every jurisdiction in Canada, federally and in the provinces and territories, has wording in their legislation stating that employees must be adequately protected from workplace hazards. Protective items must be available, in good condition, and the employee must know how to use them correctly.
Not all jurisdictions have specific wording when it comes to AR / FR clothing, but all areas indicate that the protection provided to employees should be appropriate to the hazard:
- If a flash fire risk is identified, workers should wear PPE that is compliant with CGSB and/or NFPA 2112 – the two North American standards for flash fire protection.
- If an arc flash hazard is identified, workers should wear PPE that is compliant with CSA Z462 and has a rating equal to or greater than the potential incident energy identified as part of your hazard analysis.
- If both hazards exist, there are many AR / FR or dual hazard garments that offer protection from both hazards.
There are a few areas that have wording stronger than the language at the federal level or offer additional information.
Saskatchewan is the only province that supplies approved standards as part of their regulatory wording that align with the best practices mentioned earlier in this post:
A full list of approved standards for Saskatchewan is available on Saskatchewan.ca.
Alberta, Newfoundland, and Labrador have additional regulatory wording to protect the wearer in a thermal incident that we strongly recommend be followed by everyone who wears AR / FR clothing: Clothing worn under the FR outer layer is required to be made of non-melting fibers.
As demonstrated in the video above, the point of wearing AR / FR clothing is to ensure that afterflame is not a risk and to provide a limited thermal barrier. AR / FR clothing cannot stop all heat from transferring through a garment, which is why it’s so important to wear non-melting fibers. This leaves no opportunity for a base layer to melt and adhere to a wearer’s skin.
The bottom line is, you must match the PPE to the hazard and wear non-melting fabrics under any AR / FR PPE.
If you have questions or need further information, don’t hesitate to reach out to Tyndale’s technical team.
Be sure to tune in to upcoming episodes in this series where we examine variations in provincial and federal regulations for protective footwear. Visit our series hub to read episode summaries and catch up on all topics in the series.
Series: Proud to Protect Canada
Follow along with this series to explore our educational resources for companies and workers based in Canada. You’ll meet the technical and market experts from our Canada team and find everything from the basics on the hazards, to PPE and labeling requirements, a closer look at key safety standards and the hierarchy of standards and regulations in Canada, employer responsibilities under the Canadian Labour Code, and more.