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What is the difference between NFPA® 2113 vs. 2112?

NFPA® 2112 is the well-known and often quoted safety standard to those who work in the Oil & Gas Industry — no matter where they fall in the stream. And while 2112 is an important standard on how to specify the minimum performance requirements and test methods for flame-resistant fabrics and components, it does not provide any guidance for the selection, use, care, and maintenance of FR clothing. NFPA® 2113 is your go-to safety standard in regard to building your FR clothing program.

NFPA® 2113 walks safety professionals through their hazard assessment, explains how to specify clothing based on the requirements of NFPA® 2112. NFPA 2113 is where you will find proper care and maintenance addressed. NFPA® 2112 lays out the minimum performance requirements and test methods that FR garments must meet in order to enter the market, while NFPA® 2113 focuses on minimizing the health and safety risks by choosing the correct garment based on the proper selection criteria and how to properly wear FR garments in the field.

In addition to proper care and maintenance, NFPA 2113 stipulates the training guidelines that help ensure your program is in compliance with OSHA 1910.132, the often cited regulation when FR clothing programs fail to meet OSHA requirements.

Even though NFPA 2112 may get all the headlines and recognition as a safety professional NFPA 2113 is your go-to standard.

Get in touch with a Bulwark representative.

Flame-Resistant Clothing for the Flash Fire Hazard: Care, Use and Maintenance

Even the most comprehensive safety program can only mitigate—not eliminate—risk associated with the flash fire hazard. A reliable and controllable means of protecting employees from harm is the proper use of PPE. In a flash fire context, flame resistant clothing provides further protection and offers a foundational defense. This paper guides safety managers and purchasers in the selection, use, care and maintenance of clothing for flash fire protection that’s compliant with the industry consensus standard NFPA® 2112.

Fill out the form below to download the whitepaper.

Industry News
Top 10 Laundry Tips

As most of us know all too well, there’s no such thing as wash-and-go when it comes to caring for your PPE. Proper care and maintenance of FR/AR clothing is essential to its effectiveness. Most industry standards recommend following compliant garment manufacturers’ instructions, while others offer more specific guidance. To keep it simple, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 tips to maximize your PPE’s FR protection, wash after wash.

Read on to see our Top 10 Laundry Tips:

1. Do not use any kind of bleach or peroxide

2. Do not use any additive that could build up and impede FR performance such as fabric softeners or starch.

3. Wash FR/AR garments separately

4. Turn FR/AR garments inside out to help color retention and preserve appearance

5. Use liquid detergent for best results

6. Avoid the hottest washing and drying temperatures to reduce the impact of shrinkage

7. For tough stains, soak garments in liquid detergent or non-bleach, non-peroxide pre-wash stain removers before laundering.

8. For even tougher stains, FR garments may be dry cleaned

9. Tumble dry on low setting and do not over dry

10. Rewash garments with lingering odor

Stay Informed

The best defense for you and your team is to stay educated on how you can reduce injury in the case of an arc flash. The Bulwark Protection PPE experts provide a wide range of tools and resources on how to select the right FR and tips on how to properly implement a safety program.

  • OSHA 1910.269
  • Selection, Use, Care and Maintenance of FR Clothing
  • NFPA 70E
  • Arc Rating Calculator
Free Home Wash Magnet

Our free FR Home Wash magnet is packed with FR laundering quick tips. Request your free magnet to learn more, and keep it handy wherever you launder your garments.

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Bulwark FR Handbook

For industries operating in an inherently dangerous environment, the importance of selecting the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can’t be understated. Our FR Handbook is a guide for safety managers, or whoever is tasked with ensuring the safety of their workers, through the process of selection, implementation, care, and maintenance and to outline the various FR (Flame-Resistant) and AR (Arc-Rated) clothing options that are available and compliant with the many regulations, responsibilities, and requirements.

Insect Shield® FAQs

Bulwark is thrilled to introduce our new line of Bulwark FR clothing with Insect Shield® technology, with protection guaranteed to last through 50 washes. To help introduce this innovative technology, we put together a fact sheet that answers your top Insect Shield questions. It covers everything from what types of bugs the garments repel, to how to properly launder and care for your garments. When it comes to answering your questions, we’ve got you covered.

Fill out the form below to download the sheet.

Relentless Protector
Relentless Protector: George Harmer

ABOUT GEORGE
George Harmer is the Safety Director for General Production Service (GPS) where he’s been for the last 13 years. He has spent over 25 years in the oil and gas industry starting out at an entry level position and ultimately working into safety and risk management. Currently George oversees a team of 15 safety professionals responsible to over 500 employees. Utilizing a variety of innovative solutions GPS is recognized as a “world-class” organization with their business partners.

Recently, George sat down for a Zoom chat with his longtime friend and Bulwark Business Development Manager, Rick Fisher. They talked about being a Safety Manager, what it means to be in charge of other people’s safety, and how Bulwark helps empower GPS to protect their employees. Watch the full interview above, or check out the highlights below.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS
RF: Tell me what a given day looks like for a safety director at GPS?
GH: No day is the same in our business. You know, we have a lot of challenges that could arise every day. So typically you get to the yard, you know, 5:30 in the morning, uh, greet what guys I can see. I like to get here early to greet the workforce. And I feel that greeting the workforce every day shows them that we care. So greeting the workforce, and then I get phone calls all the way up until the last crew comes home every day.

RF: Does it put a strain on your family, George, being in such a tough business [the oil and gas business]?
GH: Um, yeah, I mean, there's a lot of uncertainties, you know, every day that we wake up and go into this field. There's, you know, uncertainty with new regulations that may be coming in on the environmental side, on the health and safety side. So it's always difficult with that uncertainty and then too, the other caveat to this job is being able to go home. You know, your spouse sometimes wants to know how your day went. There are so many things that I deal with on a confidential level, protecting employees. Sometimes that makes it tough, you know, because your spouse wants to talk about your day and you don't have that ability. So that definitely makes it tough. Not having the option to vent, I guess if you would.

RF: So as a safety manager or safety professional, what is the toughest part of your job?
GH: The toughest for sure, part of my job, is having to make that phone call to a family member that someone was hurt. I take it personal. I don't allow any of my other staff to make those phone calls. If somebody didn't go home safe today, I make sure that I call that spouse or family member. Just recently it wasn't even related to General Production’s work. We had an employee commuting to work, and unfortunately he didn't make it to work that day. He was killed in a car accident. The regular, you know, CHPs and some of the other folks that should've made that call took too long, and I couldn't stand by and have a spouse and a son and a daughter wonder where their father is. So I had to go out there and let them know that he was gone. So, you know, I take that very personal, whether they're on the job or this happens off the job, you know, we love our employees and I want to make sure they're taken care of.

RF: Yeah, I'm sorry that you would have to go through that or anybody in your company or their families. Switching gears. George, what is the best part about your job being a safety professional at General Production Service?
GH: Hands down the best part is going out there and [knowing that] the employees know that we care about them. Every year General Production Service has an annual company picnic. Meeting the families, you know, seeing the kids playing out there and having all the families come up to me during that time and say how much they love this company, because of the company loves them. So that's by far the greatest, just intermingling with family members and the company and letting them know how much I care about them.

RF: So I know that safety is a huge part of your job task. Tell me a little bit about your flame resistant apparel program.
GH: We started this program, I want to say back in 2011-ish or 12, that's where we first met. When we started this process, it's been something that's challenging at times. And the reason I say challenging is if you're not hooked up with the right person to help you through this process, you'll be in garments that don't fit the needs to the employees. Like, they're not comfortable. So it was challenging for the first a year and a half before you and I met and we sat down and that's the one thing that I found that helped us out the most is when you came in and sat down with us, it was different. And I say different because you didn't come in and say, this is what you need. You came in and said, what do you need? So for me, that took the challenge out of it.

RF: So when you chose Bulwark as your protective apparel brand, give me some of the most important factors, like environmental heat, comfort. Tell me the things that really mattered most to George Harmer.
GH: Well, the first thing definitely was comfort because if the guys don't—if they're not comfortable—they're not going to wear them properly, or they're not going to wear them at all. The other thing was, you know, we live in California in the Central Valley. Our summers can get unbearable to most folks, you know, just last week we had temperatures up to 109° in areas. So these guys gotta be able to…1. I have to comply with the FR regs. And then 2. I also have to make sure that our guys go home every day. And we comply with the heat on this prevention program that is set forth by Cal OSHA. So they have to be lightweight and breathable for the employees.

RF: So comfort was extremely important to you. Heat stress, having a garment that could breathe and cool the body. And if I remember correctly, you guys were having issues with your older product prior to Bulwark, not withstanding the rigorous strengths of what you guys do. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
GH: Yeah. Durability was a factor in the early times of our FR program. They wouldn't hold up to what we're doing out in the field. When I say we are a heavy wear company—it was amazing when we started working with Bulwark—When I said heavy wear, you brought a team out here and said, show us. No other company [did that]. They all said, “Oh, we understand heavy wear. We have a lot of heavy wear contracts out there.” They didn't have a clue. In well servicing, you're touching metal all day long. We're in high soiled conditions every single day. So these folks early on had to go at these garments so tough [with] high temperatures to wash on, chemicals to get the hydrocarbons out of the uniforms. So it was just destroying the fabric. So that's why we, when you came out, you not only said to us, what do you need? How can we help? You said, what can we produce for you? So working together, I think, came up with one of the best garments and fabrics that's on the market right now, the iQ series®.

RF: What makes you nervous about not only just your FR program, but your [overall] safety program, when you wake up in the morning and think about safety, George?
GH: You know, every day, uh, I go to bed thinking about it and I wake up thinking about it. The first thing I think about is, [is] today the day that someone's not going to do the right thing? You know, we have some mottos around here, it's our brother's keeper. So we want to empower each employee to take care of one another. We tell them, 1. you have an obligation to yourself. [2.] You have an obligation to that guy that's working next to you and an obligation to their family to make sure that they go home safe every day. So you just think, is today the day that someone's not gonna take a stand for safety. So that's why I coach my guys every day to make sure they're out there, coaching those employees to do the right thing. So that's what you worry about every day. And if you don't, you're in the wrong field, you should not be in the safety profession. If you don't think about that every day, and think about the employee's wellbeing, this is the wrong job for you.

RF: It must be a heavy burden. And I appreciate the candor. So you have the right tools. You have the right product. Tell me a little bit about the training that you give your employees on the flame resistant apparel.
GH: You know, every year we have an annual core training that we bring our employees in to go over our core values. Those are safety values. Those are corporate values. Those are our customer values. So to bring them in for that, and then to show them how to care for the garment out in the field. Thankfully our folks right now don't have to launder them themselves. We actually use a third party to launder our garments, but we do have some supervisors. And now we're taking that next step to give some of our folks the ability to care for their garments themselves. So really just to show them what the garment can do, you know, what it's intended to do. Some folks that we see out in the field—they don't work for our company—they'll have their garments untucked. So our guys will actually tell them, “Hey, you know, the whole purpose of that garment is to protect you in the event of a flash fire. And if you have it untucked, it's not doing what it's designed to do.” So just the training that we give our folks, they're able to go out and express that to other contractors that may be working in the area. So it's an empowering thing.

RF:That's really great to hear. Has Bulwark helped you guys understand the training process behind the flame resistant apparel?
GH:I will say that's an absolute, yes. And it's—I can tell the folks that may be watching this, um, Bulwark folks have been on our property over the last, let's just say nine years, more than a hundred times. That's you coming out, dealing with our folks, going out in the field with us, bringing your research team down here to look at what we're doing. So, absolutely. Bulwark has been not only a help in developing the perfect garment for us, but coming out and showing our employees how much they care about them to produce a garment that would protect them, train the employees. So it's been a wonderful partnership.

 

Washing Flame Resistant High Visibility at Home
Industry News
What’s in a Label?

When it comes to FR, the answer is: more than you might think. Even after assessing hazard risks and selecting the appropriate FR clothing, it also falls on the employer to ensure that each garment truly matches the hazard it’s designed to protect against. That’s why it’s especially important to identify proper labeling on the part of the manufacturer as an indicator that the garment is, indeed, fully compliant.

Read on to learn what to look for on your FR labels.

NFPA® and ASTM labeling requirements are strict, but not everyone follows the rules. Fraudulently labeled FR garments can often be identified by their violation of the standards. According to ASTM F1506 6.3, FR garments must be labeled with the following information:

6.3.1 Meets requirements of Performance Specification F1506

6.3.2 Manufacturer’s Name

6.3.3 Fabric Identifier

6.3.4 Garment Tracking and Identification Code

6.3.5 Size and other associated standard labeling

6.3.6 Care instructions and fiber content

6.3.7 Arc rating (ATPV) or arc rating (Ebt)

6.3.7.1 When garments are made with a different number of fabric layers in different areas of the garment, the arc rating for each area shall be designated. Pockets, trim, closures, seams, labels, and heraldry shall not be considered as extra layers.

That’s a lot of label, but it shows specific compliance, as opposed to labels that are misleading or omit critical information.

NFPA 2112, Chapter 4 provides clear requirements for shirts, pants, coveralls and outerwear. In addition to bearing the mark of the 3rd party certifier, the following words and the edition of the standard must appear on the label of a certified garment:

“This garment meets the requirements of NFPA 2112, Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for the Protection of Industrial Personnel against Flash Fire, 2012 Edition. NFPA 2113 requires upper and lower body coverage.”

Beware of subtle changes in wording on the label that claim to meet a portion of the standard, but do not meet all requirements. For example, the following language does not meet the requirements of NFPA 2112:

“This garment meets the performance requirements of NFPA 70E-2009, ASTM F1506-02ae1, NFPA 2112-2007.”

There’s one more way to be sure your FR gear is fully compliant: Visit the UL website, where you can query to ensure that the garment has, in fact, been certified by UL.

While it may seem nitpicky, these standards for FR labeling are very important. They are designed to protect the FR provider and FR wearer from purchasing and wearing fraudulent FR garments, which do not meet the minimum requirements of FR safety.

Make a habit of reading your labels. Because when it comes to protecting yourself and your crew from the hazards associated with the job, you can never be too careful.

Safety Updates
The ABC’s of PPE

Building a PPE program that meets all safety requirements and meets your personal needs is no easy task. You must select the right garments based on the unique hazards of your industry, in addition to important factors like comfort, durability and laundering. But even the best PPE program in the world is ineffective without the proper implementation and training. Below, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step process for designing, implementing and maintaining your PPE program.

Hazard Assessment
The first step in the creation of any PPE program is the Hazard Assessment. Federal regulations require employers to assess the workplace to determine if hazards that require the use of personal protective equipment are present or are likely to be present. Using the Hazard Assessment Checklist, you will conduct a walk-through survey of the workplace to identify potential hazards. These include impacts, combustible dust, fire/heat, and chemical hazards, among others. When conducting your assessment, be sure to consider workplace, procedural, and environmental hazards.

Selecting the Right PPE
Once you’ve established the need for PPE, it’s time to determine the degree of protection required based on your particular hazards. We do this by matching the hazard to the regulations, which inform what, if any, PPE is required. Industry consensus standards may be used to guide selection decisions, and the best way to cite these standards is by industry. For the main industries Bulwark serves, the hazards and standards are as follows:

Oil & Gas, which includes exploration, drilling, field services, refinement, and chemical, faces the known hazard of flash fire, a rapidly moving flame front that expands through diffuse fuel without creating blast pressure.

NFPA® 2112 and NFPA® 2113 are the “go-to” industry consensus standards that address flash fire. NFPA® 2113 focuses on how organizations and employers—as well as individual wearers—should choose the correct garment based on certain criteria.

Electric Utility workers, including those working in the transmission, distribution, generation, and metering of power utilities, are exposed to hazards associated with electrical energy, primarily electrical arcs or arc flashes.

General Industry: Wherever workers may be exposed to hazards associated with electrical energy, employers must make sure they are protected. This includes electricians, maintenance workers, and operators.

NFPA 70E® requires AR (or arc-rated) clothing for any potential exposure above 1.2 cal/cm2, which equals the onset of a second-degree burn. The level of protection must be based on the task at hand, and most general industry tasks will require CAT2 or higher. It’s necessary to carefully consider the actual risk associated with a job and to match the protection category accordingly.
NOTE: NFPA 70E® applies only to general industry electrical safety. To address specific circumstances for utility, OSHA published 1910.269 & 1926.960, which state that power utilities are required to wear arc-rated clothing which matches the potential threat as determined by a proper hazard analysis.

Training
Employers implementing a PPE program are required by OSHA 1910.132(f)(1) and all industry consensus standards to provide training to each employee. According to OSHA, each employee who is required to wear PPE should at least know when it is necessary, what exactly is necessary, the do’s and don’ts of proper wear, what its limitations are, and how to properly care for it.

NFPA® 2112 A.5.1.1 offers specific requirements about the information employers must provide to their employees.

Maintenance
Proper care and maintenance of FR/AR clothing is essential to the effectiveness of your PPE program. While most industry standards recommend following the instructions provided by compliant garment manufacturers, some standards offer specific guidance, and there are a few basic rules that apply across all relevant standards.

1. Do not use any kind of bleach or peroxide

2. Do not use any additive that could build up and impede FR performance

3. Wash FR/AR garments separately

4. Turn FR/AR garments inside out to help color retention and preserve appearance

5. Use liquid detergent for best results

6. Avoid the hottest temperature to reduce the impact of shrinkage

7. For tough stains, apply liquid detergent or stain remover and soak garment

8. For even tougher stains, Bulwark® FR garments can be dry cleaned

9. Tumble dry on low setting and do not over dry

10. Rewash garments with lingering odor

11. Never use DEET or any other flammable substances on FR/AR clothing.

12. Any repairs must be made with fabric and findings that match the protection level of the original garment.

 

More specific regulations about PPE maintenance are defined in NFPA® 2113 and NFPA 70E®.

Washing Excel FR® and Comfortouch FR® Cotton and Cotton Blends at Home
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