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Safety Updates
Protection for the wildest of fires.

As any fire service worker can tell you, fighting fires is complex. There’s more to it than you may think. And those complexities are further compounded by the environment where the fire burns. What we commonly refer to as “forest fires” or “wildfires” actually fall into two distinct categories: Wildlands and Wildlands Urban Interface (WUI). Wildlands fires are those that break out in uninhabited areas—often forests, but also prairies and other wilderness areas. WUI fires are fought at the intersection of those wilderness areas and occupied areas—places where people live, work and play. Each has its own set of complications and difficulties, and as such, each requires specific PPE to keep firefighters safe. Workrite Fire Service proudly offers garments that meet the standards for both.

We're gearing up for the world's largest fire service convention.

FDIC International

Postponed

Indiana Convention Center
1100 S Capitol Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46225

Booth #1704

FDIC International is the place to be for fire & rescue professionals from over 65 countries. This is the premier firefighter exhibit where you'll learn from world-class instructors, engage in workshops and seminars and discover the most innovative products and services available to the industry. Our FR experts Mark Saner will be there at booth #1704 to answer all your fire service questions.

We're gearing up for the world's largest fire service convention.

FDIC International

Postponed

Indiana Convention Center
1100 S Capitol Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46225

Booth #1704

FDIC International is the place to be for fire & rescue professionals from over 65 countries. This is the premier firefighter exhibit where you'll learn from world-class instructors, engage in workshops and seminars and discover the most innovative products and services available to the industry. Our FR experts Mark Saner will be there at booth #1704 to answer all your fire service questions.

The Importance of Flame Resistant (FR) Station Wear

For many industries, flame-resistant (FR) clothing has been widely adopted as a means of protecting employees from burn injury or even death. However, while the fire service community takes firefighter safety very seriously, it’s estimated that only a quarter of fire departments require flame-resistant station wear. This paper demonstrates why FR station wear should be considered an integral part of every firefighter’s personal protective equipment (PPE).

Fill out the form below to download the whitepaper.

Protection for the Wildest Fires

Workrite Fire Service designs our meticulously purpose-built FR protection especially for the tough conditions wildland firefighters face each day. With features to help keep them safe and agile on the job, no matter where it takes them.

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AN ADDED LAYER OF PROTECTION
Workrite Fire Service offers the largest assortment of professional looking FR station wear. You and your team can rely on us for quality, durability and comfort, designed specifically with firefighters in mind.
Free Home Wash Magnet

Our Workrite Fire Service home wash magnet is packed with flame resistant (FR) station wear laundering tips. Fill out the form below to request your magnet, and keep it handy wherever you launder your garments.

Fill Out the Form Below to Request Your Magnet

How We Got Here

The Bulwark® FR brand came into existence more than 47 years ago on the frontlines of the Canadian oil fields. We understand that there is a demand for PPE that looks just as good and fits just as well as it protects. And, for the first time ever, the world’s most trusted names in FR and PPE are uniting, to provide the ultimate one-stop safety solution. When you need to outfit your team with protective garments that are purposefully designed to boost comfort, spirits and productivity you can rely on Bulwark® FR, Bulwark® CP, and Workrite® Fire Service to protect your crew from head to toe.

Ask An Expert
Know Your Hazards

Depending on the line of work you’re in, there are any number of dangers you may encounter on the job. From slip-and-fall hazards to those due to working at height, there’s PPE to help keep you protected. When it comes to thermal hazards, your FR clothing protects you against two main hazards: Flash Fire and Arc Flash.

Flash Fire
A flash fire is a rapid moving flame front that can be caused by a diffuse fuel, such as dust, gas, or the vapors of an ignitable liquid, without the production of damaging pressure. In the Oil & Gas industry, which includes exploration, drilling, field services and refining, flash fires are the primary hazard FR protects against.

NFPA® 2112 and NFPA® 2113 are the “go-to” industry consensus standards that address flash fire. Once safety managers have identified they have a flash fire hazard, FR is necessary. Selecting the appropriate FR garments for your safety program should be based on a number of factors such as protection, comfort and durability.

Arc Flash
An arc flash is a powerful and dangerous occurrence where an electric current leaves its anticipated path and travels from phase to phase, or phase to ground. The resulting explosion produces extremely high temperatures, acoustic energy and concussive force. When a person is in close proximity to the arc flash, serious burn injury and even death can occur.

The Arc Flash hazard affects all who work in and around energized electrical equipment. This can include general industry electricians, maintenance workers and operators, as well as our electric utilities, including transmission, distribution, generation and metering. As employers, it is your responsibility to ensure that all employees exposed to the hazard are protected with arc-rated flame-resistant clothing.

No matter which hazard your FR clothing is designed to address, the success of any program is dependent upon the proper selection, use, care and maintenance of your FR program. For more information on how to select the right FR for your needs and tips on implementing a FR clothing program, get in touch with a Bulwark FR expert.

Ask An Expert
What is a Hazard Risk Assessment?

AR, FR, ATPV, OSHA. The list goes on and on. If there’s one thing that’s true about FR safety, it’s that there are a lot of terms to memorize. It’s not always easy to keep the various words and acronyms straight, but when it comes to building and implementing an effective safety program, knowing your FR vocabulary is important. Here, our FR experts have compiled the most important of those terms in a handy alphabetized glossary so you can create a culture of compliance.

Arc Flash
An arc flash is a type of electrical explosion where temperatures can reach or exceed 35,000 °F. The Arc Flash hazard affects all who work in and around energized electrical equipment. This can include general industry electricians, maintenance workers and operators, as well as our electric utilities, including transmission, distribution, generation and metering.

Arc-Rated (AR) Protective Clothing
Arc-rated protective clothing protects from arc flash and electric arc hazards. AR garments are measured in cal/cm². The total AR clothing system must meet or exceed required arc protection levels. Remember, all AR is FR, but not all FR is AR.

Breakopen
Breakopen is the formation of holes in the fabric during arc rating testing. This is the point of failure of FR protective garments.

EBT
Energy Break-Open Threshold is an alternative measure to ATPV when that measure cannot be used due to breakopen.

Flash Fire
A rapid moving flame front that can be caused by a diffuse fuel, such as dust, gas, or the vapors of an ignitable liquid, without the production of damaging pressure. Flash fire is the primary hazard in the Oil & Gas industry, which includes exploration, drilling, field services and refining.

Hazard Risk 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. These include impacts, combustible dust, fire/heat, and chemical hazards, among others.

HRC (Hazard Risk Category)
Hazard risk categories are defined by NFPA® 70E and assigned based on risk associated with electrical safety and arc flash. HRC levels determine the appropriate ATPV of flame-resistant clothing for a given task.

PPE Category
Replaces HRC in 2015 edition of NFPA 70E, the “0” category was eliminated in NFPA 70E 2015. The minimum ATPV’s for PPE Category 1 through 4 are the same as they were for HRC, and the new PPE table only specifies PPE for work within the arc flash boundary.

CAT 2
HRC 2 rated garments have an arc rating between 8 cal/cm² and 25 cal/cm² and are often referred to as “daily wear.”

CAT 3
HRC 3 rated garments have an arc rating between 25 cal/cm² and 40 cal/cm².

CAT 4
HRC 4 rated garments have an arc rating equal or greater than 40 cal/cm². These high ratings are achieved with a layered FR system. Download our FR Layering Fact Sheet to learn the do’s and don’ts of layering for FR.

Inherently Flame Resistant
Inherently flame resistant fabrics are engineered to be flame-resistant at the fiber level, and do not require any additional finishing.

NFPA®
The National Fire Protection Association is an agency whose task it is to promote and improve fire protection and prevention. They publish National Fire Codes.

NFPA® 2112
Refers to NFPA’s “Standard on Flame Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire.” NFPA® 2112 is the “go-to” industry consensus standard that addresses flash fire. It defines the testing methods and performance requirements for flame-resistant fabrics for this hazard.

NFPA® 70E
The “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace,” NFPA® 70E is meant to protect those working around potential arc flash hazards. Note that NFPA® 70E applies only to general industry electrical safety, not to electric utility workers.

OSHA

Founded by the Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) mission is to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” Their general duty clause ensures a safe workplace for all employees and is the basis for all industry consensus standards. OSHA determines regulations and standards related to personal protective equipment.

OSHA 1910.269

The regulation states that power utilities make reasonable estimates of the incident heat energy to which their employee would be exposed, and that employees exposed to hazards from electric arcs wear AR clothing and other protective equipment with an arc rating greater than or equal to the estimated heat energy.

ANSI

Founded in 1918, The American National Standards Institute coordinates and develops voluntary standards for products, services, and systems. The organization’s goals include performance consistency and product safety. It is the U.S. member body to ISO and IEC.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Personal protective equipment is specialized safety gear worn by an employee for protection against a hazard. Flame resistant/arc rated garments are a form of personal protective clothing worn against thermal hazards.

Moisture Wicking

Moisture wicking fabrics pull moisture (sweat) away from the body and dry quickly, keeping the wearer cooler, dryer, and more comfortable. Bulwark iQ Series® FR Comfort Knits and Wovens are among the best moisture wicking FR garments available.

Breathability

Breathability refers to how well a fabric allows air to be transmitted through the material. The more air that passes through, the cooler the wearer stays. Bulwark iQ Series® Endurance Collection is the first of its kind to offer high level FR protection in a material that is extremely breathable and durable.

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®.

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