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Stay Informed

The Bulwark Protection experts help you and your team to stay up to date on the sea of standards, regulations and hazards your industry faces including:

  • OSHA 1910.269
  • OSHA 1926.960
  • ASTM F 1506
  • Low Visibility
  • Arc Flash
Protecting Lab Workers from Liquid Chemical and Thermal Burn Injury

Laboratory workers are often exposed to an abundance of flammable and combustible liquids that pose the risk of burn injury. Employers that implement a PPE program that’s specific to lab hazards will help protect workers and labs from the outcomes of serious injuries from exposure to these hazards. This whitepaper provides employers with information on the uses and benefits of FR/CP and CP lab coats.

Fill out the form below to download the whitepaper.

Safety Updates
FR Safety: Your General Duty

Make no mistake—keeping FR on their backs falls squarely on your shoulders. In the United States, the responsibility for worker safety rests solely on the employer. In 1970, the OSH Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and established the “general duty clause,” which delegated authority to OSHA to set the rules for implementing the standard.

The General Duty Clause states:

(a) Each employer –-

(1) shall furnish to each of his or her employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;

(2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.1

When OSHA was first established in 1970, existing private professional organizations had already begun publishing safety standards and best practices specific to their industries and/or hazards. So, rather than trying to address every possible scenario in which an employee could be hurt and how to manage each, OSHA looked to these well-established entities to define the specifics. In fact, many of OSHA’s permanent standards originated as national consensus standards developed by organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The General Duty Clause requires employers to be aware of all actual and potential workplace hazards and to take necessary precautions to protect their employees. The only problem is, it doesn’t tell employers how they are supposed to do it.

Therefore, it falls on the employer not just to follow the rules, but also to determine the rules that apply to them and to enforce those rules.

Overall, employers are responsible for:

1. Referring to the industry consensus standards that meet OSHA requirements

2. Determining which standards are applicable

3. Reading and understanding the standards

4. Finding the right PPE suitable to meet the standards

5. Ensuring PPE is compliant

6. Ensuring employees know how to—and do—use and care for their PPE properly.

So, if you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders—you’re not so far off. That’s why Bulwark arms you with FR training and expertise to help ease the pressure and keep your guys safe.

For more information on building an effective safety program, read our blog post “The ABC’s of PPE” or get in touch with a Bulwark representative.

STAY INFORMED

The Bulwark Protection PPE experts help you and your team to stay up to date on the sea of standards, regulations and hazards your industry faces including:

  • OSHA 1910.1450
  • Inadvertent Chemical-Splash
  • NFPA® 45
FR Clothing for Laboratories

Lab coats have been used for decades, but they have typically been made from cotton or polyester/cotton blends with the primary purpose being to keep foreign materials off of the clothing worn under the coat. Flame-resistant (FR) lab coats have also been available for years, but they have not been widely used. However, the use of FR lab coats in university labs has become increasingly important due to a number of recent accidents related to fire and clothing ignition. Having PPE that combines durable FR protection with inadvertent chemical-splash protection (CP), makes it ideal for many laboratories. This technical brief outlines the importance of FR clothing in laboratories. Read on the learn more.

Fill out the form below to download the technical brief.

Stay Informed

The best way for you and your team to keep lab safety top of mind is to stay educated. The Bulwark Protection PPE experts provide a wide range of tools and resources on how to select the right PPE clothing and tips on how to properly implement a safety program.

  • FR/CP Technical Brief

  • NFPA® 45
  • OSHA 1910.1450

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
Layering FR/AR Garments for Protection Against Arc Flash

Arc flash is a dangerous reality for those who work in the electrical industries. Since arc flash incidents cannot be predicted, it’s important that workers wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times. This whitepaper discusses how a layered system can protect workers while providing comfort and safety.

Fill out the form below to download the whitepaper.

Industry News
Bulwark Protection Joins Partnership for Electrical Safety.

Proud Members. Shared Mission.

With our commitment to relentless protection comes a commitment to doing our part to help ensure worker safety by pushing for standards and oversight. Nowhere is this obligation more essential than the world of NFPA® 70E, and in the lives of those Americans working near energized equipment. It is our pleasure to announce Bulwark Protection is now a proud member of the Partnership for Electrical Safety.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Partnership for Electrical Safety firmly believes that every American working on or near energized electrical equipment deserves equal protection from arc flash, including the appropriate arc rated clothing and associated PPE. We believe that the PPE requirements of NFPA 70E®: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® provide the appropriate best practices to ensure worker safety and should be broadly adopted for substantially all live or potentially live electrical work in the United States. We seek to educate those at risk and to make plain to relevant oversight entities the need for use of personal protective equipment (PPE) when doing electrical work, and the extreme human and financial costs of non-compliance.
We intend to help ensure all Americans have access to and properly wear the appropriate arc rated clothing and associated PPE. We accomplish this through visually compelling and impactful direst education in person and online, and by engaging standards and rulemaking entities such as OSHA, NESC® and others. We help these entities understand the magnitude of the hazard as well as the societal cost of not wearing appropriate PPE, to encourage them to apply arc flash safety regulations equally to all workers.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E®, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®, 2018 Edition addresses electrical safety related work practices, safety-related maintenance requirements and other administrative controls for activities such as inspection, operation, repair or demolition of electric conductors, electric equipment, signaling and communications conductors and equipment, and raceways. It also includes safe work practices for employees performing other work activities that can expose them to electrical hazards such as installation of conductors and equipment or installations used by the electrical utility that are not an integral part of a generating plant, substation or control center.
NFPA 70E® is a national consensus standard that establishes “best practices” for protection from electric arcs. Employers must conduct a shock risk assessment to establish limited and restricted approach boundaries and an arc flash risk assessment to establish an arc flash boundary. Under NFPA 70E® employers must document and implement an overall electrical safety program that includes hazard/risk evaluation and job briefing procedures. This program must be audited annually. If energized electrical conductor or circuit parts operating at 50 volts or more are not placed in an electrically safe work condition, written authorization by work permit is required. Employees must be qualified to do the work and trained to understand the specific hazards and potential injury associated with electrical energy. Employees exposed to shock hazards must be retrained annually in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. When work will be performed within the arc flash protection boundary, the employer must document the incident energy exposure in calories per square centimeter. Section 130.7 (C)(7) states arc-rated clothing must conform to applicable state, federal, or local codes and standards, and appropriate PPE must be worn either based on the incident energy determined for the specific task or by using separate tables in NFPA 70E to determine the need for arc-rated PPE and the arc flash PPE category. In table 130.7(C)(14) the ASTM F1506 Standard Performance Specification is noted as an example of a standard that contains information on the care, inspection, testing, and manufacturing of appropriate PPE.
Employees during activities such as installation, operation, maintenance and demolition of exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts. Research shows that approximately 5% of the employees in any operation work as electricians, maintenance or other categories of work covered by this standard.
OSHA believes that the NFPA 70E® standard offers useful guidance for employers and employees attempting to control electrical hazards, but OSHA has not conducted a rulemaking and therefore does not “enforce” NFPA 70E®. OSHA does use consensus standards, such as NFPA 70E® as evidence of hazard recognition in evaluating General Duty Clause violations.

To learn more, please visit the Partnership for Electrical Safety website.

How to manage cold stress on the job.

Cold stress may not be as well-known as heat stress, but when the temperature drops, it can pose a significant danger. Employers have many options for helping workers manage their exposure to cold while protecting them from flash fire and arc flash. This whitepaper discusses how you can layer FR/AR garments, how to implement a PPE program and the warnings signs of cold stress.

Fill out the form below to download the whitepaper.

Ask An Expert
What is the difference between NFPA® 2112 and 2113?

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.

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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