3 Surprising Industries Where FR Clothing Is Helpful

In any setting where workers are exposed to the threat of fire, using flame-retardant PPE gear dramatically reduces the chances of death and severe injury from fire. While it’s obvious that fire, oil, and electrical workers need fire-resistant clothing, there are also some unexpected industries where fire hazards are more common than you might realize, and in which the use of fire protective clothing from CarbonX can lead to a huge improvement in worker safety.

How Does Fire-Protective Clothing Work?

When exposed to high heat or flame, conventional non-FR clothing will catch fire, burn, and even melt onto the wearer’s flesh. This multiplies and sustains the harmful effects of the initial combustion and can lead to severe injury or even death.

Some fire-resistant clothing is made of special, chemically treated fabrics that resist heat and ignition. If this clothing catches fire under extreme heat, it self-extinguishes before the wearer is severely burned. For workers who labor around heat, FR clothing can be a literal lifesaver.

CarbonX fabrics are inherently non-flammable, meaning the FR properties in our proprietary fabric blend are naturally part of the polymer backbone and can never be worn away or washed out. When exposed to heat or flame, inherent FR fabrics made of a blend of oxidized fibers carbonize and then expand, eliminating any oxygen content within the fabric.

Industrial Food Processing

This industry uses high heat, high pressure, and heavy, energized machinery to produce the food on supermarket shelves. That’s a potentially combustible combination, and although industrial food accidents are uncommon, they can be extremely dangerous.

While most of the PPE in industrial food production focuses on sanitation and contamination prevention, there’s substantial risk of flash fire in food production. Widely used ingredients such as hops, sugar, flour, and herbs can form combustible dust and initiate devastating flash fires, so food workers are well-advised to use fire-resistant PPE.

Paper and Pulp Processing

Paper mills are extremely dusty, which increases the risk of flash fire. This can happen when machinery produces a spark that ignites highly flammable substances, such as paper and paper dust.

It doesn’t help that many paper and pulp mills are located in the hotter, southern part of the United States, which exacerbates a lot of these hazardous conditions.

Pharmaceutical Processing

If you asked people if they thought chemical plant workers need fire-resistant PPE, most would say yes. But a lot fewer would likely give the same answer if you asked them about pharmaceutical workers. However, in reality, these two workplaces are very similar, utilizing the same chemical substances and similar energized equipment under similar conditions. Thus, they have similar risk profiles in regard to flash fire.

Because a lot of these facilities double as laboratory settings, there can be an assumption that standard lab PPE is sufficient protection. But when you zoom in on the facts, it’s clear pharmaceutical workers should supplement their lab PPE with fire-resistant clothing.

If you think your workers can benefit from FR clothing, contact the team at CarbonX today.

Posted in Blog on Jan 11, 2022.