Arc Flash Fire

What not to do with your Arc & Flame Clothing

Some common errors workers make with their Arc & Flame Protective clothing. 

When worn correctly, Arc & Flame clothing can provide lifesaving protection against a variety of workplace hazards, including arc flash, flash fires and molten metal splatter. However, if worn improperly, the clothing is not only out of compliance with industry standards, but it also becomes far less effective. 

Here is a list of ways Arc & Flame clothing is improperly worn. This information will help you receive the full safety benefits of Arc & Flame workwear – and it may even save your life.

Top 5 ways Arc & Flame clothing is improperly worn:


  1. Wearing it with a non-arc & flame outer layer:In bad weather, it may be tempting to wear a non-Arc & Flame jacket over your regular Arc & Flame clothing. Even if you are wearing Arc & Flame clothing, a non-Arc & Flame outer layer can still ignite and burn, putting you in danger. When faced with cold-weather conditions, it is important to invest in the proper Arc & Flame outerwear. 

Arc Flash Burn

  1. Wearing it with a non-Arc & Flame synthetic under-layer: Performance
    T-shirts made from polyester or other synthetic materials e.g. Football or Soccer top are often worn to help with moisture management, but they are not flame resistant and will actually melt to the skin causing terrible burns. Ideally, the under layer should be in non-melting Arc & Flame material. This not only resolves the melting issue, but it also won’t ignite and continue to burn if accidentally exposed to the hazard.
  1. Rolling up sleeves: Rolling up your sleeves may seem like the perfect way to beat the heat; however, this leaves the arms exposed and should be avoided. This is particularly important for arc flash exposures, as the arms will likely be closest to the event and therefore see the most thermal energy. Instead, look for Arc & Flame clothing made with lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics that provide a greater level of comfort without sacrificing safety.

  1. Unzipping coveralls or unbuttoning shirts: Just like rolling up your sleeves, unzipping or unbuttoning Arc & Flame clothing can expose the skin or (as noted above) a non-Arc & Flame under layer that could ignite and burn. Again, look for Arc & Flame clothing made with lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics that provide a greater level of comfort without sacrificing safety.
  1. Not tucking in the shirttail:If the tail of your shirt is not properly tucked in, heat and flames can travel under the bottom of it and cause greater injury. Invest in Arc & Flame clothing that’s purposely constructed with long shirt tails to prevent this from happening.

So, to make sure your Arc & Flame clothing is in compliance and ready to keep you safe, remember:

  • Wear Arc & Flame outerwear
  • Avoid synthetic under layers
  • Roll it down
  • Zip it up
  • Tuck it in.
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raymond del corro - February 8, 2018

All valid safety procedures in proper use of safety clothing.

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