Layering Protection

Can I wear flame retardant waterproofs over my arc resistant coveralls?

When you are up against the elements in your working environment, it is often tempting to layer up your garments for added warmth and protection against the wind and rain. 

Your arc resistant coveralls will protect you against the damaging consequences of arc flash, which can result in serious injury including burns as a result of heat, flying objects and pressure blasts and ultimately death.

Read on to find out why layering garments can be potentially hazardous.

What to avoid wearing

Wearing any garment composed of synthetic fabrics such as polyester, nylon and acrylic is dangerous because these types of materials can ignite and melt and will continue to burn when they are exposed to flame or electric arc. Because of this, you should never add layers of clothing made of these fabrics underneath or on top of your arc resistant coveralls.

Generally speaking, a non-FR t-shirt will ignite during an electric arc at an energy level that is approximately 4 cal higher than the garment’s arc rating. Given the inherent variability in arc flash and other hazards, wearing only flame resistant layers is the only solution that will provide superior protection.

What you should be wearing

Keeping warm in cold weather is all about moisture management, so to achieve this you need to ensure that you choose moisture-wicking absorbing fabrics. This will help to draw water away from your skin and ensure that you don’t feel uncomfortably cold. Such fabrics will help to regulate your body temperature by moving moisture away from your skin and allowing it to dry quicker.

Staying dry on the job is not just important in terms of comfort, which will of course help you to be more productive, it is also essential if you are to avoid hyperthermia and other types of cold stress during the winter months. 

If you choose flame resistant clothing that has fast-drying capabilities or by changing your inner layer between jobs you can ensure that the layer of clothing that is next to your skin is kept dry, keeping you warm and comfortable while you work.

FR ARC Long Sleeve T Shirt (CL.1)

This dual layer underwear reduces the risk of 2nd and 3rd degree burn injuries considerably. Combining good protection with an excellent design and lightweight fabric makes this the most advanced flame retardant underwear on the market. It is composed of 50% Merino, which absorbs 35% of its weight in water, the highest level in any fabric.

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Ben - March 26, 2018

Hello Vince,

Thank you for your enquiry, for a top layer dependant on the weather our overalls such as they SFX876 AND SFV849 are great options as they contain viscose which helps for garment breathability. These overalls are also available in two piece garments also. Other alternatives would be the waterproof collection we have, take a look at our SFV940 and our SFV942 which also have matching bib pants.

Vince - March 22, 2018

I find my FR clothing soaks up water, and I often work by rivers or harbours where there can be a lot of precipitation. I like the idea of the 50% Merino clothing as it is widely used in base layers for outdoor activity, but what are my options for a top layer?

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