Page 52 - OHS, November/December 2021
P. 52

Flash Fire Protection Now Extends to Hands with NFPA 2112:2018
Certified Gloves
There is no reason for hands
and fingers to be less protected
than the rest of the body.
Flash fire is a serious hazard in many workplace environments. Workers in the following industries could be exposed to locations that are at risk for flash fire: chemical processing, petrochemical processing, storage
and distribution, oil and gas drilling, and even certain production and material handling facilities.
Flash Fire Selection and Testing Standards for PPE
A flash fire is a sudden, intense fire caused by ignition of a mixture of air and a dispersed flammable substance such as dust, gas or the vapors of an ignitable liquid. It is characterized by high temperature, a duration of typically three to six seconds and a rapidly moving flame front. A flash fire can cause extreme heat and burn injuries to people, which can often be fatal. Facility safety professionals spend countless hours on prevention programs to reduce the potential of a flash fire incident. While they are a rare event, the results are so destructive that employees at risk for flash fire exposure are typically required to wear flame-
ESB Professional/
resistant clothing that is specifically designed to protect, as much as possible, from serious injury and death.
The use of flash fire PPE in the safety industry is determined by analyzing jobsite hazards utilizing the NFPA 2113 Standard on Selection, Care, Use and Maintenance of Flame Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire (2018 Edition). This standard is an OSHA recognized tool for flash fire protection; it involves performing a fire hazard assessment and choosing personal protection that meets the specifications set forth in the NFPA 2112 testing standard.
NFPA 2112:2018, titled “Standard on Flame-Resistant Clothing for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Short-Duration Thermal Exposures from Fire,” is utilized by manufacturers of personal protective garments. NFPA 2112 sets the minimum performance criteria for flash fire rated FR fabric, thread, hardware and labels and certain design criteria. It includes multiple, separate tests on the fabrics, components and complete garment including flame resistance, heat resistance, thermal shrinkage,
48 Occupational Health & Safety | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

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