Understanding the do’s and don'ts of layering FR apparel is not always as straightforward as it may seem. We’ve taken the time below to outline some of the common facts and myths when it comes to layering flame resistant and arc rated clothing.
Don’t Assume When It Comes to Evaluating Your Arc Flash Rating
Safety on the jobs starts with understanding how to appropriately evaluate your arc rating. Determining the required protection level is not as simple as adding A + B together.
In many instances, the arc ratings may end up being higher than a simple A + B calculation. The increased APTV is a result of the air space that is created between two layered garments, which acts as another insulator and layer of protection.
Don’t Choose Cotton or Synthetic Materials for Your Base Layer
Instead of choosing your favorite cotton or performance tech t-shirt, opt for a moisture wicking garment. Why? An FR garment with permanent moisture wicking technology will pull moisture away from your skin to keep you feeling cool.
Don’t Think All FR Clothing Offers Permanent Moisture Wicking Capabilities
Not all FR clothes are created equal. Some garments offer moisture wicking “finishes” that will wash out or wear off over time. When possible, always select FR clothes with permanent moisture wicking technology to help you stay cool, no matter how many layers you are required to wear. Look at the tag to help you determine if you garment has permanent moisture wicking capabilities. It should have a blend of hydrophobic and hydrophilic fibers to effectively wick moisture away from your skin.
Do Select a Layering System with Moisture Wicking Technology
Moisture wicking garments are designed to pull moisture away from your skin, helping you feel cool and dry, quickly. As you add layers, make sure each additional garment adds moisture wicking capabilities so sweat will be pulled away from your skin through the fabrics, layer by layer, to dissipate on the outer surface.
Do Think About the Versatility of Dual-Certified Layers
By encouraging your team to wear an FR layering system from base-layer to outer layer, you can help ensure they are protected even when they move through various duties with different hazard ratings.
Don’t Assume the Weather Will Cooperate
If the weather changes unexpectedly, your team may be at risk if they need to add or remove clothing layers quickly and some of their layers are not FR garments. You can combat this risk by selecting FR clothing with moisture wicking technology -- it will offer the arc flash protection you need, should you be required to add or remove layers, and the moisture wicking capabilities you want to maintain your body temperature in variable weather.
Choosing an FR garment that lets you stay focused on the job is critical to help you manage occupational hazards. To learn more about combating heat stress by modifying your FR apparel, download our eBook: How to Combat Heat Stress with FR Apparel.
Take a look at our other articles that dive into the topic in detail:
- 3 Important Reasons Why Reducing Heat Stress is Vital for Lineman Workers
- How Moisture Wicking Apparel Helps You Stay Cool In Hot Weather
- How Moisture Wicking Protects Against Heat Stress
Lakeland set out to create the industry’s only moisture management layering system that offers superior protection, performance and comfort. Lakeland FR performance apparel offers dual-certified protective apparel with advanced moisture wicking technology and a lightweight design. Learn more by following Lakeland on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to #AskForLakeland.