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In conducting a review of its own protective workwear policy Alberta Occupational Health and Safety recognized that most common workwear fabrics posed a significant threat to those workers who may be exposed to flash fires and explosions. It was found that the severity and extent of burn injuries depended principally on the ignition of workwear during the flash fire. When clothing ignited, life threatening third degree burns were the result.
With the recognition that normal workwear could pose a hazard to workers at worksites which handled flammable liquids and gases, Alberta Occupational Health and Safety, in cooperation with burn survivors, embarked on an education and awareness program aimed at changing the normal workwear worn in hazardous areas. Since the implementation of the program, the norm has changed from the preprogram wearing of flammable workwear to the present when fire resistant workwear has become the norm.
fire resistant workwear, protective workwear, burn injury, burn prevention, flammable clothing
Mines Specialist, Alberta Occupational Health and Safety, Edmonton, Alberta
President, Peter Clark Associates Inc., Edmonton, Alberta