July 2011 Volume 2, Issue 3

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July 2011 Volume 2, Issue 3

A Po t e n t i A l ne w MA r k e t Fo r

FlA M e -resistAnt (Fr) Cl o t h i n g

One of the new emerging markets for Flame-Resistant

(FR) clothing is the oil and gas well drilling, servicing

and production industry. Unlike the oil refineries and chemical

plants, many of these companies have not historically been

in FR clothing. Their move into

FR was prompted by an OSHA

memorandum on March 19, 2010.

The memorandum was issued to

clarify their policy for issuing citations

to oil and gas well drilling industry,

under the general industry standard

for personal protective equipment

(PPE) 29 CFR 1910.132. They

referenced a history of burn-related

injuries and fatalities due to flash

fires in these operations, and thus

concluded that their employers

are required to provide and ensure

the use of FR clothing. OSHA

stated that “NFPA 2112 and 2113 applies to general industry

workplaces and to drilling, well servicing, and productionrelated

operations”. NFPA 2113 is the “Standard on selection,

care, use, and maintenance of flame-resistant garments for

protection of industrial personnel against flash fire”. This

standard specifies the minimum selection criteria for FR

garments shall be in compliance with NFPA 2112, which is

the “Standard on flame-resistant garments for protection of

industrial personnel against flash fire”. NFPA 2112 provides

the minimum performance requirements for FR garments,

which includes minimum FR fabric performance, labeling

requirements, garment certification requirements, garment

manufacturer quality assurance programs, plus a number of

other requirements. You should note that not all FR garments

in the marketplace have been certified to NFPA 2112.

As of 2011 the OSHA compliance officers were given

citation guidelines that included citing 1910.132(a) for the

failure to provide and ensure the use of Flame-Resistant

Clothing (FRC) in this industry when their operations have a

potential for flash fire hazards. Those operations include:

• Drilling – During drilling operations in gas and

hydrocarbon producing zones.

• Servicing – During servicing operations on wells involving

the accessing and extracting of oil and gas.

• Production – During production operations where well

10 Universal-UniLink Purchasing Association

Oil & Gas Well Drilling

fluids are brought to the surface, separated, stored, and

prepared for delivery.

OSHA feels that although each of these operations typically

has engineering controls to reduce accidental releases, these

controls do not entirely eliminate the possibility of a flash fire.

To better understand why not all FR garments are created

equal and the FR standards and requirements that apply, visit

www.knowyourfr.com. Videos can help you learn the basics for

evaluating FR garments and fabrics plus the requirements and

performance tests for standards like NFPA 2112. There are

video chapters introducing the basic hazards and standards, FR

performance testing and one specifically related to flash fires

and flash fire performance testing.

Industrial Laundries Potential Role:

As this new set of FR customers looks to procure FR

garments, industrial laundries could be an important outlet to

service this market. Industrial laundries have been a player in

the oil and gas refinery market and could also play a role in this

sister market. Many of the big drilling contractors are already

in FR programs, but many midsize and smaller contractors

are scrambling to come into OSHA compliance. A number

of these drilling contractors are members of the International

Association of Drilling Contractors, whose website:

www.iadc.org includes a full listing of their members. The

bottom line is starting in 2011 OSHA will be looking for oil

and gas drilling, servicing and production-related operations to

have their employees in FR clothing.

Mark Saner, Workrite Uniform Co.

1-800-521-1888 ext. 236

msaner@workrite.com

www.workrite.com

After the 2011 Business

Development Conference,

100% of surveyed attendees

rated the conference as

“Valuable” or

“Very Valuable”.

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