Thank you for your August 1, 2011, letter on behalf of your constituents regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations related to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for welders, specifically for welding operations in the oil and gas drilling industry that would require wearing flame resistant clothing (FRC). OSHA's welding, cutting, and brazing standard, 29 C.F.R. This article originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Occupational Health & Safety. They are harder to ignite and resist wear and damage. Personnel exposed to the hazards created by welding, cutting, or brazing operations shall be protected by personal protective equipment in accordance with OSHA standards, Subpart I, Personal Protective Equipment, paragraph 1910.132. [Enclosure], Occupational Safety & Health Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Severe Storm and Flood Recovery Assistance. Are the OSHA welding clothing requirements being followed? Local exhaust systems providing a minimum air velocity of 100 lineal feet per minute in the welding zone shall be used except as otherwise specified by this Section. Employers should establish work/rest cycles to ensure that employee exposure time to high heat is minimized and work rate is decreased. The OSHA mandatory standard specifies both eye protection and protective clothing for welders. Helmets shall be provided with filter plates and cover plates designed for easy removal. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. David Michaels, PhD, MPH Injuries and illnesses also are down dramatically - from 10.9 per 100 workers per year in 1972 to less than 4 per 100 workers in 2009. FR clothing is acceptable with respect to the OSHA apparel requirements. The On-site Consultation Program in Louisiana may be reached at: We understand and share your concern that protecting workers' health and lives on the job not interfere with the efforts we are making to ensure that businesses and jobs in this country grow and thrive on a level playing field. This memorandum provides information on acceptable types of clothing and on the employer's assessment of the hazards. Employees exposed to the hazards created by welding, cutting, or brazing operations shall be protected by personal protective equipment in accordance with the requirements of 1910.132. Appropriate protective clothing required for any welding operation will vary with the size, nature and location of the work to be performed. §1910.252(b)(3), outlines specific PPE requirements for welders. Clarification of OSHA's position on FR Clothing for welders. Flame retardant treatments become less effective with repeated laundering. Choose clothing that allows freedom of movement and covers all areas of exposed skin. Do not weld or cut unless wearing the necessary PPE as specified in this Fact Sheet and in ANSI Z49.1. Protective Clothing includes welding gloves, coat, sleeves, and leg protection. Therefore, if welders are exposed to flash fires or short-duration flame exposures, OSHA expects that employers would provide and ensure the use of FRC to protect workers from these hazards. Helmets and hand shields shall be made of a material which is an insulator for heat and electricity. 14901 Quorum Drive, Suite 425 "Spectacles without side shields, with suitable filter lenses are permitted for use during gas welding operations on light work, for torch brazing or for inspection," it adds: 1910.252(b)(2)(i)(C) Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. As you stated in your letter, employees wearing FRC may be exposed to hazards relating to heatstress. Some of this decline in injuries, illnesses and fatalities is due to the shift of our economy from manufacturing to service industries. This provision states that employees exposed to the hazards created by welding, cutting, or brazing operations must be protected by PPE in accordance with the requirements of the general personal protective equipment standard, §1910.132. Helmets, shields and goggles shall be not readily flammable and shall be capable of withstanding sterilization. Are you prepared? Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information.