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OSHA SAYS EMPLOYERS RESPONSIBLE FOR FIRE-RETARDANT CLOTHING WASHED BY WORKERS

OSHA SAYS EMPLOYERS RESPONSIBLE FOR FIRE-RETARDANT CLOTHING WASHED BY WORKERS

- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an interpretation letter on June 1, which clarified that employers are responsible for ensuring fire-retardant (FR) clothing is properly cared for, even if workers are washing it themselves.

Noted OSHA: “The standard does not prohibit home laundering of FR and arc-rated clothing if the employer permits it. However, to comply with 1910.132 or 1926.95, the employer cannot simply instruct employees to follow manufacturers’ instructions. Employers must ensure that protective clothing such as FR garments are adequately maintained in a reliable condition such that if the FR garment is challenged in a flash fire, the garment will perform as designed. In other words, the employer is responsible for ensuring that the FR garment is laundered such that contaminants (e.g. dirt, oils, etc.) will not affect the performance of the garment when it is in use. If employers rely on home laundering of the clothing, they must train their employees in proper laundering procedures and techniques, and employers must inspect the clothing on a regular basis to ensure that it is not in need of repair or replacement. If an employer cannot meet these conditions, then the employer is responsible for laundering the FR and arc-rated clothing.”

Click here to read the interpretation letter.

 

International, Inc. Advanced Solutions. “News.” OSHA Says Employers Responsible for Fire-Retardant Clothing Washed by Workers, 17 Sept. 2017, www.scranet.org/SCRA/News_Release/Newsletter/Industry_News/OSHA_says_employers_responsible_for_fire_retardant_clothing_washed_by_workers.aspx.

 
 
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