Welcome to the Westex Blog

Where we share our perspective on current trends, best practices, and the future of FR safety.

NEC, NESC, NFPA 70E, and Arc Rated PPE: A Quick Look at Electrical Industry Standards

 

Throughout the electrical industry, consensus standards provide critical information advising how to safeguard employees facing arc flash hazards. These standards—NEC, NESC, and NFPA 70E—are all meant to guide safety initiatives, but which one is relevant for you? We break down each standard and what they mean for your workplace.

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Identifying and Reducing the Impacts of Combustible Dust Hazards

Combustible dust is a significant concern across various industries and with good reason. Combustible dust incidents can lead to serious property damage and cause life-threatening injuries. Analyzing your work environment and enacting preventative measures, such as robust housekeeping and engineering control protocols, can make all the difference. Even with these safety precautions in place, incorporating FR/AR PPE as the final layer of defense can help mitigate the risk of injuries should the worst happen.

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Caring for your FR/AR Garments: Three Vital Considerations

While properly wearing flame resistant (FR), arc-rated (AR) personal protective equipment (PPE) helps protect employees facing arc flash and short duration thermal exposures from fire, like flash fires, it is equally important to clean and maintain these protective garments. Proper care practices help ensure a PPE garment’s safety properties remain intact during its serviceable life. While there are a host of considerations when formulating a proper care routine, we share three key takeaways everyone—from your safety manager to your newest employee—should keep in mind.

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The Difference Between Inherent and Treated Fabrics, and What it Means for Your Safety Program

The FR industry certainly has its share of jargon, and especially when that jargon has little scientific background, it can lead to muddled and complicated decisions. In our white paper, What’s in a Word: Inherent Fabric, Treated Fabric, and What They Mean in the World of Flame Resistant Fabrics, we discuss two major industry terms—“inherent” and “treated”—and cover how these flame resistant (FR), arc-rated (AR) fabric classifications have evolved over time.

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5 Reasons to Implement FR/AR PPE Training

Flame resistant (FR), arc-rated (AR) personal protective equipment (PPE) is an important part of establishing a well-rounded safety program. Before donning their FR/AR PPE, however, employees need to be educated about their PPE garments so they can properly guard themselves against workplace hazards such as arc flashes or flash fires. Understanding how to wear PPE, what their PPE will help protect against, and how to care for their PPE is essential for end users’ safety. We rounded up five important reasons to train employees about their PPE.

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Elevating Performance Standards: How Westex by Milliken is Raising the Bar on Testing Protocols

Part of designing reputable protective fabrics is ensuring they provide certified, consistent results both in the lab and in the field—otherwise, end users may be at risk. Flame resistant (FR), arc-rated (AR) fabrics incorporated into personal protective equipment (PPE) act as a final layer of defense against hazards like arc flashes and flash fires, so these fabrics must perform. But how does a company like Westex by Milliken assess performance? We sat down with James Cliver, senior development engineer for Westex by Milliken, to learn more about how FR/AR fabrics are tested and why standard testing protocols are a crucial indicator of performance.

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Using Customer Insights to Inspire Meaningful Innovation

When we look to develop new flame resistant (FR) technologies, we often draw inspiration from unmet needs in the industry. Many times, our conversations in the field help us better identify areas where we can fill a gap to better protect workers in the electrical and oil and gas industries against arc flashes and flash fires. We sat down with Paul Castelli, international sales director for Westex by Milliken, to learn more about how Westex develops new technologies.

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Tailored to Women: The Case for Utilizing Women-Specific FR/AR Garments in the Workplace

Until recently, flame resistant (FR), arc-rated (AR) garments were one size fits all—meaning both men and women wore the same styles. Women in the oil and gas and electrical industries thus donned ill-fitting FR/AR garments day in and day out, because these garments were largely constructed with men in mind. Typically, women have to find FR/AR garments that mostly fit then adjust them throughout the day as they shift out of place.

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The Last Line of Defense: Four Ways Daily Wear FR/AR PPE Improves Safety Programs

For worksites where short-term thermal hazards are present, flame resistant (FR), arc-rated (AR) personal protective equipment (PPE) is a critical component in providing protection in the event of an unexpected incident, like arc flash, flash fire, or dust combustion. While key, however, it is important to note that when designing your safety program, daily wear FR/AR PPE is one of many parts of a comprehensive thermal hazard mitigation program.

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Three Ways Westex® DH Base Layer Fabric Changes the Game for FR/AR PPE Programs


Drawing from customer feedback and suggestions, the Westex® DH line of performance flame resistant (FR), arc rated (AR) fabrics was created to meet the most requested and pressing end-user needs for thermal hazard FR/AR personal protective equipment (PPE). Durable and robust, the line offers superior arc flash and flash fire protection in a variety of garment weights and styles for FR/AR daily wear. With fabrics ranging from a basket weave fabric ideally suited for cargo pants to a durable construction for button-down shirts, the line is expanding to include an innovative fabric for FR/AR base layers, which will debut at the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress & Expo in San Diego Sept. 9 – 11.

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