Back in the fall, NFPA 2112: Standard on Flame-Resistant Clothing for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Short-Duration Thermal Exposures from Fire saw new changes implemented for the 2018 edition, which went into effect on September 6, 2017. The 2018 edition is a barometer for the safety industry as a whole – impacting suppliers and manufacturers down to end users. If you are investing in flash fire PPE in 2018, we outline four significant changes you should be aware of as you specify your garments and implement relevant protocols.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice a shift from the use of the word “flash fire” to “short-duration thermal exposures from fire.” This terminology was developed in the last version of NFPA 2113 and is now utilized throughout the 2018 edition of NFPA 2112, including in the title. If you are looking to protect workers from flash fire incidents, NFPA 2112 is still the applicable standard to reference.
Cold weather insulation fabrics were covered under a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) in the last version of NFPA 2112. This TIA is now incorporated into the 2018 version of NPFA 2112. The requirement includes a modified flammability testing protocol for insulation material, both as received and after 100IL testing. Thermal shrinkage will not be measured for insulation materials, nor will the ASTM F1930 testing apply.
Even with the outerwear expansion, NFPA 2112 will not cover flash fire-rated rainwear. The appropriate standard to reference will remain ASTM F2733.
New Product Requirements for Hoods, Shrouds, Balaclavas and Gloves:
The 2018 version of NFPA 2112 now addresses other PPE items beyond typical garments. The new requirements cover hoods, shrouds and balaclavas, which are defined as items to protect the head and/or neck. Gloves are also a new PPE item, specifically designed to protect the hands and wrist. These items do not currently have a thermal manikin type test; however, a majority of their testing requirements is similar to standard body fabrics.
Refined Testing Requirements:
Due to concerns on variability of the ASTM F1930 test method, additional testing requirements have been created. Further calibration language has been added, which now requires the laboratory to verify sensor response to additional heat fluxes prior to testing. An additional requirement to test standard reference garments has been included as well. When tested, these standard reference garments shall attain results within a pre-determined range for testing data to be valid.
Because of the significant changes in NFPA 2112, delays in certification testing are expected. All component and PPE manufacturers must recertify products to the new 2018 version of NFPA 2112. PPE manufacturers have until September 6, 2018, to certify their products to the new method. After that date, they will not be allowed to label products as compliant unless they meet the 2018 method.
It is important to understand how the 2018 edition of NFPA 2112 impacts your FR program in the coming months and years, and our team can help you analyze the impacts. Contact Westex by Milliken today to learn more.