It’s important to know when your FR clothing or arc-rated and flame-resistant (AR / FR) gear need to be replaced. Don’t wait until you see obvious damage before you do because this leaves you prone to more accidents while at work and is a risk for your safety. But how can you tell when your welding FR clothing has to be replaced? Here are 5 signs to know for sure.
5 Signs to Know when it’s time to get new FR Clothing
There are usually two (2) reasons why you should get rid of old FR clothing. It’s either the garment can no longer be repaired or it is too soiled with flammable contaminants that are impossible to remove by laundering.
Remember that If an AR/FR clothing is five years old and does not have any unrepaired damage or show any of the wear signs listed below, it is just as protective as a comparable brand-new product. With that said, here are the 5 signs to know when it’s time to get new FR clothing.
1 Multiple holes
If your FR clothing has too many holes to count, it’s high time for you to buy a new one. Small holes can lead to bigger holes and these can be entry points for sparks which is not what you want. Sure, you can sew them up and it can give you a few more weeks of usability but wearing a garment that has a lot of patches isn’t really safe and is uncomfortable to use. Plus, it isn’t appealing to see while at work.
2 Too stained
While you could call this a minor thing, aesthetics and cleanliness play a very big role in representing the company you work for and you as a welder as well. Everyone has their own definition of clean or dirty in the welding business. So this really is up to the wearer when it needs to be replaced. Just remember and make sure that the stains on the FR clothing aren’t flammable contaminants. If there are, change it right now!
3 Frayed Cuffs or collars
Frayed Cuffs can collect sparks and that is very dangerous. Damaged cuffs and collars are difficult to repair so if you see this, save up for a new garment immediately. Never risk wearing FR clothing with frayed cuffs.
4 Obvious “high-wear” points
High-wear points are areas that take the bulk of wear and tear. These are usually seen in the knee and elbow areas. If you see there’s discoloration or fading, it means it’s a “thread bare” and can no longer hold a thread or patch.
5 It has a tear or rip that can no longer be repaired.
An obvious tear or rip that is irreparable is the biggest sign for you to know you need your FR clothing changed. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t stained or not. A rip can expose you to sparks and other hazards while at work and these types of damage cannot be accepted and do not meet the safety standards required.
All these are signs telling you that you need to replace the FR clothing you have. If you wait another day, it just may be the reason why you get into accidents. Never think twice when it comes to safety.