Key Thermal Regulations to Consider When Selecting PPE

It is important to know the key North American thermal protection regulations for workplace safety when selecting or wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

DuPont Protection Technologies works with companies, governments, academics, and scientists to share their extensive experience and knowledge of thermal protection regulations and to help them develop a vast range of garments and products that protect life. DuPont recognizes the important role of governments at all levels in oversight of worker and workplace safety.

General thermal protection regulations overview:

There are in place thermal protection regulations for the workplace for all markets and industries in North America, for both Canada and the U.S. These are in the form of acts, regulations, standards or codes. Local codes tend to be more stringent, and are based on the minimum criteria of the Federal regulations. These regulations will change as injuries and accidents manifest, as well as when technologies change.

Understanding responsibility of employees and employers:

DuPont recognizes that both employers and employees have perspectives and needs when it comes to testing and thermal protection regulations of PPE. The primary responsibility for the employer is to provide a safe worksite, protect employees from hazards that create injury, ensure tasks can be safely executed, and comply with applicable regulations. Employers should:

      •    Assess workplace hazards
      •    Identify and control physical and health hazards
      •    Identify and provide appropriate PPE for employees
      •    Train employees in use and care of PPE
      •    Maintain PPE, such as replacement when worn or damaged
      •    Periodically review, update and evaluate PPE

For employees, the primary responsibility is to comply with job safety requirements. Additionally, employees should inform employers of unsafe conditions and comply with applicable federal or local regulations. Employees should:

      •    Wear PPE as trained
      •    Attend training sessions on PPE
      •    Properly care for PPE — cleaning and maintaining
      •    Inform employer with repair or replacement needs

Thermal hazard mitigation:

Where hazards or potential hazards exist, regulations state that, where possible, the employer is required to eliminate or control the source of the hazard. If the hazard cannot be removed, engineering controls, such as work practice or tools, are viewed as a secondary best practice. If removal of source of hazard or engineering controls is not sufficient, PPE is the last line of defense to mitigate the hazard.

Brief review of thermal protection regulations and industry standards:

Usually focused on specific industries, industry consensus standards provide tools to recognize and manage hazards. With a goal of reducing or eliminating worker injuries and fatalities, most standards establish minimum PPE requirements. Additionally, these industry consensus standards provide criteria for selection of PPE and certification processes. Reviewed every five years, these consensus standards are typically used as guidance for regulatory compliance.

Key thermal protection regulations — North America

U.S. Regulations:
U.S. Government (OSHA)
                  •    U.S. Code, Title 29 Chapter 15 § 654 (General Duty)
                              •    29 CFR 1910.132 (PPE General Requirements)
                              •    29 CFR 1910.119 (Process Safety Management)
                              •    29 CFR 1910.335 (Electrical Safety — Protection)
                              •    29 CFR 1910.269 (Electrical T and D Operation)
                              •    29 CFR 1926.951 (Electrical T and D Construction)
Industrial Consensus Specification Standards
                 •    NFPA 2112/2113 (Flame and Thermal for Industrial)
                 •    NFPA 70E (Protection from Electric Arc, Industrial)
                 •    NESC / ANSI C2 (Electrical T and D)
                 •    ASTM F1506 (Materials Requirements for Arc)
                 •    ANSI 107 (High-Visibility Safety Apparel)

Canadian Government (Multiple Entities — OSH)
                 •    Federal (Covering Multi-Provincial Industries)
                             •    Canada Labour Code (R.S., 1985, C. L-2, Part II)
                             •    Canada OHS Regulations (SOR/86-304)
                 •    Provinces and Territories
                             •    Each Province / Territory has Own OSH Regulations
                             •    Typically “Occupational Health and Safety Code”
 Industrial Consensus Specification Standards
                 •    CGSB 155.20/155.21 (Flame and Thermal Industrial)
                 •    CSA Z462 (Protection from Electric Arc, Industrial)
                 •    CSA Z96/Z96.1 (High-Visibility Safety Apparel)

Regulatory reminders:

Whatever your business in PPE, DuPont would like to remind you that the acts, regulations, and codes can differ from area to area, and that while federal levels usually establish the minimum criteria for compliance, PPE regulation is in a sense “evergreen” as knowledge, trends, technology, and other developments promote change in the industrial workplace.