Safety is paramount in any high-risk environment where workers face hazards such as flames, flash fires, and electric arc flashes. Flame-resistant (FR) clothing is mandatory for people operating in cannabis extraction and cultivation, as well as lab techs and maintenance workers. We’ll discuss FR clothing tips for cannabis workers.
Don’t Assume All FR Clothing Is the Same
It’s important to choose the fabric that suits your workplace needs. Note that not all materials offer the same level of strength and fire resistance. For instance, garments with inferior materials may not be able to withstand intense flames or high-heat exposure. Workers in the cannabis industry require FR clothing that resists flammable materials and potentially explosive vapors.
Don’t Rely on Outdated FR Clothing
All flame-resistant clothing eventually becomes less effective over time. As your garments approach the end of their usefulness, the protective value may decrease and put you at risk. While some FR clothing may look great after a few repair jobs, ensure it still meets the latest industry standards for protection and safety.
Assess and Update Hazard Risks
Your clothing is only as effective as the workplace policies in place to help you avoid hazards. Pre-planning and continually assessing potential issues is imperative, as standards change over time. Updating your FR clothing accordingly is paramount as new work processes and risks arise. Employers across the cannabis sector should train workers on the updated hazards and proper FR garment use to stay safe.
Don’t Wear Damaged or Contaminated FR Gear
While manufacturers design FR clothing to be durable, it can become damaged and contaminated, just like any other work clothing. Even small holes or stains on FR garments can compromise their functionality. You should replace damaged, soiled, or contaminated FR clothing immediately and learn whether customizing fire-resistant clothing is a good idea to stay protected at work.
Don’t Skimp on Quality or Comfort
FR clothing can save your life, so don’t buy low-quality gear just to save money. Ill-fitting or inflexible FR clothing can restrict movement or comfort and discourage from wearing the garment(s). Ensuring workers operating with solvents and other extraction materials are comfortable in protective gear is necessary to encourage its use and ensure worker safety.
Evaluate Your Gear
For cannabis workers, wearing FR clothing is a critical aspect of worksite safety. Remember, selecting and wearing FR gear takes evaluating, reviewing, and updating to ensure it meets the safety requirements of your industry. Only then can you reduce the potential for harm.