Hi Viz Clothing Catching Fire

WorkSafe Victoria put out an alert earlier this year about Synthetic High Visibility Clothing catching fire when flames or ignition sources are present.

“A road construction worker was using a demolition saw (demo-saw) to cut a steel upright when sparks ignited the stomach area of his high visibility shirt. He suffered burns to his stomach area and to both hands after trying to pat out the flames with his bare hands.

In this incident, two hazards were present – mobile plant and ignition sources. The high visibility clothing worn to make workers more visible to mobile plant operators introduced a secondary hazard – flammability.

High visibility clothing made from synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon can catch fire or melt. Oxy-cutting, arc welding, angle grinding and demo-saw cutting are examples of common hot work activities that cause sparks that can ignite these types of fibres. Workers should not wear flammable synthetic clothing when performing hot work.

While high visibility clothing made from flammable synthetic materials is common, fire retardant high visibility clothing is also available.”

You’ll find more of the article at the WorkSafe Victoria Website.

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