When you're on the job, every precaution should be taken to ensure the safety of you and others. While proper training and hazard assessments go a long way in this, accidents still happen, and some hazards are unavoidable. When you work in a dangerous position, you need all the help you can get to stay safe.
Perhaps most risky are the jobs where workers face several different kinds of hazards at once. For instance, workers who find themselves doing jobs that create the risk of burns in conditions with poor visibility face multiple dangers they must contend with to get the job done. They can't be looking over their shoulders, watching for oncoming motor vehicles, while carefully welding or fixing an electrical wire. Instead, these workers rely on a unique combination of flame-resistant (FR) high-visibility PPE.
MCR Safety recognizes that workers face risks of thermal hazards combined with the disadvantage of invisibility across multiple industries. To help these workers avoid injuries, we offer a selection of hi-vis FR clothing that protects workers from burns and keeps them seen, too. Our hi-vis FR products are designed so that you can continue performing your job with protection and peace of mind.
Below, we will highlight the importance of hi-vis FR protection and cover some of our top-selling hi-vis flame-resistant options.
Importance of FR Clothes
Do you work in an industry where FR clothes are the norm? Those who work in the utility and oil and gas industries know the importance of FR protection. They work in environments where flames are often present. For instance, workers in oil and gas extraction face a constant risk of fire and explosions due to the potential ignition of flammable well gasses and vapors. Electrical workers run the risk of burns from electric arc flash with possible temperatures as high as 35,000°F.
Utility Lineman Wearing an FR Hi-Vis Class 2 Vest
Flame-resistant clothing effectively reduces the risk of injury from flash fire, arc flash, and open flame hazards. FR clothing is designed to self-extinguish when exposed to flame, reducing the extent of burns and giving workers a chance to escape. It also doesn't melt and provides thermal insulation from heat. While no clothing is entirely fireproof, FR PPE drastically cuts down on the number and severity of burn injuries.
FR clothing is especially important in industrial applications where employees face dangerous fire hazards. One example would be welders, who deal with burns from sparks, flames, and hot spatter daily.
Some other industrial industries we highlight on our FR Clothing page that require FR PPE include:
- Chemical manufacturing – flash fires, explosions, and flammable chemicals
- Pulp and paper workers – the threat of combustible dust
- Plastic manufacturing – fires and explosions
- Mining – fires and explosions, plus visibility needs
- Fertilizer plants – plant fire due to ammonium nitrate
- Refineries – flash fires
- Railroads – high voltage electricity
- Iron and steel mills – combustible materials
Oil and Gas Worker in a Refinery wearing an FR Vest
It's no wonder that some jobs require FR PPE to be worn. According to the American Burn Association, 13% of all burn injuries are work-related, and fires cost U.S. businesses more than $328 billion a year. Other statistics prove the dangers of flames, combustion, and other heat hazards in the workplace.
It is essential to note one more time, before we move on, that FR clothing is made to self-extinguish when a fire source is removed; it is not fireproof. FR PPE is designed to keep body burns below 50% when exposed to fire hazards, which is the benchmark standard set by NFPA2112. When body burns are at 25% or less, chances of survival from a burn injury are excellent, with survival rates at nearly 90%. Once the body burn percentage exceeds 50%, survival rates drop precipitously, especially for older individuals. That is why all PPE manufacturers test FR clothing to the NFPA 2112 standard.
Importance of Hi-Visibility Clothing
When you work in an environment with potential low-light conditions or around motor vehicles, everything you do comes with the added danger of not being seen. That's why high-visibility clothing is a must for many jobs, especially utility workers who find themselves operating at night. In addition to electrical workers, it's all too easy for an emergency responder, traffic director, construction worker, or similar type of worker to be struck by a vehicle when their clothing blends into the scenery.
Utility Worker Wearing the Class 3 Big Jake 2
High-visibility clothing is made of brightly colored fabrics and reflective materials that make the wearer more visible in all conditions, including dark or low-light conditions and in inclement weather. This, in turn, prevents many accidents. When motorists, heavy-machinery drivers, or other workers see those neon colors on a person, they know to slow down and maneuver around that worker. Wearing high-visibility gear, along with other safety precautions and training, prevents many severe injuries and deaths every year.
The American National Standard Institute (ANSI) established the ANSI/ISEA 107 standard to provide industries with performance guidance around high-visibility safety apparel. Here is a breakdown of the two most popular ANSI high-visibility performance classifications:
Due to the limited differences between Class 1 and general-purpose safety vests, MCR Safety elects only to manufacture rated safety vests starting at Class 2.
- Class 2 visibility is for workers in low-light environments and heavy traffic. When traffic exceeds 25 mph and below 50 mph, Class 2 rated vests are considered ideal. OSHA recognizes highway/road construction work zones as areas where workers are potentially exposed to being struck by the vehicles operating near them. Anyone acting as a flagger, laborer, or survey crew in these areas would wear a Class 2 rated vest.
Class 3 Visibility
- Class 3 visibility is for workers in dangerous, high traffic areas, working in poor light conditions. An example would include those working in snowy conditions on a busy road. Workers who are operating where vehicles travel more than 50 mph should be wearing a Class 3 rated vest. Most heavy traffic areas mentioned in Class 2 should consider wearing a Class 3 vest, as additional reflective materials only help to identify other workers better.
OSHA guidance on types of jobs and performance classification.
One more perk of high-visibility clothing: these easily recognizable garments and accessories communicate a level of authority in situations where an area has restricted access. Everyone recognizes high-visibility gear as work clothing and understands that individuals wearing it are there to do a job, separating employees from other passersby.
Combine Both Features
Some jobs require FR clothing, others require high-visibility clothing, and still, others require both. Whatever your job requires, MCR Safety has what you need. We make all types of high-visibility FR clothing for this unique combination of protection.
MCR Safety's hi-vis FR garments meet industry standards for both ANSI visibility and recognized flame-resistant certifications, like NFPA 2112, NFPA 2733, and NFPA 70E. Each product's dedicated website page provides details to specific standards tested.
Our lineup of hi-vis FR garments is designed to keep you safe from the hazards of both open flames and poor visibility. We offer hi-vis FR rainwear and safety vests that are suitable for a variety of high-risk jobs. Their bright colors and reflective stripes help you stand out in low light or busy traffic conditions.
Click here to be taken to our hi-vis FR clothing section quickly.
Our lineup of hi-vis FR rainwear is designed for workers whose industries put them at risk for burns while working outside. Not just any raincoat will do when working around thermal hazards, as most rainwear is made of plastics that catch fire and melt. MCR Safety's hi-vis FR rainwear has been tested and proven effective for the harshest industrial conditions.
Our Big Jake 2 FR rainwear is the most durable rain gear on the market.
Big Jake 2 rainwear does triple duty in keeping you dry in wet conditions, safe from thermal hazards and visible at all times. Its top-quality FR material delivers comfortable, lightweight, heat- and flame-resistant performance that keeps you protected and comfortable on the job.
When a job calls for extra safety precautions, MCR Safety is there for you with our hi-vis FR PPE. We protect so that you can focus on the task at hand.
MCR Safety's New FR Products
We are continually adding new PPE styles to our product offerings, ensuring workers are protected with only the best. Our latest edition is a hi-vis long sleeve shirt. Whether you're working in the rugged oil and gas industry or spending your day working near electrical hazards, you will be seen in an MCR Safety hi-visibility FR work shirt.
Whether working in the rugged oil and gas industry or spending your day working near electrical hazards, you will be seen in MCR Safety's Hi-Visibility FR work shirt. The S1CL3L shirt meets ANSI 107 Type R Class 3 Hi-Visibility standards and is made of Flame Resistant Westex Ultrasoft® fabric. Here are some other core features:
- Sewn with Nomex® FR Thread and Double-Needle Reinforced: Increased longevity
- Longer/Extended Back Length: Stays tucked in when bending over, limiting exposure to the mid-section and keeping the worker protected
- Two Chest Pockets and a Pencil Pocket: Prevents items from falling out
OSHA's General Duty Clause instructs that employers shall furnish a place of employment free from recognized hazards. When there are hazards that can't be avoided and are still present, OSHA 1910.132 kicks in and requires employers to provide appropriate PPE to workers. Both visibility and flame hazards are present in most of the industries previously mentioned.
Additional FR Safety Resources:
Importance of Hi-Visibility Clothing
Why FR Clothing?
Hi-Vis Clothing Importance
CCOHS High Visibility
High-Visibility in the Workplace
Before we move on to answering some common questions we receive, let's highlight one last thing.
In our Oil and Gas Flash Fire blog, we point out that some hi-vis garments only offer limited flammability protection. If you see a hi-vis FR garment priced significantly below inherent blended FR hi-vis garments, it's most likely a limited-flammability garment. Please, don't purchase these vests for arc flash or flash fires. They are not intended for those two hazards, as the flame-resistance protection is applied after manufacturing and is not built into the molecular structure of the fibers.
Who invented orange hi-vis?
- Bob Switzer created hi-vis neon colored paint for fabrics after being injured in a workplace accident. Next time you see someone in a hi-vis vest, think of how many people are impacted today by Bob Switzer's invention. As the quote from It's a Wonderful Life reminds us, "Strange isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives."
How to remove logo from hi-vis jacket?
- We don't recommend doing this, as it will potentially destroy the hi-vis fabric, compromising its protection, and possibly making it unsafe to wear on the job.
How to get letters on back of hi-vis Class 2 shirts?
- MCR Safety does all fabric imprinting at our main U.S. distribution facility, located just outside Memphis, TN. Feel free to call us for quotes on new imprints on any of our protective garments.
When is hi-vis required at work?
- As mentioned in our OSHA section, if a hazard can't be removed, an employer must provide PPE that protects workers from it. Beyond rules and regulations, however, anyone should want to do whatever is necessary to make it home in one piece.
What shirt colors are allowed as Type 1 hi-vis?
- Fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange-red, and fluorescent red are the three colors allowed under ANSI 107-2015. Hi-vis yellow is the most popular one sold, followed by orange. It's essential to choose colors that contrast from a worker's environment.
Staying Seen in Style with FR Rated Clothing
When just being seen isn't enough, MCR Safety has the flame-resistant workwear you need to do all parts of your job with high-performance protection. Our lineup of hi-vis FR clothing is unparalleled when it comes to preventing burns and accidents on the job. We know you always want to do your best work, which is why we provide only the best in hi-vis FR PPE.
If you're new to the safety industry and don't understand all the FR verbiage, don't worry. We have built an entire FR knowledge center that covers all facets of FR protection.
We welcome any comments, feedback or suggestions for how we can best protect people at work.
For over 45 years, MCR Safety has proven to be a world leader in gloves, glasses, and garments. Whether it's on the shop floor, an oil rig, or a construction site, we are there providing solutions to workplace hazards. It's all part of our commitment to protect people.
No matter your industry, we have the personal protective equipment you need.
Learn more about MCR Safety by checking out our most recent video. For more information, browse our website, request a catalog, find a distributor, or give us a call at 800-955-6887.