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Customizing Professional Uniforms While Meeting NFPA 70E Standards

Posted by Jim Wasserson on 8/29/16 7:00 AM

shutterstock_220490791.jpgSome businesses end up with bulky or plain uniforms when trying to be compliant with NFPA 70E standards. With the right uniform vendor, you can actually customize unique uniforms for your business that keep your workers safe while looking professional. While safety should be your first priority, equipping your workers with professional looking uniforms will not only boost employee morale, but also help build your brand’s image. Here are some tips to follow for making professional quality uniforms while providing the safety your employees need:

Understanding Arc Flash Hazard Categories

NFPA 70E regulations breaks down hazard categories into four parts with a risk rating ranging from one to four. It’s important for the safety of your workers and your company to meet the required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standards of your industry. The following is a chart of required garments for each hazard rating and the appropriate garments to use for each:


Hazard Rating

Required PPE

1

  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Coveralls or pants
  • Hard hat
  • Face shield
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Gloves

Garments must have a minimum arc-rating of 4 or more.

2

  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Coveralls or pants
  • Hard hat
  • Face shield or flash hood
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Gloves

Garments must have a minimum  arc-rating of 8 or more.

3

  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Pants
  • Coveralls
  • Flash hood
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Gloves

Garments must have a minimum  arc-rating of 25 or more.

4

  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Pants
  • Multilayer arc flash suit
  • Flash hood
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • Gloves

Garments must have a minimum  arc-rating of 40 or more.


Custom Branding for NFPA 70E Clothing

While PPE’s primary purpose is to keep your workers safe, working with a uniform vendor to customize your PPE can make your employees look like a professional team. While some brighter visible colors may be required by your work environment, you can still use colors similar to your company’s brand. Using brand colors on coveralls and jackets is a great way to stand out. If changing the color is not an option for you, adding company logos to the front or shoulder of uniforms can help give your team that professional look. Uniforms can also include the company or worker’s name on the back. Including names on uniforms can help workers identify each other and is extremely useful in times of emergency.

NFPA 70E and Custom Features

When customizing your PPE, having a professional look is more than just brand colors and logos. NFPA regulations may limit your choice in materials, but including all the necessary features your workers need from their PPE will make your team look more professional and ready for the task at hand. Some features you can incorporate into your uniforms include:

  • Breathable or thicker garments depending on the environment.
  • Branded removable layers like jackets and coveralls.
  • Pockets or no pockets depending on the task at hand.
  • Velcro lined pockets.
  • Velcro instead of zippers to avoid the use of metals.
  • Plastic zippers for jackets.
  • Velcro patches for easy to add and remove logos and name tags.

These are just a few ideas that can help create a sharp professional look to complement your team’s abilities. Working with a uniform vendor can help you come up with more features that are more job specific to your business.

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Topics: Flame Retardant Uniforms, employee safety, risk management