Flame-resistant clothing (FRC) is crucial for protecting individuals working in high-risk environments involving fire and heat hazards. FRC is designed to resist ignition, self-extinguish, and minimize burn injuries. Specific emblems & decorations like embroidery, heat transfer etc. may be used on the FRC for representation of company logos, norms that the garments meet or any other. However, a question arises: Do the emblems and decorations on FRC also need to be Flame-Resistant (FR)?
The answer is “No”.
There are no such regulations which strictly prohibit the use of non-FR logos, name tags, or other emblems on FRC. But it should always be ensured that any emblems, logos, and decorations attached to FRC must not compromise the FR performance. Therefore, regulatory standards related to FRC have recommended the specific requirement of quantity, size and total area covered by emblems, name tags, and other symbols.
According to a 2006 OSHA letter of interpretation, employers are responsible for choosing between FR and non-FR logos, emblems to be used on FRC. OSHA’s standard requires that employees exposed to flames or electric arcs wear clothing that doesn’t increase injury.
According to EN11612 (Standards for protective Clothing to protect against heat and flame)
- If emblems and decorations are attached to exterior of the garments covering less than 10 cm2 area, they do not have any testing requirements.
- If it covers greater than 10 cm2, it must be tested for FR performance as per ISO 15025.
ASTM F1506 (arc flash standard) states that non-FR emblems and logos have to be minimized on the AR / FR garment.
According to NFPA 2112 (Standard on Flame Resistant clothing for Protection of Industrial Personnel against short duration Thermal exposure from fire): There are provisions to use even the non-FR emblems with some limitations-
- If non-FR emblems are attached to the exterior of a garment, the maximum number should be five with no individual emblem covering an area greater than 103 cm2 (16 in2) or total area from all these emblems covering an area greater than 258 cm2 (40 in2). In this case, No testing is needed on emblems.
- Emblems and decorations on the exterior of a garment that are claimed to be FR must be tested for Flame and Heat resistance. They must not melt, drip, separate or ignite.
It is important to note that Non-FR decorations can compromise the integrity of the clothing, increasing the risk of ignition, molten material dripping, and reduced thermal protection. So it is always recommended to use FR emblems and decorations for high risk applications like Flash fire, Electric arc, Molten metal etc.