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Protective Clothing for Precarious Careers

Seldom do we think about what kinds of clothing firefighters wear on the job.  Most remember the rugged texture, fire house No. on the back, long trim, and fluorescent stripes.  But what exactly protects firefighters from bodily harm before, during, and after putting out fires?  Understandably, much of it has to do with the regular maintenance of gear; ensuring its cleanliness and proper upkeep throughout the wear and tear it is designed to endure.  Because of the overwhelming amount of chemicals and contaminants that firefighters are liable to come in contact with, their clothing and gear must be managed with great care and persistence.

Regulations set in place by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) stated that in accordance with the NFPA 1851 standard, fire departments must see that clothing is thoroughly cleaned either annually or after gear has been used during a response.  The protocol was initiated to prevent firefighters from toxic chemicals, which had the potential to remain in clothing, come in contact with the wearer and, ultimately, jeopardize lives through exposure.  Similar regulations are set in place for individuals working under similarly dangerous circumstances – quite literally under.

Mining – akin to the claustrophobic-like conditions of space alight and filled with smoke – is an environment where vulnerability becomes a reality that braces an already cautious crew.  Avoiding risk and injury is a central component of progressive mining.  For companies halfway around the world, the same principles of employee health and safety are a requirement of employers.  Protective clothing is now essential if workers are expected to work under dangerous conditions.

Looking further into protective clothing resources can reveal new and interesting developments about where the industry is headed, and how manufacturers are taking steps to enhance the overall effectiveness of gear, while ensuring that products are environmentally-friendly and at a reduced cost.


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