For over twelve years, the presenter has been both a leader and participant in the committees that develop standards for flame resistant clothing. As the president of a distributor and manufacturer of safety apparel, he has a commitment to the safety of workers in the energy sector. This experience and commitment combines in this presentation, which will address specific industry labeling standards and the importance to safety managers. Proper labeling can be overlooked, and it is important to be educated and aware of best practice methods with regard to how personal protective apparel should be labeled; whether you are a safety manager, a worker, a manufacturer or distributer, this knowledge will improve compliance and general safety.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that clothing and textile products commonly used in the household be labeled according to clearly identified requirements. While safety apparel purchased by the employer does not neatly fit into the definition of products covered by the FTC Care and Labeling Rule, the procedure is relevant. The information that must be detailed on household garment labels does appear in safety standards that apply to protective equipment. Briefly reviewing FTC requirements will allow us to better self-regulate the care and labeling of protective apparel.

Household textiles will have two distinct labels. The first label must address:

  • Fiber content, in descending order of predominance.

  • A manufacturer's identity, which may be in the form of a full name or Registered Identification Number (RN).

  • The country of origin must also be printed on this label, whether or not the garment can be marked "Made in USA" will be determined by both where the garment is manufactured and where the materials originated.

While the first label need not be permanent, the care instructions label is required to be attached to a garment for its useful life. This lists:
  • Instructions for regular care and

  • warnings, should a particular procedure be known to cause harm to the garment.

We are familiar with this label, as providing us with laundering recommendations.

If we are to consider, as an industry, any specification comparable to the Federal Trade Commission's Care and Labeling Rule, the NFPA 2112, to be reviewed later, and the F2302-08 Labeling Requirements may very well be the best examples. Providing a minimum requirement for labeling protective clothing as heat and flame resistant for applications where the potential for flame contact or high heat exposure exist, F2302 insists upon the same labeling format that the FTC requires for household garments. For the sake of simplicity and consistency in garment labeling, this is important. The consumers must also be considered; it is much easier to appropriately care for personal protective equipment if the labels are in the same style as the labels attached to everyday clothing.

The F2302-08 Labeling Requirements state that the minimum information on a label for heat or flame resistant will be:

  • the name of the clothing manufacturer or RN number;

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