Regulating body temperature in extreme temperatures can be challenging even under normal circumstances. However, situations requiring flame-resistant (FR) garments can create additional obstacles due to the natural insulation properties of FR clothing. When selecting FR garments for hot environments, it is imperative to take steps to ensure workers remain as safe and comfortable as possible on the job.
A common hazard amongst workers exposed to extreme heat is heat stress. Heat stress can be extremely dangerous and result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps or heat rashes.1 In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that ‘Exposure to Environmental Heat’ caused 177 deaths and 13,580 cases of days away from work in the private sector workforce2 from 2003-2008.