Category Archives: Fire Resistant Apparel

Breakdown: Workrite’s FR Basics

FR clothing is designed to protect workers from arc flash and flash fire, two hazards that can cause serious injury or death. In an arc flash, the amount of energy released is “quite significant,” with temperatures reaching between 10,000 and 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit, explains Dan Bowen, technical marketing specialist for DuPont Personal Protection.

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Key factors in Selecting FR Clothing

Article by Mark Saner, Workrite

Question – When in the initial phases of coming into compliance with NFPA 70E and starting to evaluate different FR garments, why wouldn’t you just go with the least expensive garment that meets the standard?

Answer – While garments can look very similar on the surface, they often contain different characteristics. This is especially true in flame-resistant garments, where key elements like fabric brand used and construction techniques can make a real impact on both performance and wear life over time. Additionally, your company may have specific “business-to-business” needs in order to service your program, from credit, to specific alterations required, to the need for non-stock sizes or ordering online.

When evaluating flame-resistant clothing, it is about finding products that offer the best balance of protection, comfort and value. Continue reading

BNSF Safe At Work!

We absolutely love receiving pictures and videos from out partners everywhere.  Its amazing to see the end result of a project, or to see a project in action.  Giving us an opportunity to put faces with names and help us feel like we’re a part of a community, building friendships from partnerships.  Especially when these products, that are creatively collaborated upon, help keep our friends and their families safe.  This knowledge really makes us proud of what we do, every day.  So we would like to thank everyone over at BNSF Railway who helped get us these outstanding pictures.  We wish you all a happy and safe holidays!

BNSF New Hires 2011

A group of BNSF New Hires getting tools orientation in Flagstaff Arizona

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Changes to OSHA Standards Regarding Arc Flash

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Arc Flash SafetyChanges to NFPA 70E and NESC (ANSI C2) will impact the workplace for flame resistant, arc rated clothing and work practices for electrical safety like no year in recent history. There are two reasons for this:

1) both standards have 2012 versions. This has not happened since 1995.

2) both standards have several new items which will bump up PPE levels for common tasks, and both standards have more clearly codified the need for arc flash calculations.

You have likely heard of NFPA 70E but may not have heard of NESC. NESC is the National Electric Safety Code (Canadian equivalent CAN/UL S801). This is an ANSI/IEEE standard for utility wiring. It governs most utility properties and can affect non-utility systems, especially transmission and distribution systems commonly found in large industrial plants. OSHA 1910.269 and NESC cover the same basic equipment, and OSHA used NESC in some of the legislation for 1910.269. Most industrial electrical work is covered by the OSHA 1910.300 series and NFPA 70E in the U.S. (Canadian equivalent CSA Z462). The two committees have very few links other than the ASTM arc flash test standards and specifications, so differences are marked. Below are the key areas of change coming in 2012 to affect the workplace. Continue reading

You Control our Company with CUSTOM!

custom vest

We almost fit 100 pens in this custom pocket! not quite 15lbs worth though.

As a growing company we’re always trying our hardest to fit the customers needs and to, “let the customer take control.”  The word “custom” is a word we can’t repeat enough when it comes down to our “in house” products like Safety Vests, Fire Resistant Safety Vests, and from time to time, a welding jacket or seven.  Sportex Safety is always trying out new things, on a daily basis as a matter of fact, in order to fit the customers needs.  Believe it or not this is what we actually enjoy doing.

Let the customer take control. It drives us and keeps everyone interested, especially you, the one who gets to utilize that final product, something you created.  Whether it be a custom pocket or new tool carrier, and you weren’t really sure how well it would work until you used it, and behold, it works!  After all, though I don’t want to downplay our experience here, we don’t exactly sit around the office all day in Hi-Vis Vests putting 15lb ink pens in our pockets and rubbing up against Stucco walls, and the only traffic we need to watch out for is foot traffic around lunch breaks in the back room, which tends to be equally as dangerous at times mind you.  Something I really believe we don’t get enough of in this case, is costumer input or feedback. 

We grow with customization & picky customers. When you, the professionals that use our products tell us what was liked or not, what could be better, what worked out and what did not, essentially you are the ones actually creating the product.  This way, instead of thinking we know whats best for our customers, we build whats best for our customers.  So if anyone has an idea, maybe something that would even fit the project your doing, let us know.  Maybe you will be the one to revolutionize the industry with a new type of Safety Vest.


Bulwark FR 2011 Catalog, now on Sportex Safety!

A new line of Bulwark FR apparel products straight from the 2011 catalog now available in our online promotional products!Bulwark Fire Resistant

“Bulwark is the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial flame resistant apparel, with a thirty-nine year history of serving the oil & gas, electric utility, and petrochemical markets through innovative design and manufacturing of the broadest range of products, and by providing superior technical expertise. Bulwark Protective Apparel is a division of VF Corporation, the world’s largest branded apparel company.”

Safety Vests & BNSF Workin’ on the Railroad

Safety vests worn while installing a new switch between Flagstaff and Williams Arizona keep these BNSF(Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway) workers on the job. The welder on the left (standing up with a tool in his hand) has a fire resistant vest to protect him from arc flash burns and molten slag.  What makes these safety vests unique? Sportex.

Sportex Safety Jackets, Vests, and FR Weld Jackets get the job done safely

Sportex Safety Jackets, Vests, and FR Weld Jackets get the job done safely

Sportex Safety listens to their customers.  When BSNF welder requested specific improvements we delivered.  They wanted a cooler jacket but heavier sleeves …  so now all of our welding jackets incorporate 11 Ounce Sleeves regardless of 7 Ounce, 9 Ounce or 11 Ounce body fabric.  This keeps their arms protected while allowing for a cooler overall comfort level.

Sportex Safety vests worn while installing a new switch between Flagstaff and Williams Arizona

Sportex Safety vests worn while installing a new switch between Flagstaff and Williams Arizona

Visibility is Key when working around large equipment

Visibility is Key when working around large equipment

Workers rely on the comfort, fit and breathability of our ultra cool vests.   Custom designed pocket and utility configurations are engineered into the safety apparel.   We take the most pride in our Hot Work and Electrical Arc Flash rated products as we pioneered bringing Hi Visibility – ANSI STYLE and F-1506 / 70E together into one garment for the welders, mechanics and electrical signal teams.

Feelin Good in a BNSF Sportex Safety Vest

Feelin Good in a BNSF Sportex Safety Vest

Down and dirty in a Hi Visibility hooded sweat

Down and dirty in a Hi Visibility hooded sweat

Safety vests are just a portion of the Personal Protective Apparel we supply and manufacture here in Tempe AZ.

If your work team has specific apparel requirements Sportex Safety is here to serve. Logos, branding and design work are a common part of our custom apparel services.