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Key Safety Message Underlined by Wenaas Burn Test

Posted by July 10, 2014

Norway-based Wenaas, a global oil and gas industry workwear & PPE supplier, has recently commissioned independent laboratory tests in a bid to highlight that optimum levels of fire resistant safety are only achieved when employees within the oil and gas industry layer their protective clothing correctly.

Having sold over one million fire retardant Ambassador coveralls, the highly experienced product development team at Wenaas deployed their knowledge and expertise in understanding the explicit demands of various job roles within the offshore oil and gas industry to develop the all new range of fire retardant coveralls, the appropriately named Offshore – which replaces the outgoing Ambassador. By doing so, Wenaas has demonstrated the importance of providing operators, contractors and personnel with high quality protection for different work areas and multiple hazardous situations.

Using Daletec flame retardant fabric for breathable, durable safety and comfort as well as UV protection, the new Wenaas Offshore coverall range is trusted for fire resistant safety across the globe and has been developed in conjunction with wearer feedback to meet the highly demanding needs of job roles in hazardous situations, specifically in the oil and gas industry.

However, with over 80 years’ experience as The Safety Expert, Wenaas believes that - contrary to frequent offshore practice - anti-flame, ant-arc and anti-static protection does not simply begin and end with external garments.

Synthetic items (such as many sports tops) worn underneath a coverall will do little to maintain a stable core body temperature or prevent moisture build up, should the wearer become exposed to the dangers of fire.  Wenaas works closely with Devold Protection, whose undergarments use Tasmanian Merino wool. Unlike synthetic fibres, Merino wool significantly reduces the risk of scalding as the wool’s wicking properties effectively trap moisture, which would otherwise remain on the skin and boil, causing serious damage.

By commissioning PyroMan tests at North Carolina State University, Wenaas has illustrated the significant difference that correct layering can make to employee safety, during exposure to flame. This simulated flash fire exposure used sensor-covered mannequins, dressed in the new Wenaas Offshore coverall to measure heat transfer, predicting the likelihood of 2nd and 3rd degree burns between those wearing standard cotton undergarments and those layered with Devold Undergarment Protection.

The results evidenced that using Wenaas fire retardant coveralls together with Devold underwear reduced the extent of 2nd and 3rd degree burns by 30%. This is an exceptional result considering a 50% 3rd degree burn means a high risk of loss of life. This is a particularly important consideration when taking older employees into account, as recovery rate from 50%+ burns reduces significantly with age.

Lee Taylor, Wenaas UK Business Development Manager, is convinced that offshore garment layering habits need to change. He said: ”The independent tests commissioned by Wenaas illustrate the vital difference to safety that correct layering can make. It is so important that an increased emphasis is placed upon correct garment layering for offshore personnel and the need for contractors and operators to consider provision of appropriate undergarments as well as coveralls in protecting their workforce – it is literally a matter of saving lives.”


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