U.S. Department of Labor
Table of Contents
Burns and Shocks: Case History 2
CASE HISTORY 2
While performing hot work, sparks from the job caught in the frayed edge of an opening in the shipfitter's coveralls.
The threads acted like a candle wick and pulled the fire deeper into the fabric.
The fire quickly spread to other clothing that was underneath the employee's coveralls including a t-shirt made of a synthetic material. When the fire reached the t-shirt, it burned even faster and began to melt onto the shipbuilder's skin.
Co-workers burned their hands while helping to put out the fire. The employee was hospitalized and underwent a painful recovery process.
Analysis and Preventive Measures
- Protective clothing is only as good as its condition. Protective clothing must be intact and without frayed edges.
- Wear appropriate safety gear to protect yourself. Leather sleeves, for example, are fire retardant.
- Check your clothing to make sure it is in good condition prior to performing any hot work.
- Avoid synthetic clothing material due to the increased risk of rapid burning.