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New range of fire retardant workwear on show a AIMEX

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The Workwear Industries Group will showcase a new range of fire retardant workwear that offers mine, oil, gas and electrical workers protection from arc flash, flash fire and heat stress on Stand SL540 at AIMEX.

The Hard Yakka Protect garments feature Tecgen Select inherent fire retardant (FR) fabric technology that results in what the group says is the lightest, most breathable FR work clothes available in Australia.

The range include high visibility shirts, coveralls and pants.

“Hard Yakka Protect is an Australian first in fire retardant workwear, coupling the best available protection from arc flash and flash fire with the lightest, most breathable and moisture wicking fabric for the reduction of heat stress,” Hard Yakka’s senior product manager, Brenna Mathews, said.

She said traditional FR workwear was typically heavy and thick and could get very hot, which meant that in hot climates or while undertaking labour intensive work, some tradespeople opted for cotton-based workwear with no FR qualities in order to stay cool and comfortable.

“Now Hard Yakka has significantly stepped up the level of protection workers can get, without comprising the comfort and breathability that Hard Yakka is known for.”

And while cotton-based workwear could ignite and continue burning during an arc flash or flash fire, Hard Yakka Protect garments were self-extinguishing, Mathews said.

Hard Yakka Protect with Tecgen Select was the lightest weight FR workwear available in Australia to meet NFPA Hazard Risk Category 2 (HRC 2) requirements of Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV) 8 cal/cm2 or above. This rating is based on the primary navy fabric; other colours may vary against this.

Independent laboratory testing found Hard Yakka Protect shirts were, on average, 25 per cent lighter and pants were 14 per cent lighter than competitive FR fabrics that also met HRC 2 requirements.

Tests showed the range to be 63-68 per cent more breathable than competitors and wicks sweat, on average, 15 per cent better.

The inherent FR composition of the Tecgen Select fabric would not wash nor wear out, Mathews said.

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