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OSHA's protective clothing regulations

Workers in Tennessee may be interested to learn about regulations that have been issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The regulations are in place to help prevent deaths and serious personal injuries by requiring the wearing of flame-resistant clothing in certain work environments.

The regulations apply to companies that have employees working near flames or who may be exposed to potential electrical arcs. Employers are to assess their workplaces for potential electrical hazards and flames. They must also measure the heat energy from potential electrical arcs, and they must make certain employees are wearing clothing that will not ignite or melt due to exposure.

If the heat energy is measured at a level higher than 2.0 cal/cm², the employer must make certain the worker is wearing flame-resistant clothing. According to OSHA, the regulations may prevent as many as 118 workplace injuries and 20 deaths every year from clothing catching on fire or melting.

People who have been injured in a workplace accident are able to seek benefits from their employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier. The state mandates that employers carry such coverage in order to protect their employers. Employers have a duty to provide a reasonably safe and hazard-free workplace. Even when an employer does provide a relatively safe working environment, accidents and injuries sometimes still occur. For that reason, workers' compensation must be available. Through a workers' compensation claim, an injured worker may recover such things as medical expenses, any ongoing treatment or rehabilitation costs and other associated amounts. If the worker is unable to return to their job due to the injury, workers' compensation may also provide monthly payments to replace a portion of the income that has been lost as a result.

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