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Overalls - A warning - Loco Crews and Shed Staff please read!

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Steve, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Recently, a colleague of mine was badly burned when his overalls caught fire whilst oiling up. The exact circumstances are still under investigation but he was wearing a conventional cotton 'prep' coat and cotton bib'n'brace. Such overalls are normally regarded as non-flammable. However, it would appear that when the overalls had been washed, a fabric conditioner had been used. Although it is a known fact that fabric conditioners can make fabrics flammable, it was something I didn't know nor, seemingly, anyone else I have discussed it with.

    A full report will be published when the investigation is complete but please heed this warning and do not use fabric conditioners when washing overalls.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
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  2. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for the heads up Steve, I didn't know that about fabric softener either.
     
  3. 32110

    32110 Member

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    Thanks for the warning. I hope your colleague is now on the mend and please pass on my, and most likely all loco crews, best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.
     
  4. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    In fact Steve I hope you don't mind, the information is so important that I have amended the title and made it a sticky post at the top of the section to raise awareness, hope that's ok.

    Pete
     
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  5. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I've no problem with this at all. It is not just with overalls but anything labelled as flame resistant, especially childrens clothes. As I said, people don't generally seem to know this but Googling soon brings up this fact.
     
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  6. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes as I said until you mentioned it I had no idea - certainly something that should be in the wider knowledge that is for sure.
     
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  7. Snifter

    Snifter Active Member

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    Cotton overalls tend to become impregnated with paraffin and other oils so their effectiveness is quickly compromised.
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    That's why you wash them! Frequently! I only wear them for one day before doing so.
     
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  9. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    Perhaps a luxury that many people don't have. When I go to Wales for a week I don't take 7 boiler suits with me and I doubt many others do either!
     
  10. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Perhaps not but, no doubt, common sense will be applied and you won't wear overalls soaked in oil/paraffin.
     
  11. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Part of the furniture

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    No I wouldn't, I try to keep as clean as I can during the prep/disposal of a steam engine. Any overalls that appear to be saturated with oil or other chemicals/lubricants I wash as soon as I can.
     
  12. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    You say 'whilst oiling up' Do you know what the source of ignition was Steve?
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I'd rather wait for the investigation report to be published, if that's OK. That way, what I've heard and what turns out to be the reality won't get confused..
     
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  14. Snifter

    Snifter Active Member

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    Either you have two washing machines, are not married or your wife wears black ! I have to soak mine in a bucket in the boiler house for days and pop them in the machine when herself is out shopping.
     
  15. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    Only one machine, married and, alas, she never wears black!. I used to have to do similar to you (except we don't have a boiler house!) and clean out the machine after use, as well. However, these days I wash them at the railway. Both the ones I'm involved with have washing machines.
    Steve's Household hint no. 673. If you do wash them at home, wash them after each use (you may need several pairs), turn them inside out and put them in a plastic bag before putting them in the drum, then remove the plastic bag. Doing all this may be tedious but it avoids a lot of the problems and, more importantly, a domestic!
     
  16. b.oldford

    b.oldford Member

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    Another way to avoid a domestic if the railway doesn't have a washing machine is to use the launderette.
     
  17. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    Do they still exist? I don't know of one anywhere near here.
     
  18. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    There's one in Albert Square :D
     
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  19. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    The individual concerned has shared some images on Facebook of the clothing and the burns received . He seems ok and from last posting skin grafts hopefully won't be required and he is in good spirits
     
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  20. Sheff

    Sheff Part of the furniture

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    That's good news indeed.
     

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