Arc Flash Prevention
Each year, arc flash accidents send 2,000 workers to the hospital.
Arc flash. That term is used a lot in safety training, but for some of those unfamiliar with the phrase, here’s what we’re talking about.
An arc flash is an electrical explosion. Arc flash occurs when electrical current flows between two or more separated, energized conducting surfaces.
As much as 80% of all electrical injuries are burns resulting from arc-flash. On average, 2,000 workers are killed by arc flash each year.
What are some of the common causes of arc flash?
- Insulation failure
- Buildup of dust and corrosion on insulating surfaces, which can provide a path for equipment failure related to improper installation or even normal wear and tear.
- Birds, bees, and rodents snapping leads at connections
- Human error, including dropped tools, accidental contact with electrical systems, and improper procedure
The best way to prevent arc flash and protect workers in the event of an accident is through training.
Here are some other ways to prevent arc flash:
- De-energize equipment before beginning work.
- Employees should be trained not to work on live equipment greater than 50 volts, unless de-energizing increases risk of hazards
- When it is necessary to work on energized equipment, workers should always follow safe work practices.
Using the appropriate personal protective equipment is essential and could be the difference between an ambulance ride or eating dinner with your family.
Until next time, stay positive and stay safe.