The first article, written by Chet Davis, P.E., shows how vital addressing arc flash can be:
The electrical and safety industries are acknowledging that arcing faults can:
- Release perilous levels of radiant heat energy capable of causing severe burns and ignition of clothing, which can result in treatment requiring years of skin grafting, rehabilitation and even death.
- Spray droplets of molten metal, with the explosion distributing the molten metal and shrapnel produced by the arc over a large area.
- Produce blast pressure waves that have thrown workers across the room and knocked them off ladders.
- Cause hearing loss from the sound blast related to the arcing fault.
The cost of treatment can exceed $1,000,000/case, along with potential litigation fees, fines, and escalation of insurance. Process losses can also be incurred.
The second article, from www.electricalsafety.org, highlights some preventative measures and work practices:
When workers have no choice but to work on energized equipment, they need to follow the arc flash safety measures recommended by the Safety and Health Administration. However, they need to strictly follow safe work practices that involve risk assessment, properties, and protective equipment.
Proper work practices can prevent an electrical arc flash and protect workers during events of incidents. The use of personal protective equipment such as flame-resistant clothing, face shield, helmet, insulating gloves, and safety gloves is only one of the most important rules that electrical workers should follow. For additional precautions, they also need to follow standardized work procedures, obey warning labels, and perform certain tasks that they are qualified to do.