WHAT IS AN
An arc flash is a type of electrical explosion that occurs when there is a short circuit in an electrical system, either phase-to-phase or phase-to-ground.
These types of electrical discharges are often caused by human error and can result from dropped tools or other accidental contact with energized parts. An arc flash can also result from the build-up of conductive material inside an electrical enclosure, aging wire insulation, or even vermin infestation. An arc flash incident is a very dangerous event and can cause serious damage both to an employee and to the business building. All businesses must take precautionary steps in order to avoid an arc flash incident at their business.
Arc flash incidents not only cause major harm to your employees, but also serious costs to your business. Take preventative measures to avoid an arc-flash and keep your business protected.
80% of Electrical Worker fatalities are due to burns, not shock, from incidents such as an arc-flash
$750,000 = Average cost of an electrical accident at work
Everyday someone dies from an arc flash incident
$4 million = Average cost of medical treatment for a severe electrical burn
$30 million = Average cost of work-related injuries including fines, medical costs, litigation, lost business, and equipment costs
HOW TO AVOID AN
The best way to avoid arc flash incidents is to conduct preventative analyses that inspect the electrical system for any potential dangers.
An arc flash assessment inspects the entire workspace and the entirety of the electrical system in order to determine if employee safety is up to code. An inspector will determine how much arc flash could release at various points along the power chain, and will ensure that hazardous equipment is clearly labeled. Hazardous zones will also be inspected to make sure that employees are wearing the proper protective equipment and conducting their work in a safe manner. An arc flash assessment is best conducted by a professional in order to make sure that every safety regulation is correctly followed. These arc flash assessments should be conducted at least every three months or earlier if deemed necessary.
BASIC STEPS OF AN
To start the analysis, documentation about the electrical systems are collected and entered into software in order to clearly understand the electrical distribution before beginning any tests. If the initial documentation appears to be missing data, the system may need to be inspected to collect more of the needed information.
This next step of the assessment determines if the equipment has the proper protective devices set up. Protective device coordination ensures that overcurrent situations are limited.
The short circuit is assessed in order to determine the magnitude of current flowing through the electrical system. At each critical point, the magnitude of electricity should be inspected after a “fault” occurs in order to determine bolted fault current for incident energy.
Equipment and Electrical Systems are all inspected in order to determine if the systems are operating in accordance to safety regulations.
After evaluating the materials, electrical currents, protective equipment, and machines, arc flash calculations are produced for all relevant equipment.
Workers must be trained in safe working practices and equipment must be properly labeled to include safety regulations and concerns.
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets a number of standards in relation to arc flash safety and requires employers to protect their employees from arc flash hazards through the requirements of NFPA 70E. Here are some of the basic legal requirements for arc flash safety as outlines through NFPA 70E:
The best way to ensure that your workplace is operating under the necessary guidelines, call a qualified inspector to visit your workplace. Arc flash assessments not only ensure that your employees are operating systems safely, but also that your workplace is not in danger of receiving any legal citations.
ABOUT VERIFIABLE RESULTS
Verifiable Results is an engineering firm licensed to practice engineering in many states across the U.S. As arc flash specialists, we offer qualified arc flash assessments to businesses to help them keep their workspaces safe from arc flash dangers. Arc flash assessments with Verifiable Results are completed from qualified individuals with years of experience in the industry of safety compliance. Our goal is to not only to ensure that your workspace meets safety regulations but also that your employees are well trained and informed in safe workplace practices. For more information about our arc flash assessments, contact our team today!