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Joined: Oct 2000
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Electric Shock, Arc Flash, and Arc Blast Video Here! - Be Safe Wear PPE!

Protect Your Employees from Arc Flash

Arlington, VA –An arc flash can happen without warning and occurs much too fast for you to react. The heat released during an arc flash can reach as high as 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hotter than the surface of the sun. Large arc flashes can cause an explosion noise loud enough to cause hearing loss and injuries from being thrown back from the electrical explosion.

To better address this issue, the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has teamed with NIOSH and the Centers for Disease Control to distribute Arc Flash Awareness, a DVD training course, available in both English and Spanish. The DVD includes basic information about arc flash awareness and contains the first hand accounts of three electrical workers who were severely injured in arc flash accidents.

Surprisingly, it has just been in recent years that the term “arc flash” has garnered much attention. Many companies have started to raise awareness about the problem. Some companies, however, do not think that arc flash is a serious concern because they have not yet had an arc flash incident.

An arc flash can result from the spontaneous failure of equipment during normal operation or from accidentally bridging two live electrical contacts with a conducting object, like a metal screwdriver or wrench. Other causes may include the improper use of electrical multimeters, poor housekeeping that allows the buildup of conductive dust, or severe corrosion that allows connections to break.

How large is the problem?

According to CapSchell, Inc., a Chicago-based research and consulting firm that specializes in workplace injury prevention, there are five to 10 arc flash explosions every day in the United States.

The final cost to employers and their insurers for a single, serious injury can approach $10 million. (CapSchell)

2,000 workers are admitted annually to burn centers for extended injury treatments caused by arc flash, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

A recent study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) determined 17,101 injuries were caused by electric arc flash burns between 1992 though 2001.
With statistics like this, companies cannot afford to ignore electrical safety issues surrounding accidental electrocution from arc flash explosions.

For more information on Arc Flash or to order a copy of the Arc Flash Awareness DVD visit the ESFI Library on the ESFI’s website, or call ESFI at 703-841-3229.

Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant
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Zog Offline
PPE is limited in its protection (About 40cal/cm2) mitigation and distance are the best solutions

MV/HV Testing Specialist, "BKRMAN"
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
PPE is not just something you wear.
Most of the arc-fault incidents, I am aware of could be prevented by simple cover-up sheets.
Having said that, I have been chastised in this forum, saying that cover-up gear is only mandated for those that use High Voltages.
Absolute rubbish, I say, the actual fault current available to you at the accident is a LOT larger than some would tend to think.
The higher the current available, the bigger the blast.

Two things, get insulated tools(not tools wrapped in tape, the real deal) and neoprene blankets, these can be cut to fit any panel or situation, to exclude any live metal from the equation.

These blankets DON'T burn, I've used these on 66kV Over-head hook-overs, they are also cheap enough to justify cutting them to size.
Every electrician worth their salt should have at least 2 of these with them at all times.

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