If you run a facility with occupational hazards, it’s important that you and your employees have the training necessary to avoid unexpected accidents. Arc flash can occur for a number of reasons, and it can result in serious injury. To ensure that hazards due to arc flash don’t occur in your workplace, consider investing in an arc flash training program.
What Is Arc Flash?
Electric currents have intended paths. Sometimes, however, that path is broached, and a flashover travels outside the intended path. The flashover jumps from one conductor to another, or it leaps to the ground. If a person is nearby when the arc flash occurs, it can lead to severe injuries.
What Causes an Arc Flash?
There are a number of reasons why an arc flash might occur. It can be caused by an accumulation of dust or by accidental touching. The flash might be spurred on by faulty installation or by routine material failure. A dropped tool can trigger a flash, as can excessive corrosion. Even condensation can lead to an arc flash. Because there are many innocuous ways to set off a flash, it’s important to educate employees in the best ways to avoid this potentially life threatening occupational hazard.
The Severity of an Arc Flash
An arc flash can be deadly. Workers who survive an encounter with an arc flash often face steep medical bills and reduced quality of life. The severity of the injury is dependent upon several factors. If a worker is close to the flash when it occurs, they are more likely to sustain severe injuries. The temperature of the flash also has a great impact on the eventual injuries, as does the amount of time it takes for the circuit to break.
How to Protect Workers from an Arc Flash
There are several ways to protect workers from arc flash. First, only qualified employees should work on electrical circuits. Other workers should be kept from areas with potential electrical hazards. Also consider investing in insulation, barricades, ground fault circuit interrupters, and guarding.
While it’s important for employers to protect their workers, it’s also crucial that workers are educated in the best ways to avoid arc flash. They should be able to distinguish exposed live parts in electrical equipment and determine voltage of live parts. With quality training, workers will be able to stay safe in their work environment.