What is an Arc Flash?
An arc flash is usually caused by human error or a fault in the electrical system which creates a short circuit. When a fault occurs in the system, the electrical energy is released rapidly, causing the air to ionize and creating a bright, intense light that lasts for a fraction of a second, this is known as an arc flash.
The heat generated by an arc flash can be incredibly intense, reaching temperatures of up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This can cause severe burns not only to the skin but also to the eyes and lungs. The force generated by an arc flash can also cause physical harm, including knockback, falls, and flying debris.
Why is an Arc Flash Assessment is important?
1. Safety: Arc flash incidents can result in severe injuries or death.
2. Compliance: OSHA, NFPA 70E, Corporate Safety Policies, all require it.
3. Equipment lifespan: An arc flash incident can also damage the electrical equipment, subsequently leading to downtime, increased maintenance costs, and unexpected repair expenses.
4. Liability: Employers have a legal and ethical responsibility to provide their workers with a safe work environment.
What are the Benefits of an Arc Flash Assessment?
Reduced risk of injury or death: An arc flash study can help to identify and assess the risks of arc flash events, and to develop and implement appropriate mitigation measures. This can help to reduce the risk of injury or death to workers who are exposed to arc flash hazards.
Compliance with regulations: NFPA 70E electrical safety regulations and standards require that employers conduct arc flash studies to assess the potential risk of arc flash hazards in their workplaces. By conducting an arc flash assessment, employers can ensure that they are in compliance with these regulations.
Improved safety culture: An arc flash study can help to improve the safety culture of a workplace by raising awareness of the risks of arc flash hazards and by providing employees with the information they need to work safely in areas with arc flash hazards.
Increased productivity: By reducing the risk of injury or death, and by improving the safety culture of a workplace, an arc flash study can help to increase productivity.
Reduced costs: An arc flash study can help to reduce costs by identifying and mitigating potential arc flash hazards. This can help to reduce the cost of replacing damaged equipment, and can also help to reduce the cost of worker’s compensation claims.