What Is Arc Flash?
Arc flash is a dangerous incident that can happen when an arcing fault occurs between two phase bus bars, a phase bus bar and a neutral, or a phase base bus bar and a ground. This quick release of energy is known as an arc flash.
These arc flashes can be caused by a number of factors, including human error the most common factor. Other factors, such as insulation failure (due to dust or corrosion) and insects causing a break in connections, are also known to cause this issue.
This rapid release of energy and plasma can result in fire and serious injuries, including third degree burns and in some instances, even death. Additionally, your company could face fines upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars, as well as lawsuits. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to help prevent this tragic event from occurring.
How to Prevent Arc Flash
There are several effective ways to prevent arc flash. The most effective and important method is proper training and education. Ensuring your staff is well trained and educated on the dangers of working with energized electrical equipment and electric systems are key. It is not only a smart idea, but it is also mandated by OSHA, and if an incident occurs and employees are found to be lacking in qualifications or knowledge, odds are your company will face a sizable fine.
Avoid this scenario and set aside a budget for your staff to receive proper training.
Sometimes an arc flash is unavoidable, despite your best efforts. Because of this, it is always suggested that any employee handling electrified equipment is properly equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) when undertaking any job where an arc flash is possible.
These two steps will help prevent injuries, equipment failures, and shutdowns due to arc flashes, but they are only the tip of the iceberg. For more information, contact Caldwell@Caldwellelectric.com or call (770) 531-7890