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Arc Flash Hazards

Continuing education courses and video explain arc flash hazards for engineers
17 Sep 2017

Arc Flash Hazards

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Arc Flash Hazards Video

This informative video presents a detailed discussion of the hazards associated with arc flash. It focuses on the human element of arc flash accidents by presenting a series of interviews with victims. These stories provide a stark warning to engineers and others who work with electrical panels that arc flash is a serious risk to be properly managed.


Video – Arc Flash Awareness [25:40]
This video provides an overview of arc flash, the risks it presents to workers, and includes interviews with victims of arc flash injuries. Source:NIOSH

ARC Flash Hazards

The term arc flash is used to describe low impedance pathways in an electrical system, which allows the unwanted flow of electrons through an air gap in the form of an electric discharge from one voltage phase to another. This discharge may also be to the ground in addition from conductor to conductor. The plasma and the electric current lead to a rapid rise in temperature that generates a pressure wave in the air between electrical conductors, causing an explosion known as an arc blast.

Arc blasts and the resulting heat can lead to fires, pressure waves and flying shrapnel that result in serious damage to life and property. These explosions typically occur without any warning, destroy electrical equipment completely and very often case severe injury to personnel or even death to individuals who are standing within the incident energy boundary of the arc flash.

In the past decade, professional engineers and other safety professionals have become more aware of the frequency and severity of electrical arc-flash hazards. As a result, OSHA acknowledged their role in protecting workers from arc flash and the need for greater leadership in the form of regulations and publicly available opinion documents. OSHA put in place regulations such as:

29 CFR 1910.132(d) (1) — this regulation requires employers to perform a personal protective equipment assessment to determine necessary protective equipment that is needed.
29 CFR 1910.332(b)(1)—OSHA mandates that all employees must be trained in and familiar with the safety-related work practices that pertain to their respective job assignments.
29 CFR 1910.333(b) (2) (IV) (B) — this regulation states that a qualified person must test use relevant equipment to test the circuit elements and electrical parts of equipment. They also need to check what environment the employees will be exposed to. Once these tests are done, the trained professional must check and verify that all circuit elements are de-energized.
29 CFR 1910.335(a) (1) (i)—this OSHA regulation states that all employees that work in areas where they are exposed to potential electrical hazards must be provided with protective equipment and trained to use it properly. They are also required to use this protective equipment when it is appropriate.

Arc Flash Continuing Education Courses

If you are interested in Arc Flash Hazards, consider our continuing education courses that address this subject directly.

HS-02-104 Introduction to Arc Flash – 2 PDH
This course provides the student with an understanding of the arc flash hazard, a familiarity of recognized national consensus standards, and OSHA requirements. It emphasizes hazard identification and safe work practices that apply to all facilities and work environments.

HS-02-104W Live Webinar: Introduction to Arc Flash – 3 PDH
This Live Webinar course provides the student with an understanding of the arc flash hazard, a familiarity of recognized national consensus standards, and OSHA requirements. It emphasizes hazard identification and safe work practices that apply to all facilities and work environments.

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