As electrical power grids grow larger and more complex, arc flash hazards remain a real and ever present threat.  The sources of electricity is changing, but the risks are the same. 

It is no secret that many professional electrical occupations come with some dangerous risks. The most common of these risks are arc flash accidents, which cause 80% of the professional electrical injuries every year in the United States. About five electrical workers fall victim to arc flash accidents every day. It is important to note, however, that arc flash training, can help avoid and mitigate arc flash injuries and teach you to respect the power and danger of improperly handled electricity.

First off, wearing the proper protective attire is extremely important. Everything from one’s flame resistant hat to well-insulated boots must meet NFPA 70E standards in order to fully protect from the dangers of arc flashes. Just as important is the often-overlooked fact that non-chlorine bleach must be used to launder protective clothing, because other bleach can break down the flame retardant ability of protective clothing.

A safe workplace can prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. Knowing and defining boundaries to avoid dangerous conductors and circuits can go a long way in preventing injury. Complete a flash hazard analysis before approaching circuits or arc equipment, no matter what.

Sometimes an accident has begun or is inevitable, but there are still a few actions you can take in order to minimize the damage it causes. For example, moving everyone to a safety area may seem like common sense, but can be forgotten in the heat of the moment. Once everyone is in the safety area, direct the flash away from the safety area. If you are able, you should also decrease the circuit’s arcing time.

There is a lot of information out there about how to avoid arc flash accidents. If you are an electrical professional, you have likely heard them before. It is easy to forget such a mass of information if you do not review it often, though. Use this infographic to brush up on preventing arc flash injury and keep your workplace safe.



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