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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article pertains to any workplace where risks demand mindfulness, alertness and all-around situational awareness, though the author specifically addresses fire fighters and other first responders.
Adapting to the safe work practices of NFPA 70E likely means some major changes in how your electrical workers have done things in the past. Your electrical workers likely didn’t think twice about opening an energized 480 volt electrical panel. Now with standards in place, they must first determine arc flash hazard levels, PPE, safety boundaries and fill out an energized work permit.
The short answer is, yes. OSHA requires industrial plants to adhere to the arc flash standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association in the publication known as NFPA 70E.
The majority of occupational injuries suffered by clinicians and nurses are due to patient transfers, according to a recent survey, which found that one in three clinicians and nurses report being injured while moving patients from a bed to a chair.
Safety and health professionals are intensely serious about protecting workers from the hazards of electrical arc flash and complying with industry safety standards. But it’s easy to make mistakes that create unnecessary costs (both time and money) or put workers at risk. As you comply with NFPA 70E and OSHA safety standards, avoid these common missteps:
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), arc-flash is an electric current that passes through air when insulation or isolation between electrified conductors is no longer sufficient to withstand the applied voltage. The flash is immediate, but the result of these incidents can cause severe injury including burns. Each year more than 2,000 people are treated in burn centers with severe arc flash injuries.
Most electricians will tell you that safety is always their #1 priority. When considering electrical hazards on the job, arc flash is perhaps the most lethal threat with temperatures exceeding 35,000 degrees.
5 to 10 arc flash accidents occur every day in the U.S.; more than 2,000 people are treated annually in burn centers with arc flash injuries; 1-2 deaths occur per day from an arc flash incident.
There is a statistic, that is commonly quoted, that says there are ten arc flash incidents per day resulting in one to two deaths per day. This statistic is identified as coming from a report compiled by Capelli-Schellpfeffer, Inc. In a paragraph titled "Two Deaths Per Day" Fire Engineeringmagazine states:"An arc flash is an electrical release of energy hotter than the surface of the sun and capable of exploding with the strength of eight sticks of dynamite.
The passage of electric current causes deep injuries to the anatomical structures, leading to serious consequences for the patients. The most common sites for such accidents due to electricity are power stations, which are often unsupervised and thus allow people free access, thus making it possible for them to come into contact with high-voltage cables.
The National Hearing Conservation Association annual conference is an extremely popular and well-attended event, and is often reported my members as the most valuable feature of NHCA membership. The conference provides an opportunity to learn about the latest research and tools for hearing conservation, to network with peers, and to re-establish ties with old friends and colleagues. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE.