Recently, a manager in one of our service organizations asked some questions about recurring injury trends. The trends revealed a higher incident rate among newer employees and also an injury pattern around time of day. The manager understood how newer employees can have a higher injury frequency rate; however, he was intrigued by the other data.
1 - Arc flash explosions do not happen… I have never seen one… Electrical work by its nature is dangerous due to the high energy levels involved and, until an accident occurs, electricity is odorless, colorless, and invisible. Electrical work is the third most dangerous profession, according to OSHA.
National Fire Protection Association, National Safety Council, and Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate that 10 arc flash accidents happen every day in the U.S. More than 3,600 disabling electrical contact injuries happen every year. Last year in Oregon two workers were seriously burned in arc flash incidents:
Why did OSHA decide to modify its standards for electric power generation, transmission, and distribution work? OSHA last issued rules for the construction of transmission and distribution installations in 1972. Those provisions were out of date and inconsistent with the more recently promulgated general industry standard covering the operation and maintenance of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution lines and equipment.
A Comment posted to ISHN regarding story (link at bottom): I continue to be perplexed at the view that safety professionals depend on an aggressive OSHA for our livelihood. It is as though OSHA birthed us. That is simply not so!
An arc flash occurs during a fault, or short circuit condition, which passes through as arc gap. The flash can be initiated through accidental contact, equipment which is underrated for the available short circuit current, contamination or tracking over insulated surfaces, deterioration or corrosion of equipment and, or parts, and other causes.
New OSHA fact sheets are now available to help protect workers in marine terminals in work safety zones for on-dock container operations, while performing hot work in certain enclosed spaces, and while servicing rim wheels.
The Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) is a US Army-based program to provide services for contingency operations using existing civilian resources. Established in 1985, the LOGCAP Program is now on its fourth iteration and has three prime contractors who are allowed to bid on contingency work in support of U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Oman, Djibouti, and elsewhere as the need arises.
Despite significant advancements in workplace health and safety over the past four decades, 150 people are killed on the job or die from job-related illnesses and diseases every day in the U.S, reports the 2014 edition of the AFL-CIO’s annual Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect.