Occupational injuries from arc flash events
Electrical safety in the workplace is an important topic that is addressed by NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® (2015 edition). This document addresses arc flash and shock hazards, and there is a need for more factual incident data on the actual hazards that may be experienced when equipment faults or adverse electrical events occur. The availability of such information would allow for better informed decisions by the 70E technical committee on equipment and arc flash PPE category classifications.
Specifically, NFPA 70E now includes tables for arc flash hazard identification and arcflash PPE categories (see Tables) 130.7(C)(15)(A)(a), 130.7(C)(15)(A)(b) and 130.7(C)(15)(B) in the 2015 edition). These tables require specific levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) for various types and ratings of electrical equipment. Certain tasks where the risk of an arc flash or shock hazard may be lower, such as, normal operation of properly installed and maintained equipment which may not require the use of any special PPE. Some of this risk reduction is based on anecdotal data and/or the collective experience of the technical committee, and there is a desire to have more factual incident data on the actual hazards and associated injuries that may be experienced when equipment faults or adverse electrical events occur.
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