Other than high voltage shock, an arc flash and blast event is one of the most horrific electrical accidents a person can experience. When an arc flash occurs, temperatures in arc plasma can reach up to 10,000˚F.
The NFPA 70E Standard “Electrical Safety in the Workplace” recognizes that the quicker a circuit breaker operates (instantaneous trip preferred) the less incident energy (arc flash) an individual maybe exposed who is working on electrical equipment and an arc flash incident occurs.
A flash session on the expo floor Tuesday at Safety 2017 focused on the science behind flame-resistant clothing. Speaker Scott P. Francis told attendees to beware of simple terms.
He said for flame-resistant, arc flash PPE, words like 88/12, inherent, certified do not tell you anything about specific fabric or fabric manufacture. It’s important to know what fabric your garment is made from and who makes the fabric, Francis said. “Fabrics perform very different so you should know the specifics on protection, comfort and value.”
The statistics are well known. Each day three or four workers are killed due to electrical related accidents, according to NIOSH. A Michigan burn center found that 34 percent of patients injured on the job received flash injuries.
Fibox’s Instrument Protection Window (IPW) provides an non-conductive secure barrier to sensitive controls and components, limiting access to just where it is needed. Now available in two sizes (12 x 10 3.31 and 16 x 14 x 3.31), with an opaque or transparent cover, and several locking options.
Selecting the right FR clothing is a vital part of protecting employees against heat- and fire-related hazards, but if employees don’t wear their FR garments properly, the safety benefits are significantly reduced.
Areview of the literature on the causes of arc flash and other electrical accidents most often points to worker carelessness as the number one problem. “Carelessness” may be too broad of a generalization.