FR Protection covers the critical issue of protecting employees from arc flashes and arc blasts though the use of flame-resistant fabrics in personal protective equipment. Other electrical safety issues are also reviewed to give readers practical “how to” info to safeguard workers.
As a safety professional, you’re no doubt familiar with the industry-guiding standard of NFPA 2112. This crucial set of guidelines ensures that workers are protected from flash fire in an industrial environment by flame resistant (FR) work wear.
According to OSHA, arc flash burns are one of the top three most common hazards when working with energized electrical equipment. Every day in the U.S. there are up to 10 arc flash incidents, totaling more than 3,600 disabling electrical contact injuries each year.
Any organization utilizing electrical assets in their production environments or facilities will be aware of NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. This standard is what OSHA uses when assessing companies’ adherence to certain safety standards. However, NFPA 70E is further informed by the standard 1584-2018, which is developed by the IEEE.
Now that flame resistant (FR), arc rated (AR) fabrics have lightweight and breathable performance features which can greatly benefit workers in the oil and gas industry, the first quarter is a good time to consider incorporating innovative FR/AR fabrics into your personal protective equipment (PPE) program.
For industries operating in an inherently dangerous environment, the importance of selecting the right PPE can’t be understated. It’s equally important to consider the critical roles of proper implementation and maintenance when it comes to the safety of workers and the soundness of an organization.
Electricians, like any trade professional, must complete several training programs to learn the ropes and ultimately earn certification. However, no matter how extensive, their learning is never officially complete.
In late 2019, a plant electrician with 15 years of mining experience was electrocuted when he contacted an energized connection of a 4,160 VAC electrical circuit. Two more mining fatalities by electrocution have occurred since. The electrocution deaths prompted the MSHA to issue a safety alert.
While arc flash is an increasingly well-known phenomena, workers are still suffering injuries on a regular basis. In June 2019, OSHA cited a metal smelting company for electrical hazards after an arc flash caused three workers to suffer severe burns at the ASARCO facility in Hayden, Arizona.
Among the articles in the August 2020 issue of ISHN Magazine, we have information on creating a spill response plan, reopening workplaces amid COVID-19, advice on choosing EHS software, tips on caring for FR clothing, and much more.