What is Arc Flash Hazard and Why Does It Matter?

Arc Flash Hazard - What is It?

An Arc Flash – an electrical arc between two electrical devices that is sustained by nothing but air – often results in the following:

  • A blinding flash of light
  • Temperatures approaching 35,000 F
  • An event that can grow to gigantic proportions in microseconds

The results of an arc flash can be catastrophic for both man and machine – and an arc blast can be even worse. An extreme for of Arc Flash, known as Arc Blast, produces an explosive pressure wave, sound levels can exceed 160 dB, and molten metal and shrapnel can be expelled at 700 mph.

Any company where either of these occurs will experience a high cost in terms of:

  • Lost production
  • Equipment requiring repair or replacement
  • Possible OSHA fines
  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Emotional devastation and disruption
  • Potential litigation
  • Damaged community relations

The wise company – one that truly cares about its people, longevity, and reputation – will become educated about Arc Flash and will do its best to prevent it from happening, or at least to minimize damage should it occur. The most effective way to prevent or mitigate Arc Flash and Arc Blast at a facility is to have an Arc Flash Study performed on the facility’s electrical system.

 

Why Does It Matter? - Just One Reason...

Of all the reasons to have an Arc Flash Study performed - avoiding OSHA fines, litigation, higher insurance premiums, the costs of downtime, protecting your people - the last may be the most compelling.

This excellent video, produced by PPE clothing manufacturer, Bulwark, illustrates just how much can be lost in the blink of an eye.

So, What Now?

Are you interested in learning more about Arc Flash Analysis in industrial facilities?

Or, like many facility and maintenance managers responsible for workplace safety in universities, schools, city buildings, warehouses, and many more, would you like to learn more about Arc Flash Analysis in commercial and public facilities?

The Stats: Workplace Electrical Accidents

On average, there are:

  • 4,000 non-disabling contact injuries annually
  • 3,000 disabling contact injuries annually
  • 1 person electrocuted daily

Workplace electrical accidents are 10- to 30-times more likely to be fatal.