Arc Flash Q & A

OSHA means business when it comes to ensuring organizations pay the price for violating safety violations – and this includes arc-flashing incidents. Arc-flashes can cause third-degree burns that may be impossible to recover from. Is your organization’s electrical distribution systems safe enough to prevent these from occurring? If you have doubts, chances are you may be facing a lawsuit from an injured worker who may contact authorities if they become injured.

By doing your due diligence on such incidents, you can ensure your employees remain safe from injuries and your business remains safe from liabilities. Here are some common questions and answers on arc-flashing:

Q. What is an ?

A. An arc-flash is an electrical explosion that occurs after an arcing fault, i.e. when an electrical discharge is generated due to a breakdown of gases in the air. This discharge is continuous (thus the name ‘arc’ rather than ‘spark’). During the discharge, the current changes its path by traveling through the air from one conductor to the next or to the ground.

This is often accompanied by blinding light and an ear-splitting explosion as the air around the arc flash superheats in seconds and is pushed from the arc source.

Q. What is the difference between an arc flash and an electrical shock?

A. Unlike an electrical shock, an arc flash can affect a person even if they aren’t anywhere near the conductors or the electrical equipment that caused it.

Q. What causes an arc flash?

A. Avoidable issues can cause an arc flash. This includes faulty safety equipment, lack of equipment maintenance, the accumulation of dust, or the accidental contact of a multimeter with equipment.

Q. Who needs arc flash training?

A. Anyone who works with electrical equipment or in an area where an arc flash can occur should undergo training. This includes electrical engineers, electricians, supervisors, riggers, welders, machine operators, material handling operators, etc.

Q. What is an arc flash boundary?

A. The arc flash boundary is calculated from the equipment to where the energy from the arc flash would be: 1.2cal/cm2. This energy can prevent third-degree burns which may prove fatal. By setting up this boundary nearby, workers can remain safe from life-threatening burns in case of an incident. Otherwise, you may face lawsuits from injured workers.

Even the best safety training programs may not prevent accidents like these. This is why you need risk management solutions from SIA Insurance Group in Woodridge, Illinois. We are leading distributors of risk management services for small and middle markets and can come up with a plan that is cost effective and efficient. Get in touch with us today for a consultation and protect your business from liabilities.

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