What is the most hazardous item you have in your facilities
and your employees interact with it every day? You probably thought of the
chemicals at your facility or some machine or equipment, but the answer is electricity!
Annually, there are approximately 30,000 non-fatal and 1,000 fatalities from
In the last 10 years another hazard, the
arc flash and arc blast have emerged as serious problems, which are being more
frequently reported. Approximately 2,000 people are admitted to burn centers
every year with severe arc flash burns. Research shows that most burns in
electrical accidents are caused by an arc flash. Of the approximately 350
persons killed in the work place by electricity last year, roughly 50% were
related to arc flash.
An arc flash is an airborne short
circuit consisting of a flash that moves from one exposed live conductor to
another or to ground. Lighting is an example of a naturally occurring arc
flash. An arc flash can occur in less than a sixtieth of a second. Injuries
from arc flash accidents tend to be severe, and result from two types of
hazards the arc flash and arc blast.
Visit the Safety Resources
section of www.asa.net and discover the causes of arc
flashes, how to conduct an arc flash analysis at your company and use it to
create an arc flash safety program. Also found there is a PowerPoint
presentation on arc flash safety and a Toolbox Talk for use
in educating your employees on this important safety topic.
Path to Safety: Step 18
December 1, 2010