What is Arc Flash Training
If you were to take a look at what some of the best trainers out there are providing for Arc Flash training then you would quickly realise it should be called electrical safety training... but for the purposes of today’s article, and because that’s what everybody calls it anyway... we are going to refer to it as Arc Flash Training.
But what is it?
Arc Flash Training is made up of all the practical skills and knowledge one would need to navigate safely through various workplace electrical hazards... topics could range from a 120 volt lighting circuit, to a 2300 volt starter, all the way to a 138 kilovolt transmission line.
In case that description doesn’t do it for you, I’ve decided to break it down a bit more so you can understand the fundamentals.
What are the key topics for Arc Flash Training?
A typical course should follow this flow of information:
- Introduction to the hazards (Arc Flash and shock), how they can hurt you, and what you might be doing when they hurt you;
- Understanding the relevant codes and standards and how they apply to you;
- Learning how to do an Arc Flash Risk assessment; and
- How to decide on mitigation techniques with proper execution.
Who needs Arc Flash Training?
Arc Flash Training does not need to be for everyone... but there are likely far more people who could benefit from the training then those of you who have it.
Anyone who is working on or near energized electrical equipment should be aware of the dangers... which means they will require some form of training.
I usually recommend different levels of training for different job types. The person who works on the floor loading crates needs an awareness training because they are working in the vicinity of energized 480 or 600 volts.
In another case, maybe a 30-year veteran electrician who worked there since the place opened, the worker would need a longer more detailed arc flash training that maybe includes a section on high-voltage and lasts 2 to 3 days.
Long story short... just about everyone needs some form of Arc Flash Training.
How often is Arc Flash Training required?
Arc Flash Training is required at a minimum every 3 years... but there is a catch... well... a couple of catches.
The first one is in regards to the individual themselves. If they can not demonstrate (through proper safe work practices) that they understand the fundamentals of
Arc Flash Safety then they are to be re-trained.
Secondly you may have new equipment or tools being used that are complicated enough that you need to revisit some of the training.
The other one is just my opinion... who can remember anything after 3 years? I really think that training should be refreshed annually... especially with something this important.
Who provides Arc Flash Training?
Arc Flash Training can be provided by anyone who has the skills and knowledge and technical know-how to do so.
Many companies opt to train in house with their safety and training departments taking the lead while other companies opt for a 3rdparty vendor to handle such an important topic.