If your engineers are working within an environment where they are exposed to the risk of an arc flash, then there are a number of things that an employer can do in order to reduce the frequency, severity, and harmfulness of an electrical explosion.
From safety policies to training posters, there are a number of ways to reduce the exposure to a dangerous event.
An arc flash occurs when there is a short circuit in a high-powered electrical device, resulting in a fiery explosion that has the potential to permanently injure or even kill a person if they are exposed to an electrical explosion.
For any business they can cause financial havoc in the way of damage to expensive equipment, lawsuits, and fines.
Given how dangerous an arc flash can be, they merit serious attention equally from both workers and employers. To help mitigate against risk and reduce the harmfulness, severity, and frequency of an electrical explosion, we have put together a list of policies and tools that can be used by businesses for the safety of their staff.
Arc Flash Matrix
A risk matrix is a quick method for visualising risk and is a tool that is well known to safety managers. Where used correctly, it can help to prioritize risk reduction. In the case of an arc flash, the risk is a combination of arc likelihood (incident probability) and consequences (effect).
Along with these two main components, several other parameters should also be integrated into a risk matrix for an arc flash, including distance between the arc fault and the person, the distance between busbars, the short circuit current, and time - the most critical of all the parameters.
Electrical safety policies protect both workers and their employers and provide goals, procedures, and work practices that insure safety. The implementation and vigorous enforcement of a comprehensive and well-documented safety policy will increase safety throughout an entire business.
Any arc flash safety policy should be in accordance with all local and national regulations and safety standards, depending on where in the world your people are working. This is something we as a business have support our Global Clients with, ensuring their engineers can visually see what they need to wear in what area of work.
Arc Flash Calculations
Calculating the incident energy levels and boundary distances of an arc flash for the purpose of the hazard risk category that a worker would be exposed to whilst working on electrical equipment provides a view into inner workings of a power distribution system.
Arc flash calculations can provide an employer with a great deal of information about how a system will behave in a fault condition. It also provides the perfect opportunity to optimize a system for safety so that an electrical explosion does not happen in the first place.
Too often it is the case that workers do not fully understand how an arc flash occurs and how dangerous one can be. Wearing the correct arc flash clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) can be the difference between and life and death for your workers
Displaying posters around the workplace helps to reinforces electrical safety policies and insure that all staff are appropriately protected. At SKANWEAR® we provide not only posters but virtual training, documents, booklets to push the message of safety.
Inspection and Testing
Many problems occur where the proper cleaning, maintenance, testing, and inspecting of circuit breakers is not performed and the breaker fails to open under fault conditions. This combination of events can result in an arc flash, causing serious injury to workers and damage to equipment.
Adopting guidelines for the preventative maintenance and inspection of circuit breakers may be of help. With a set of rules in place, circuit breakers that are unsuitable for continued service may be identified by simple inspection. Testing would also be used as a more definite step to identify circuit breakers that are no longer fit for use.
Need a visual safety policy so your engineers understand what they need to wear in what environments? Get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org