The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates five to ten arc fault incidents occur daily, causing an electrical explosion. Employees in such environments sustain blindness, fatal burns, and hearing damage. Therefore, as everyone working with electricity desires to return home safely, the first step should be understanding the dangers in their workplace through training in arc flash.
An arc flash awareness will equip your team to be more productive and safely perform their job. These training are available nationally and comprise complex regulations and standards per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and NFPA 70E. Here are more details on arc flash training.
What is an arc flash?
An arc flash is a dangerous event involving explosive electrical discharge. This event occurs due to an arc fault, releasing energy into the air as electricity propels from one conductor to the other. An arc flash is powerful and can be lethal in worst-case scenarios.
Causes Of An Arc Flash
Often, an arc flash will occur in facilities without safety programs or where employees are insufficiently trained. While training does not completely eliminate these events, it lessens the damages by enabling workers to recognize the dangers and exercise safe procedures. Arc faults can occur due to worn or loose connections, insulation gaps, improperly installed parts, corrosion, dust, and attaching a test probe to the wrong surface.
Who should attend an arc flash training?
Given the risks of an arc flash at the workplace, the OSHA regulations recommend arc flash training for the following categories of employees:
- Qualified individuals trained to work with electrical equipment
- Unqualified personnel, such as mechanics, janitorial staff, and management, operating around a hazard
- Contractors and visitors to the facility
The training covers the following:
- Identification of the risks of arc flash
- Implementation of safety protocols
- Selection and wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment
Response To Emergencies
According to OSHA, the above groups should undergo arc flash retraining in facilities like Facility Results after every three years and undertake retraining upon the discovery of discrepancies during annual audits.
Benefits Of Arc Flash Education To Organizations
While professional electricians would like to assume that most people understand the dangers of arc flashes, the reality is that untrained people are unaware of the risks. Therefore, with the right training, a facility can accomplish the following:
- Establish Minimum Standards
- An arc flash training will establish the minimum standards to prevent electrical exposures.
Protect Its Workers
Besides setting minimum standards, arc flash training teaches workers to protect their bodies by properly wearing protective equipment. These include safety glasses, earplugs, non-melting long-sleeve shirts, voltage-rated gloves, and leather protectors.
Take Safety Work Precautions
Applying arc flash labels to electrical components will let qualified personnel know what to take before working. These workers will understand the signage hazards, including incident energy levels, shock boundaries, arc flash boundaries, and work distances, helping them to avoid possible trouble.
Train Your Employees To Save Lives
Arc flashes are a serious hazard that can cause injuries and death to your employees hence the need to understand the risks and take necessary precautions. Through training, your employees will know and exercise the standards, avoiding potential incidents.