How To Protect Yourself from Arc Flash Hazards

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The entire world has come to rely on electric power, which means that power companies have to do everything they can to make sure that the flow of electricity goes uninterrupted. Not only is electricity important, it can also be dangerous, which means that anyone who works with electricity must go to great lengths to protect themselves from the potential dangers of electricity and learn about ARC flash safety.Arc_Flash

The Right Stuff

The first step in practical electrical training is making sure that employees are wearing the right personal protective equipment, also known as PPE. The protective equipment has to be appropriate with the type of work that employees are doing as well as the hazards that are associated with that type of work. Employers are required by law to make sure that they have the right type of PPE for their workers and work applications. Employers also need to fully understand prevalent workplace arc flash hazards, all of the necessary safety standards that they should have in place and have all of the necessary face and eye protection for any employees who might be exposed to the hazards of arc flashes.

Know The Risks

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a majority of nonfatal electrical injuries happen when electrical workers come into contact with the circuitry of electrical appliances, tools, machines or light fixtures. Nonfatal electrical injuries can also be caused when individuals come into contact with motors, transformers and other types of electrified equipment.

An arc flash can be defined as an electrical deterioration where an electric current leaps through an empty air gap that’s between conductors, the cause of which can be from the introduction of a metal object or a break in insulation. Statistics have also shown that most nonfatal electrical injuries happen in the construction and manufacturing industries. Nonfatal electrical injuries include electrical burns and electrical shocks – read more at http://www.mining.com/infographic-arc-flash-accidents-protection-17856/.

Know the Safety Standards

One of the best and easiest ways to help your employees understand arc flash is to make sure that they are familiar with current industry safety standards. ASTM International has set safety standards about test procedures for rating electrical protective equipment. The organization has also developed test methods to determine the standard specification and arc rating for protective equipment for electric workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also has safety standards that are intended to concentrate on the overall use and implementation of electrical systems and equipment. They are also tasked with making sure that those electrical systems are installed and built in a manner in which there is always a minimum of electrical dangers in the workplace.

Eye and Face Protection

In order for electrical workers to be adequately protected against arc flashes, they should be provided with proper safety eyewear, goggles and face shields. Employers should make sure that the face and eye protection that they provide is nonconductive and dielectric, which means that they shouldn’t have any exposed metal parts. A majority of protective lenses and visors have infrared dye that can soak up dangerous energy wavelengths.

If you’re an electrical worker or if you employ electrical workers, make sure that you have the proper equipment necessary to protect yourself from dangerous and deadly arc flashes.

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