Arc flash occurs when an electric current passes through the air when the insulation between electrified conductors is not enough to hold the voltage. It is known to be caused by dust, tools, rodents, and other elements in the breaker or service area. The most common cause, however, is personal error. Here are just some of the dangers of arc flash, which causes unsafe levels of light, sound, and heat.
Arc flash can result in fire. During an arc flash, there is potential for temperatures hotter than the sun. This leads to burns, fires, and much more damage. This can potentially burn your employees, ignite flammable items, spread throughout the area, and cause devastation to the service area and those in it.
Fatal burns are known to happen to victims who are a few feet away from the arc flash, and severe burns are known to affect those around 10 feet away. If employees are not wearing flame-resistant clothing, the clothing can easily burn onto their skin and create lasting, severe injuries. Injuries range from minor burns to nerve damage, potential blindness, hearing loss, third-degree burns, and potential death.
Flying objects caused by the explosion are mainly shrapnel. Most of the shrapnel resulting from arc flash is molten metal droplets. These can fly into anything at high speeds in a given radius—depending on the arc flash’s severity and size. It can typically break through human skin up to 10 feet away.
There are many injuries possible to result from arc flash, including severe burns, hearing damage, blindness or damaged vision, nerve damage, cardiac arrest, and potential death. Because about two-thirds of arc flash incidents result from human error, it is important to train your employees well and have arc flash assessments conducted to ensure safety at your site.
Make sure your workplace meets OSHA standards, including minimizing risks of arc flash. For an arc flash quote, contact us today.