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ARC Flash OSHA Compliance

What Is Arc Flash?

osha safety shock hazard and arc flash engineers and electrical safety expertsAn arc flash occurs when an electrical short-circuit produces a high-energy, high-temperature explosion. These occurrences are known to propel molten metal and other debris through the air, endangering anyone nearby. Explosions of this nature can damage a person’s eyesight, hearing and even cause severe burning or death.

The cause of the short normally burns away during the initial flash and the arc fault is then sustained by the establishment of a highly-conductive plasma. The plasma will conduct as much energy as is available and is only limited by the impedance of the arc. This massive energy discharge burns the bus bars, vaporizing the copper and thus causing an explosive volumetric increase, the arc blast, conservatively estimated, as an expansion of 40,000 to 1.

  • This fiery explosion devastates everything in its path, creating deadly shrapnel as it dissipates.

The arc fault current is usually much less than the available bolted fault current and below the rating of circuit breakers. Unless these devices have been selected to handle the arc fault condition, they will not trip and the full force of an arc flash will occur. The electrical equation for energy is volts x current x time. The transition from arc fault to arc flash takes a finite time, increasing in intensity as the pressure wave develops. The challenge is to sense the arc fault current and shut off the voltage in a timely manner before it develops into a serious arc flash condition.

Why Should Arc Flash Hazards Matter to Me?

Arc flash is one of the most dangerous workplace hazards, causing serious injuries and fatalities and costing companies millions in worker's compensation and damage to equipment--not to mention OSHA fines and legal fees. A study* by the Electrical Power Research Institute estimated direct costs to an employer from a fatal electrical accident at $1.3 million, with indirect costs adding another $2 to $8 million. Unfortunately, many employers are unaware of the risk, and many more have not implemented important safety procedures and devices to protect their workers.

Becoming Arc Flash Complaint is no longer just an electrical safety concern. It is the law.

Safety First: Electric Arc Blast Burns!

High Voltage Arc Flash is one of the most dangerous workplace hazards,
causing serious injuries and fatalities.

Protect your employees from Arc Flash hazards.
Providing Arc Flash and Electrical Shock Hazard Awareness Training