What is an Arc Flash and why should I care?

An Arc Flash is a violent electrical explosion or discharge. It is caused by an Arc fault and produces extreme heat with up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This event causes grave danger to anyone standing close to such an Arc Flash. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) effectively shields the worker from the extreme radiation and heat of the arc flash. It is estimated there is an average 30,000 Arc Flash incidents every year. These incidents results in average annual totals of 7000 burn injuries, 2000 hospitalizations, and 400 fatalities.

What are common causes?

  • Unintentional contact between an energized conductor with another grounded element.
  • Equipment failure or using incorrectly specified instruments.
  • Dropping of un-insulated tools or metal parts that make contact.
  • Live work on damaged equipment like cables or test instruments.
  • Loose connection and exposed live parts.
  • Lack of awareness and training.

Category: Arc Flash Standards