When working in an industrial environment, safety is of the utmost importance. One major safety risk present in industrial workplaces is an arc flash, or electric current that has veered off path and gets transferred to another conductor or to the ground. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration explained that arc flashes are serious phenomenon, and can be extremely dangerous for people who are in the vicinity. If you are susceptible to arc flash in your work environment, take these preventative steps.
Tips for preventing an arc flash
Being proactive about preventing arc flashes is a good way to ensure workplace safety. To do this, you should implement a rigorous employee training program, recommended the EHS Daily Advisor.
Tell staff not to work on live pieces larger than 50 volts unless it would be more hazardous to deenergize. In the event workers need to be handling energized appliances, they should always use high quality tools and be outfitted according to national safety regulations. This includes donning goggles, headgear, flame-resistant outfits, insulated gloves and shoes with no metal pieces. You should also place a strong emphasis on following workplace rules, and instilling in employees that they are only to perform tasks they have been trained for and assigned to.
Additionally, teach your staff about the approach boundaries determined by the National Fire Protection Association, and ask that they respect these areas when equipment is energized. These boundaries start with the flash protection boundary, which is the area farthest from the potential arc flash where a worker could still sustain an injury. As a worker moves closer to the equipment, through the limited approach, restricted approach and prohibited approach boundaries, he or she has a higher risk of being seriously harmed. Make sure workers know which boundaries they have clearance for, and ask them to stay out of areas they haven’t been approved to enter.