The Journal of Safety Research said in a study that, “Next to the laser, the electric arc is the hottest event on Earth with recorded temperatures as high as 35,000º F”. Preventing an event this dangerous is critical but how do you do it? Are experienced electricians the answer? Not solely. According to the research most arc flash victims had an average of 11 years of experience. So what’s the answer? Here are a few things that can help you prevent an arc flash:
1. Make sure your math is accurate. Sounds pretty logical but this is where a lot of mistakes are made.
2. Have a flash hazard analysis performed by a qualified electrical firm like New Electric. Being in business for 40+ years our wealth of knowledge is pretty extensive.
3. Be wary of free tools online that say they can help you perform an analysis. Many aren’t very accurate which leads us back to number 1, “Make sure your math is accurate.”
Although preventative maintenance is always recommended it is worth noting that arc flash events can still occur. This is where PPE comes in. PPE stands for Personal Protection Equipment and it is used to protect people who work on electrical equipment. When does it have to be worn? Within flash protection boundaries. Don’t get lazy in the area. Make sure you have the proper equipment and make sure your employees utilize it. It may just save a life.