Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Construction Industry - Protection from Electric Shock and Arc Flash

The Center to Protect Workers' Rights has written a paper that is available on the CDC eLCOSH website. The paper discusses arc flash hazards in the construction industry. The opening paragraph introduces the subject of the paper.

"About 50 electrical workers are killed in construction every year in the U.S. by electric current and many more are injured. Over half of the deaths are from working on energized ('live') electric circuits without proper protection - often when it was not necessary to work 'live.' At least one-third of the electrocutions occur at low voltage, under 600 volts. This paper discusses precautions for electricians, but does not cover electric utility work."

This paper provides detailed information for electricians and supervisors, covering topics such as: "To De-Energize or Not to De-Energize". In the introduction to this section the paper states:

"The most important principle of electric safety is, assume electric circuits are energized unless you make sure they are not. Test every circuit and conductor every time you work on them."

A major portion of this "De-Energize" section discusses lockout/tagout and how an effective and safe lockout/tagout systems should work.

In the "Not to De-Engergize" section the paper discusses the precautions and proceedures that should be used when working on live equipment. It defines approach boundaries and describes the use of PPE (personal protective equipment).

Detailed tables providing specific risk categories for various types of live work are provided at the end of the paper.

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