Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News
Blog Author Steve Hudgik
Friday, September 12, 2008
ESDA Announced Paladin Real-Time Arc Flash AdvisorThe following is based on a press release from ESDA Corporation.
EDSA Corp. has unveiled the Paladin® Real-Time Arc Flash Advisor™, the industry's first software program that enables organizations to make up-to-date assessments of changing arc flash hazards. By maintaining an uninterrupted, 360 degree view of the facility and its potential arc flash hazards, Paladin Real-Time Arc Flash Analytics can provide detailed, updated advisories for site personnel regarding the appropriate safety procedures and protective gear recommended to work in a given vicinity.
Though electrical accidents represent a statistically small percentage of all work-related incidents, they are disproportionately fatal: according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), electrical injuries in the workplace – in particular, phenomena called "arc flash" accidents – result in the death of a facilities worker every 28 hours… even in facilities that have passed formal inspections within recent months.
"Even the best-designed, regularly-inspected facility has arc flash threats that emerge after the inspectors leave, because of changes made within the facility, equipment getting swapped out, and maintenance procedures requiring workers to access off-limits areas for repairs," said Mark A. Ascolese, chairman and CEO of EDSA. "The Paladin Real-Time Arc Flash Advisor is the first software product that can perform intelligent calculations about potential arc flash threats in real-time… an effective way to help enhance worker safety in-between required OSHA inspections."
Understanding the Arc Flash Threat
As defined by IEEE and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), arc flash is a strong electric current – and sometimes a full-blown explosion – that passes through air when insulation between electrified conductors is no longer sufficient to contain the voltage within them. This creates a "short cut" that allows electricity to race from conductor-to-conductor… to the extreme detriment of any worker standing nearby. Arc flash resembles a lightning bolt-like charge, emitting heat four times the surface temperature of the sun; anyone exposed to the blast or heat without sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) would be severely -- and oftentimes fatally -- injured.
During a seven-year study conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2,576 U.S. workers died and another 32,807 sustained lost-time injuries -- losing an average of 13 days away from work -- due to electrical shock or burn injuries. These statistics were validated in a second study involving more than 120,000 employees that determined arc flash injuries accounted for 77% of all recorded electrical injuries.
New Real-Time Protection
Used in conjunction with the Company’s Paladin® Live™ platform, the Paladin Real-Time Arc Flash Advisor maintains an uninterrupted watch over site operations -- continually checking all components, equipment, and systems -- to make intelligent recommendations about where potential arc flash hazards have the potential to emerge, and gauge their severity.
Prior to entering the area and beginning work, site personnel simply query the Paladin Real-Time Arc Flash Advisor: the system responds with an up-to-date recommendation on the appropriate safety procedures and PPE necessary to work in the vicinity. Recommendations are based upon IEEE 1584 and the NFPA 70E standards entitled, "IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations" and "Standard for Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces" respectively.
For example, when performing repairs to equipment in which a worker could accidentally be exposed to an electrical hazard, Paladin Real-Time Arc Flash Advisor will provide specific guidance on gloves, clothing, goggles, helmet, etc., that the worker should wear to increase his or her safety in the event of an accident. Forewarned about the nature of the threat, workers will be able to proceed with a higher degree of knowledge about specific safety risks they may encounter.
About EDSA Micro Corporation- EDSA develops software solutions for the computer-aided design, modeling, real-time analysis, energy management, and preventative maintenance of complex electrical power systems. For more than 25 years, the Company’s Paladin® software products have been used in thousands of commercial, industrial, governmental, and military applications worldwide, to protect more than $100 billion in customer assets, while reducing their energy consumption. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., the Company maintains sales, distribution, and support offices around the world. For more information about EDSA and its products, visit www.edsa.com.
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