Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News
Blog Author Steve Hudgik
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Victims Of Arc FlashThe statistics say that 10 people a day are injured by arc flash. More and more of these people are telling their stories using video. I'm finding new videos on a regular basis. In the following video a man and his wife tell the story of his injury as a result of an arc flash. It is called "Arc Flash - Survival or Prevention. The David Bird Story."
Why are so many videos about arc flash showing up on the internet? My guess is because arc flash injuries are so sudden and unexpected, and the consequences are serious. The key word here is "unexpected". Arc flash hazards have been ignored until recently. Most equipment that presents an arc flash hazard is not even properly labeled. Workers have not had arc flash safety training.
This is a safety hazard that can not be ignored any longer.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Paradigm Shift Requires Look At Plant Electrical InfrastructureAn article by Larry Altmayer, POWR-GARD Services Manager for Littelfuse Inc. in the online edition of Plant Services magazine talks about how we need to change our view of electrical distribution systems. The article opens by stating:
"No longer can maintenance treat electrical distribution systems as everlasting, never-changing components of a facility. Instead, we must consider the electrical infrastructure as a dynamic system that requires regular attention and a formal preventive maintenance program."
The article makes the point that electrical systems can no longer be viewed as unchanging, static systems that can be installed and forgotten. They are dynamic systems that are changing to meet continually changing needs, and as a result must be regularly re-evaluated and maintained.
Mr. Altmayer then covers how OSHA, NFPA 70E, NEC and NEMA codes and standards are driving change and this results in a need for current electrical hazard assessments and ongoing maintenance. Overall this article provides a good overview of a dynamic situation that we all need to address.
You can read the complete article at: http://www.plantservices.com/articles/2008/034.html
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Arc Flash EvolutionAn article titled "Arc Flash Evolution" was included in the December issue of Control Engineering magazine.
"It seemed safe enough. The industrial electricians were just going to take a few measurements prior to starting the job. Everything was energized, but that should have been OK, because the electricians were going to be a safe distance away."
"They were. The metal tip of their wooden yardstick wasn't. The resulting arc appeared and vanished in less than a second, sticking around long enough to catch clothes on fire. The unlucky electricians joined the estimated hundreds of arc-flash injuries a year that require hospitalization. Their co-worker standing 10 feet away became one of the thousands who annually suffer injuries that don't require a hospital stay."The article goes on to discuss arc flash warning labels, bolted vs. arcing faults and tripping devices used to limit the severity of arc flash. At the end of the article it refers to a video of a one hour arc flash webinar called "Arc Flash Hazard: Understanding Safe Electrical Work Practices, Standards and Regulations". The video can be viewed after going through a short registration process. Although I was not able to view the video, as I got a blank screen after registering. This may be the result of the network security we have in place. However, the article on its own is worth reading.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Voltage Indicators Enhance SafetyThe February 2008 issue of Automation & Control News includes an article about improving safety through the use of voltage indicators. The article opens with the following illustration:
"Near-death experiences among paper mill electricians are all too common. On this particular day, a combination circuit breaker/welding outlet failed to provide power to the welder. The maintenance electrician began to replace the outlet. Casually, his co-worker paused and said, 'Better check it with a meter.' The meter revealed that one phase of the circuit breaker had failed 'live' leaving the outlet energized. For these guys, this near-death experience is permanently imprinted on their minds in vivid 'Technicolor' detail never to be forgotten."
The article goes on to describe various methods of detecting voltage, and how voltage indicators and volt meters "are on the same team with their own unique safety benefits."
No author for the article is listed, but it appears to have come from Grace Engineered Products, Inc.
Labels: Electrical Safety