Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Arc Flash Safety: History and Requirements

Scott Harris published a post on the Industrial Risk Management blog yesterday that discusses the history of arc flash and requirements for protecting people from arc flash hazards. The article opens with:

"Arc flash was first identified by Dr. Ralph Lee in his 1982 'The Other Electrical Hazard: Electric Arc Blast Burns.' Dr. Lee found that as many as 80% of electrical injuries resulted from arc flash rather than from shock, which had always been thought to be the major risk associated with live electrical work."

After discussing the history of arc flash and code requirements, Mr. Harris points out that labeling of arc flash hazards is required, and in particular a 2006 OSHA interpretation letter. The question posed to OSHA was:

"When work must be performed on energized electric equipment that is capable of exposing employees to arc-flash hazards, does OSHA require the marking of the electric equipment to warn qualified persons of potential electric arc-flash hazards — i.e., as required by NFPA 70E-2004?"

OSHA's answer was:

"OSHA has no specific requirement for such marking. A requirement to mark equipment with flash hazard warnings was not included in the 1981 Subpart S revision. However, paragraph (e) of §1910.303 requires employers to mark electrical equipment with descriptive markings, including the equipment's voltage, current, wattage, or other ratings as necessary. OSHA believes that this information, along with the training requirements for qualified persons, will provide employees the necessary information to protect themselves from arc-flash hazards. "

"Additionally, in §1910.335(b), OSHA requires employers to use alerting techniques (safety signs and tags, barricades, and attendants) . . . to warn and protect employees from hazards which could cause injury due to electric shock, burns or failure of electric equipment parts. Although these Subpart S electrical provisions do not specifically require that electric equipment be marked to warn qualified persons of arc-flash hazards, §1910.335(b)(1) requires the use of safety signs, safety symbols, or accident prevention tags to warn employees about electrical hazards (e.g., electric-arc-flash hazards) which may endanger them as required by §1910.145. "

Read the entire blog post here.

Related past posts:
Arc Flash Labeling Best Practices Guide
Arc Flash Labeling Starter Kit

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posted by Steve Hudgik | This Arc Flash Post and 1 Comments |


At 2:29 AM, Anonymous valve actuator said...

Some equipment is very simple to manufacture and easy to operate, while others are much more complicated not only to create, but their operation many times requires skilled personnel who have been required to acquire specialized training to run the equipment.


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