Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News
Blog Author Steve Hudgik
Monday, December 26, 2011
Donnie's Accident VideoIn August 2007 I posted a YouTube video called "Donnie's Accident." It is a powerful video telling the story about a man named Donnie who was injured by an arc flash. Donnie just posted a comment on that video letting us know that he now has a web site. Here is what he wrote:
Hello! My name is Donnie Johnson. My wife and I made a video a few years ago called "Donnie's Accident". I have a new website. I have had numerous requests on You Tube and other sites for copies of my video from safety directors. They use it for their safety programs. So I made a website! I use the video during my 'work safety' presentations when I speak at events, businesses and organizations. You can watch or download the video and read the full story of my 'experience' here. I’m not charging anything; this site is meant to help promote safety awareness by sharing my experience before during and after an electrical "Arc Blast" accident as well as reminding us what can happen if we don’t follow our safety procedures. Please feel free to share the link.
You can contact me using the “Comments or Questions” box on the website.
Please share the link to his web site with others.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Arc Flash Injures Electrical Worker At Florida ResortAn electrical worker employed by a subcontractor for Florida Power & Light was injured by a arc flash explosion yesterday. The worker was installing a digital meters at the Naples Bay Resort. He suffered severe first- and second-degree burns to his upper body. The Naples News reports:
"'The guests reported hearing an extremely loud bang, followed by a fireball,'" Naples Fire Chief Steve McInerny said.
The fire burned the victim’s face and his right arm, shoulder and chest. Some of the burns might be third-degree. The electrician was wearing a face shield, eye protection and a fire-resistant shirt at the time."
Read the complete story here.
Labels: Arc Flash Accidents
Monday, December 12, 2011
Arc Flash In A Grocery StoreFor the past month I've been working at digging up any and all news reports about arc flash injuries. There are many claims about the number of severity of arc flash incidents and I wanted to find out what the facts are. However, it has turned out to be a difficult task -- at least using public news sources.
One conclusion I've arrived at is that the general news media does not have a clue about arc flash. Another conclusion is that there is a huge electrical safety problem -- the number of injuries reported from electrical shock daily is staggering. In most cases they happen because equipment was not de-energized before someone started to work on it.
In the mid-1970's I was a start-up engineer working on digital control systems. At that time "digital control" meant mechanical relays. Some of the electricians I worked with would test circuits by touching live connections with the back of their fingers. They even claimed to be able to tell the difference between 110 and 220. Is that type of bravado still going on in the workplace? Do electrical workers feel they can work on live circuits and not be injured? Or is it just more convenient to not turn the power off?
What got me started on this post is an article in a Connecticut Newspaper called "The Daily." It reports about an arc flash incident in a Big Y grocery store. Grocery stores seem like safe places. Please don't be complacent. Please don't be casual about electrical safety. Please don't take shortcuts. Please be with your family for Christmas, not in a hospital recovering from an electrical burn.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Electrical Hazard Awareness Training for Electrical and Non-Electrical PersonnelThe Energy Facility Contractors Group's (EFCG) Knowledge Portal provides electrical training resources that are freely available for downloading from their web site. These include both PDF documents and Power Point presentations.
They are produced by the Electrical Safety Subgroup and are available here (click here). The topics that are covered include:
Facility Electrical Worker Training
- Potential Hazards with Neutral Conductors
- Test Before Touching
- Electrical Measurement Safety
- Guidance for Identifying Spurious Voltages in Isolated Electrical Systems
- Module 1 - General Electrical Safety Awareness
- Electrical Cord Safety
- Module 3 - Electrical Safety for Arc Welding and Plasma Cutting
- Module 4 - Electrical Safety Working Near Overhead Power Lines
- Module 5 - Electrical Safety During Excavation and Trenching
- Module 6 - Electrical Safety for Skilled Worker
- Module 7 - Electrical Safety for Radiological Control Technician
- Module 8 - Electrical Safety for Subcontractors
- Module 9 - Battery Safety and Handling
- Electrical Safety Awareness Study Guide for Instructors and Students
Inadequate Safety Policies Led To Nuclear Plant Electrical IncidentThe following is from an article in The Holland Sentinel in Holland, MI:
"A Nuclear Regulatory Commission report, cites inadequate safety policies as a possible cause of the incident at Palisades Nuclear Power Plant near South Haven in September that resulted in a reactor shutdown and release of radioactive steam into the environment."
The incident referred to in the article was an electrical short/arc flash incident that happened while workers were performing maintenance on an electrical panel. The article describes what happened:
"...after initially loosening the screw for the horizontal bus bar, the worker saw a flash from the area of the screw. Upon seeing a flash, the worker’s hands instinctively recoiled from the work area for personal protection, thereby letting go of the horizontal positive bus bar. The horizontal positive bus bar was loosened enough so that it rotated downward and contacted the negative bus bar causing a significant arc and melting of the bus bars. ... No workers were injured and the plant shut down."
Click to read the complete article here.