Arc Flash Safety for Data Centers

Photo credit: Salisbury by Honeywell

15 arc flash mitigation strategies for the data center

BY DAVID G. LOUCKS, Eaton Corporation

Arc flashes—the fiery explosions that can result from short circuits in high-power electrical devices—kill hundreds of workers in the U.S. every year and permanently injure thousands more. They can also wreak financial havoc in the form of fines, lawsuits and damage to expensive equipment. Yet, many data center operators are perilously unfamiliar with both the causes of arc flash events and the serious dangers they pose. This feature focuses on arc flash mitigation strategies to improve arc flash safety in data centers.

As we previously stated, data center operators are unfamiliar with the serious dangers of arc flash hazards, and needless to say, the human and financial repercussions of such blasts can be devastating.

INJURIES TO EMPLOYEES. Without adequate protection, workers exposed to arc flash events can suffer third-degree burns, collapsed lungs, vision loss, eardrum ruptures, puncture wounds, and even death. In fact, electrical contact results in 3,600 disabling injuries annually and one workplace death every day in the U.S., according to statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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