Underestimating Arc Flash Hazards


While most discussions about arc flash involve the calculation methods and associated personal protective equipment (PPE), electricians have a number of ways to protect themselves and their gear, including arc-resistant equipment and remote actuation and racking systems that eliminate—rather than reduce—electrical arc-related dangers while providing quantifiable force and other preventive maintenance data that can help avoid future catastrophes.

Similar to any energy source, an electrical circuit is a ticking bomb. It is simply waiting for the right conditions to blow. A twisted pole, faulty interlock, and enough energy will turn an electrical firecracker into a mortal lightning strike. Moreover, what does the smart person do when they come upon a ticking box? They turn around and go the other way, of course. In addition, they call the authorities.

However, electricians, maintenance personnel, and inspectors are the authorities. This means that electrical workers must know causes of an arc flash, and the differences between an arc flash and an arc blast. Furthermore, electrical professionals must know how to mitigate dangers from both conditions to ensure safety.

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