Arc Flash hazards cause more injuries than electric shock

Arc Flash hazards cause more injuries than electric shock

Arc Flash hazards cause more injuries than electric shock – are your teams protected?

Over 30 years ago, American researchers concluded that 70% of electrical injuries are caused by an Arc Flash, not just a simple electric shock. It is vital to understand this important distinction to effectively protect your teams from Arc Flash hazards in the workplace. An electric shock happens when contact with energised electrical conductors or circuit parts releases energy. Most employers understand the risks of an electric shock, but some struggle to differentiate between that and the hazards of an Arc Flash incident. In simple terms, an Arc Flash hazard is one related to a burst of energy caused by an electric arc.

Is Arc Flash a risk in your industry?

Arc Flash hazards occur in many sectors, including utilities, industrial electrical and the petrochemical industries. Safety officers are increasingly aware of the dangers posed by Arc Flash incidents and take advantage of the various forms of protection to guard their teams against exposure. However, this is only one half of the battle.

Is your Arc Flash clothing being worn correctly?

For Arc Flash protective clothing and equipment to be effective, it must be worn correctly. If your workforce doesn’t properly understand the dangers posed to them by Arc Flash hazards because it hasn’t been explained properly, then they may not wear the clothing correctly and be left vulnerable to the risks of an Arc Flash as a result.

What happens in an Arc Flash incident?

When an Arc Flash incident occurs, there are several facets. Some are more recognisable than others. For example, the intense light and heat forms the first and most potent hazard, subjecting unprotected workers to high levels of thermal energy and potentially resulting in burns. Along with this, however, are the hazards posed by molten metal, pressure waves and shrapnel. There are many aspects to an Arc Flash incident and it’s important that your team understands all of them. The development of safety procedures to incorporate the hazards potentially posed by an Arc Flash incident is welcome in every industry. Arc Flash can cost lives by subjecting workers to unbearable levels of heat. If they survive, their lives may be altered beyond recognition. So, the growing awareness across industries that Arc Flash hazards need to be treated as a distinct category and protected against offers another layer of security for those working in dangerous environments. Efforts have also been made by manufacturers to ensure that they are producing Arc Flash clothing that is comfortable to wear. ProGARM are at the forefront of this type of innovation, as our range of Arc Flash garments are designed with the end user in mind. Not only do they offer comprehensive protection from Arc Flash hazards, they are also comfortable to wear. If the battle to get your team wearing rigid Arc Flash PPE is a difficult one, our garments could bring this battle to an end.

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