Arc Flash Risks during construction groundworks

Arc Flash Risks during construction groundworks

While Arc Flash training and PPE equipment tend to be focused mainly, or even only, on those working in high voltage environments, civil engineering contractors preparing a site for construction often face Flash Risks & incidents.

This is because service maps often return inaccurate information about the location of underground utilities, including electrical cables. So, anyone digging or breaking ground could face a Flash Risk from a life-altering or life-threatening Arc Flash incident.

The following video shows the very real danger of breaking ground and striking an underground cable.

The Impact of Inadequate Service Maps on Flash Risks

The consequence of this is that groundwork often begins without knowing what’s below the surface.

In 2016, an operative struck an underground 120 CNE 3 Phase low voltage cable with a pneumatic drill, Opening up a Flash risk and eventually causing an Arc Flash incident.

Although he still had serious injuries, there’s no doubt his ProGARM Arc Flash polo shirt took the worst of the impact minimising the Flash risk which saved his life.

How the Arc Flash risks can be mitigated

Cable strikes during groundworks can be catastrophic and it’s so important that site safety teams assess the flash risk and produce a thorough method statement which includes making Arc Flash protective garments compulsory for the task of reducing flash risks.

Site briefings and Toolbox Talks should also be used to reinforce the message and make sure all site workers are aware of flash risks and how to mitigate them by wearing the appropriate PPE.

Here at ProGARM, we’re committed to continuous improvement and innovation in all our Arc Flash protective garments to minimise flash risks and do all we can, every day, to make sure you have the best last line of defence protecting you in the event of an incident and protect yourself and your workforce from the dangers of flash risks.

Every garment we design goes through rigorous lab testing to make sure it performs, but it still makes us incredibly proud when we hear that it did its job in a real incident and that someone’s life was saved as a result.

For more information on Flash Risks as well as ProGARM’s Arc Flash protective clothing, please contact us on +44 (0) 1482 679 600 and speak to one of our sector specialists.

This is one post in a series ‘All about Arc Flash’. Continue reading the next in the series or return to the start if you like.