Why is Arc Flash Important?

Electrical workers have chosen the third most dangerous profession according to recent OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, USA) statistics. In the USA alone, there are 10 OSHA ‐ reportable arc‐flash incidents involving more than one fatality every day. Studies indicate that up to 80% of all Electrical Worker injuries are not due to shock (passage of electrical current through the body) but due to external burn injuries created by the intense and radiant heat energy of an electrical arc explosion. There is a great deal that can be done to prevent an Arc Flash explosion and to protect personnel if they are exposed to an Arc Flash. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) developed the NFPA 70E “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace” to reduce the number of accidents which occur in the workplace. The standard provides guidance on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) selection to greatly reduce or avoid injury in the event of an Arc Flash accident. To identify the ranges of hazards, the NFPA created Hazard/Risk Categories. This was intended to make the selection of PPE simpler for the consumer.