How to Identify and Manage the Risks of Arc Flash Incidents
The NFPA Standard 70E, titled Electrical Safety in the Workplace, provides guidelines for installation, maintenance, and use of electrical equipment in the workplace. It provides rules and regulations on how to identify and manage the risks of arc flash incidents, which occur when electric current travels through the air between conductors or to the ground. These incidents can result in serious injuries or even death to workers who are near the electrical sources.
The NFPA Standard 70E outlines the requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE), warning labels, training, and safe work practices. It is updated every three years to ensure that it reflects the latest research and industry practices.
Compliance with the NFPA Arc Flash Standard is voluntary, but many organizations follow it to ensure the safety of their workers and prevent accidents. By implementing the guidelines set forth by the NFPA, organizations can reduce the likelihood of arc flash incidents and minimize the damage caused by incidents that do occur.
Here are some steps you can take to help prevent arc flashes in the workplace:
- Conduct a thorough hazard assessment: Identify potential arc flash hazards and evaluate the risk associated with them. Evaluate the electrical system and equipment, including wiring, circuit breakers, transformers, and other electrical components.
- Implement an arc flash program: Develop and maintain an arc flash program that includes policies and procedures for working on or around electrical equipment. The program should address training, hazard assessment, equipment labeling, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Label electrical equipment: Electrical equipment should be properly labeled to indicate the potential arc flash hazard and the appropriate PPE that should be worn when working on it.
- Provide appropriate PPE: Ensure that workers have access to and wear appropriate PPE when working on or near electrical equipment. PPE should include flame-resistant clothing, face shields, safety glasses, and gloves.
- Train employees: Provide comprehensive and ongoing training to employees who work with or around electrical equipment. Training should cover hazard identification, arc flash prevention, and proper use of PPE.
- Follow safe work practices: Ensure that all employees follow safe work practices when working with electrical equipment, including using appropriate tools and equipment, following lockout/tagout procedures, and avoiding electrical contact.
It is the employer’s responsibility to safeguard their employees. Conduct an arc flash hazard analysis to identify the needed PPE. Ensure staff are trained to know when they should wear the appropriate PPE, when working in areas with potential electrical hazards. IFO Group can help conduct an arc flash hazard analysis and implement a training program to ensure employees are aware of the potential hazards and understand what PPE to wear while performing work that could trigger an arc flash. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at +1-832-403-2135 to request a free consultation today.