April 28 is World Day for Safety and Health at Work, and to commemorate it, we decided to talk about the hazards related to arc flashes and how you can help reduce them.
"The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that five to 10 arc flash incidents occur every day, and more than 2,000 people are treated annually in burn centers with arc flash injuries."
What is an arc flash?
Sometimes when unplugging an electrical plug-in, it can create a spark; that's an arc flash. The arc flash is a phenomenon in which electricity is conducted through the air, generating light and heat. In general, the air itself is an insulator, but when the electric field is strong enough to destroy the dielectric strength of the air, it will create an arc.
What action could cause the arc blast?
It is dangerous behavior to unplug the electrical appliance in use directly. Suppose the electrical device in use consumes a lot of electricity. In that case, the induced voltage caused by the moment is enormous when the plug is unplugged, and it may not eliminate the arc in a short period.
The arc energy may be enough to burn the socket and ignite surrounding materials. The conductors in the socket may melt and explode because of the high energy and temperature release.
As a result, without protective measures, the arc energy could cause severe casualties and equipment damage.
Arc flash accidents can be mainly divided into three factors:
- Intrusion of external objects, including insect or animal intrusion, impurities, dust pollution or moisture condensation, and penetration.
- Human negligence, including tools accidentally touching the power supply and tools left in the control panel.
- Equipment failure, such as lack of regular maintenance, leads to deterioration of equipment or conductor insulation.
Preventing injuries from Arc flash blast:
1. Follow the instructions on safety work from your workplace.
The power switch boxes, distribution boxes, control panels, or motor control panels work above 220volts. Labors are mandatory to keep in mind the need to shut down before work and always keep at a safe distance.
It's essential frequently give on-site training to workers to control risks and interrupt faults. However, suppose it is necessary to operate or maintain without power failure. In that case, it has to follow a standard operating procedure (SOP) and wear the FR coverall and personal protective equipment.
2. Provide the arc flash suit with fr certification and multiple functions for workers.
Protecting workers with arc flash PPE is essential for workplaces likely to have arc flashes reaching 2cal/cm2, equivalent to the lowest power for second-degree burns. This protection includes arc-rated long-sleeved shirts, trousers/coveralls, gloves, hoods, safety glasses, work shoes, and earplugs.
Sunny's FR fabrics have excellent FR performance with lighter weight (180gem~225gsm), the ATPV is between 8.4 cal/cm2~ 10 cal/cm2, the fabrics can meet NFPA 70E HRC2. The material will provide excellent thermal insulation between the body and the heat source. It will not ignite, melt or break open.