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Arc Flash And Electrical Safety News

Arc Flash Burn Consequences Can Include Post-Traumatic Stress

A short article in ISHN points out that:

"Victims of arc flash blast injuries often have terrible scarring and chronic pain. They may suffer severe psychological symptoms, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Medical costs and loss of income can be substantially damaging, and workman’s comp will typically pay only a portion of the cost."

The article goes on to make the point that preventing these types of accidents is the best approach for avoiding the post-traumatic stress altogether.

Read the article here.
     



Higher Utility Solar Voltages Heighten Arc Flash Safety Issue

An article in Solar Industry Magazine points out that utility solar generation facilities are growing and are operating at higher voltages.  The article states:

"As solar sites continue to rapidly expand, maintenance has become an increasingly important factor to maintain productive facilities. Prior to this solution, nearly every maintenance procedure required manually entering a live compartment, wearing a significant amount of PPE in order to help ensure the circuit was properly isolated.  Beyond the added time it took to perform tasks, this method also provided an increased opportunity for personnel to encounter an arc flash hazard."

The article goes on to point out that having designs that place components that need to be accessed for maintenance and taking measurements outside of areas where an arc flash danger exists help to mitigate the likelihood of an arc flash event.

Read the article here.
     


Electrical Workplace Safety Training Is the Best Insurance Money Can Buy

This article is in Plant Services magazine. It provides a overview giving the background on arc flash safety.  On the second page the article provides a number of good ideas for improving safety. The article points out that:

"The human damage and financial costs that result from arc flash accidents can be very significant. It is estimated that a serious accident from which the victim survives will on average cost more than $10 million, which is a combination of direct and indirect costs. Some very serious accidents have resulted in much higher costs. The victim often suffers permanent and disfiguring physical trauma that shortens the life span and prevents them from ever returning to work. This is a serious risk not only to the worker and the worker’s family, but to the employer and its insurers. For small employers, the company itself may not survive."

Read the article here.
     



New Standard for Arc Rated Hand Protective Products Approved by ASTM Committee

The National Fire Protection Association has required arc rated gloves in its NFPA70E since 2009. A new ASTM standard will provide arc rating thermal protective values for gloves, which will allow more gloves to be used inside an arc flash zone when there is no shock hazard.

The new standard is: ASTM F2675/F2675M, Test Method for Determining Arc Ratings of Hand Protective Products Developed and Used for Electrical Arc Flash Protection. It was developed by the ASTM Subcommittee F18.65 on Wearing Apparel, part of ASTM International Committee F18 on Electrical Protective Equipment for Workers.

ASTM F2675/F2675M will be used to determine the arc rating of hand protective products in the form of gloves, glove material, glove material systems or other protective products designed to fit on the hand and specifically intended for electric arch flash protection.

“The electrical industry wanted to have the same type of rating on their gloves as they had for clothing and face shields since the hands are generally closer to the hazard than any other part of the body,” says Hugh Hoagland, senior consultant, ArcWear, and a member of F18.

With ASTM F2675/F2675M, companies can choose a cut resistant or a chemical resistant glove for one hazard. The same glove could be worn when operating an electrical box if the glove is also arc rated.

“The most common use of the new types of arc rated gloves will be for primary operators rather than electricians,” says Hoagland. “Electricians will benefit from research using this standard that could offer options other than leather for protector gloves required to be worn over the rubber insulating gloves.”

ASTM F2675/F2675M will be primarily used by those in heavy manufacturing, petrochemical and the electric utility industries to protect the hands of workers exposed to potential electrical arc hazards. Many of the products rated by the standard will have applications for flash fire, cut and chemical applications when rated with other standards.

Hoagland notes that F18 welcomes all interested parties to join in its standards developing activities. The committee would particularly like to see participation from glove companies that are seeking to break into the market with innovative products for protector gloves and multithreat arc rated gloves with new and unique properties.

An upcoming project for F18 will be developing a standard for non-leather protector gloves to protect rubber insulating gloves from cut, puncture and arc flash. “Leather has worked well for almost a century, but this is an area of real potential improvement in worker dexterity, grip, comfort and better ergonomics,” says Hoagland. “A standard will be one step in this ongoing development.”

To purchase ASTM standards, visit www.astm.org and search by the standard designation, or contact ASTM Customer Relations (phone: 877-909-ASTM; sales@astm.org).
     


Electrical Accidents In The News This Past Week

Typically very little information is reported in the general press about arc flash and and other types of electrical accidents.  This means it can be difficult to determine what happened. Here are a few news reports about electrical accidents from the past week:

Cedar Falls Electrical Explosion Heard Four Miles Away

On August 19th Radio Iowa reported that an electrical explosion "heavily damaged a Cedar Falls Utilities facility. Cedar Falls Fire Rescue officials confirmed the explosion occurred at a back-up electrical generation facility around 10:00 A.M. The explosion was heard throughout Cedar Falls, up to four miles from the site."

Read about this incident here.

Canadian Man Found Suspended From Cherry Picker

The Telegram reports that: "A man working outside a Canadian Tire store in Carbonear is now being treated for unspecified injuries. The man received an electric shock late Sunday morning and was found to be suspended in the air on a cherry picker."

Read the story here.

Electrical Explosion Damages Submarine

The Bellingham Herald (Washington State) reports that an Indian Navy submarine was damaged by an electrical explosion while the submarine was submerged at her berth.  The Russian built diesel submarine had just returned from an overhaul in a Russian shipyard.

Read the story here.


     



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