This article expands on “Control the Risk” (ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, March 2015). It addresses six key areas in the risk-control hierarchy and how each can be used to reduce the risk associated with the arc flash hazard.
Attorney: “Can you tell us how Mr. Smith died?”
Witness: “There was an electrical explosion. Something went wrong when he was working on the panel. A big fireball shot out that caught his clothing on fire. It was horrible.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards addressing electrical hazards, yet hundreds of fatalities and thousands of injuries still occur as a result of electric shock, electrocution, arc flash and arc blast each year.
I recently realized that our failure to properly train fire alarm system technicians has created a group of workers who simply do not understand the reasons they do what they do. When a technician asks for the rationale behind a procedure, we often respond, “Because the code requires it.”
The 2012 Edition of NFPA 70E, the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, has made a significant change to the information requirements for arc flash warning labels.
According to Section 130.5(C), the following is now required: