Saturday, May 30, 2020

Arc Flash Explosions and Risk Assessment

What is Arc Flash?
An Arc is an unwanted, unexpected and sudden discharge of energy. This type of energy discharge can be as tiny as a flash of light with a bang sound to a major inexhaustible explosion. The worry is that energy discharged above a certain level will ignite non-flame resistant clothing and cause major flesh burns to an electrical MEP technician or worker.
Most of the arc explosions incidents occur during the daily, weekly or quarterly MEP service for the electrical appliances, equipment and installations.  Any technician, supervisor, electrical maintenance engineer or general worker may be exposed to such explosions is at significant risk for death or serious fatal injuries.
Arc Definition by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Arc flash is defined as “a dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc.” A contraction of the insulation or isolation distance between energized parts is responsible for this condition (Arc Flash). For example, a tool or equipment that is interpolated or accidentally released into a breaker or service area may compromise the distance between empowered components or parts of the appliance or equipment and or toll. Incidents related to arc flash injuries may develop when a technician or general worker fails to ensure that tool or equipment has been appropriately de-energized before the servicing, inspection and observation. Mostly Arc flash related incidents normally happen in applications exceeding 120 volts.
Financial Loss Due to the Assets Damage
Such type of severe Arc unexpected incidents cause serious damage to equipment, tool or appliance and replacement is the only option for that damaged assets. And the human body is also equally destroyed or irrevocably damaged, with no replacement option.
The following arc flash safety measures and instructions for electrical equipment or tools that can guide you as an employer for better protection to your employees or workforce:
⦁ Inaugurate and create comprehensive written electrical safety procedures and technical guidelines with clearly predefined defined responsibilities covering all of your organization electrical safety policies, for example, lockout/tag-out, internal safety policies and responsibilities for electrical MEP or installations safety.
⦁ Always consult or hire outsource third party consultation and engineering firm to conduct an electrical system analysis to regulate the intensity of arc flash hazard present at your worksite. The analysis carried by the outsource firm will characterize the various recommended and required types of personal protective equipment (PPE) that workforce must utilize while carrying out any electrical work when energized parts of the equipment or tools are exposed.
⦁ To minimize and control the possible arc-related fatal incidents, the organization should conduct arc flash safety orientation or training for all workforce. Such provision of safety training should be specific to the possible severe hazards of arc flash, arc blast, shock and electrocution and their prevention. To control for such incidents, proper personal protective clothing and equipment should also available to the MEP or installation competent personals.
⦁ Proper tools for safe electrical work insulated voltage-rated hand tools and insulated voltage sensing devices that are properly rated for the voltage application of the equipment to be tested.
⦁ Electrical equipment, tool or appliances for example switchboards, panel boards, industrial control panels, meter socket enclosures and motor control centres that are likely to require examination, adjustment, or MEP while energized must have arc proper flash warning labels placed in plain view.
⦁ A responsible and competent electrical safety program manager or professional should appoint and given responsibilities who is familiar with electrical code requirements and other safety problems.
⦁ Make proper MEP services to all electrical distribution system components. Advanced, updated and appropriately adjusted over-current protective devices that are properly managed can observe an arcing state almost clear the fault immediately. Such type of competency accordingly reduces the amount of incident energy that is released.
⦁ Finally, properly sustain and update all electrical distribution documentation. This is peculiarly critical when expanding or revising facilities.
Safety Measures
1. Electrical or power extension cords should not be utilized instead of permanent wiring. Make sure that all electrical cords are inappropriate engaged state (the external insulation should not be damaged, and the ground pin required to be intact). Immediately dispose of dangerous, insecure and unsafe extension cords. Only licensed, trained and competent electricians should be authorized to make PPM (replace plugs, or splice cords).
2. Extension cords required to be protected from motor vehicles, forklifts, pallet jacks, heavy pedestrian traffic, etc. at the worksite.
3. Power strips should not be permanently mounted to a wall or structure, even if the power strip has particular mounting fittings.
4. Power extension cords should not be connected. Doing this can overload the circuit creating a potential fire unwanted incident that may lead to fatal human life loss circumstances

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