There is still a great deal of concern for the safety of electrical workers in today’s facilities. Removing safety processes of any kind when being advised by experts to not do so creates a situation where if an electrical failure causing an arc flash were to take place, any denial of negligence would be impossible. Prior knowledge of an unsafe working condition (or potentially unsafe working environment) is essentially the definition of gross negligence. Electrical safety procedures are necessary for workplace protection. To save lives, OSHA has established electrical safety standards. It may come as a surprise that not only do electrical experts require this crucial training but so do other employees.
Read on to discover how electrical safety training benefits everyone in the workplace.
The Power of an arc flash?
An arcing flashover is another term for an arc flash. It can cause severe burns, serious injuries or even death.
The chance of an arc flash occurring at any business is much greater than the average manager may realize.
What are the causes of an arc flash?
The majority of arc flashes in the workplace are caused by a variety of factors. But the fact is that arc flashes generally occur in organizations that do not have a safety program. Arc flashes can also happen when employees have been improperly trained on them.
It’s not feasible to totally prevent these devastating events. However, if all employees are informed and trained in safety procedures, the likelihood of arc flashes may be lessened. And most importantly the severity of injury with appropriate training and incident energy study can drastically reduce your risk.
OSHA and the National Electrical Code (NEC) work in tandem to protect workers from electric shock by setting electrical safety rules. The most common triggers of arc flash events were caused by human error i.e. by a lack of compliance with these established standards.
Organizational culture is a significant contributing factor in workplace accidents. Managers shall instill maintenance programs so that the overcurrent devices are clearing faults as they are designed to do so. Employees that violate lock-out or tag-out procedures, among other factors, are still on the OSHA’s top 10 list of injuries. In addition un-justified energized work today is still being performed, chasing profits over safety thus not implementing the necessary protective equipment (PPE).
Problems happen when employees receive insufficient electrical safety training, and lack hands-on experience.
Who requires arc flash training?
1. Qualified electricians
OSHA requirements determine who needs electrical safety training and it is task-dependent. The agency’s rules state that any person working with the potential of electrical shock and dangers must be trained in arc flash safety and shock safety.
Anyone who works near exposed or energized equipment, cables, or lines is subject to this regulation. The workers should be aware of the dangers associated with working around this equipment. They must also be trained on a regular basis.
2. Unqualified workers
Other staff may work near dangerous equipment without entering an arc flash hazard zone (boundary). They do, however, need the right incident energy data and perform an arc flash risk assessment. This assures Qualified workers can keep the Unqualified workers outside of these hazards. Unqualified employees shall not handle electricity, machinery, or electrical equipment. It is critical for them to understand how to identify hazardous situations and steer away.
OSHA also classifies other employees as at-risk for arc flash and shock dangers. They might include front-line supervisors, equipment operators, and mechanical and repair experts.
Advantages of electrical safety training
Qualified electricians may be tempted to believe that the majority of people are aware of arc flash & shock risks when working near live electrical equipment. In fact, most individuals who are uneducated in electrical safety do not understand the danger posed by this equipment.
A single error might result in a fatal arc flash explosion or electricution. However, this type of calamity may be avoided with the proper training.
Minimum safety standards
The electrical safety training is not only required by NFPA 70E and OSHA but also establishes the bare minimum criteria to keep people informed and potentially avoid fatal electric shock or arc flash. Many businesses have on-site servicing staff and electricians who may occasionally be required to work on live equipment which can be justified.
Imagine a repairman working in an operating room. They could be faced with whether or not to turn off the power during a life-threatening procedure. However, they must address an issue with the primary electrical supply system, as it’s critical to keep the electricity running in a hospital.
Individuals in this position have to have the appropriate training, PPE and process; otherwise, they might suffer an injury, which sometimes results in death.
The arc flash training program provides employees with the knowledge and process they need to prevent electrical hazards from causing serious injury or death. Workers will learn how to correctly use personal protective equipment (PPE).
Organizations must perform risk assessments in order to ensure that their staff are adequately protected. This is the only method of determining how much PPE personnel need. That is performed hands-on in the training.
For example, employees may only require a limited amount of PPE, which includes:
- Earplugs and safety glasses
- Non-melting pants and long sleeve shirts-natural fibers
- Voltage-rated gloves and leather protectors
Staff members, on the other hand, may require complete-body electrical arc flash protection with a cal rating above 1.2cal/cm2. Only with an arc flash hazard analysis can organizations determine the appropriate degree of safety for workers.
Electrical components are labeled with incident energy and shock warnings. This data gives qualified workers the tools to know how they should work safely around the equipment.
Employees who have attended electrical safety training courses better comprehend the specifics of the electrical warning labels. They’ll know what signage indicates PPE, shock boundaries, incident energy levels, and working distances.
Bowtie Arc Flash Training
We hope that this article has clarified the significance of electrical safety training for your company. If you are looking for professional training, Bowtie Engineering offers a systems approach to electrical safety from start to finish. We’re one of the highest-rated and most trusted sources for electrical safety training in the United States.
Please feel free to get in touch with us now to begin the discussion about your company training opportunities.