In Canada it is not because training is required by CSA Z462 at intervals not to exceed 3 years. It is about the HIGH RISK to you the worker, Imagine if this was you without PPE and training! So have you covered ARC FLASH risks in your workplace! Arc Flash Risk Assessment and Shock Risk Assessment as part of an overall Risk Assessment Procedure (RAP).
In your Health and Safety program at work, do workers understand more than, due diligence against Occupational Health & Safety Regulations and how your company provides electrical hazard specific training related to the hierarchical preventive and protective control measures as an employer and supervisor you need to apply:
- Eliminate the hazard, de-energize is the first choice;
- Substitute with other materials, processes or equipment;
- Reduce the risk by engineering design (e.g. engineering solutions, equipment solutions, “Safety by Design”). Ensure that adequate electrical equipment maintenance is performed and at an acceptable frequency;
- Use safer work systems that increase awareness of potential hazards (e.g. apply safe guards like signage, barriers, etc.);
- Implement administrative controls (e.g. training and procedures); and
- Use Electrical Specific PPE, Tools & Equipment as a last line of defense and ensure it is appropriately used and maintained
Arc flash is the passage of current through air between phase conductors or phase conductors and neutral and ground. This is initiated by a flashover, or from the introduction of some conductive material. Temperatures from an arc flash can reach 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Exposure to an arc flash can severely burn skin and ignite clothing.
Arc Flash Audit
An arc flash audit is an analysis of arc flash hazard and risk, focusing on compliance to all standards, including NFPA 70E, OH&S , and NESC. The audit uncovers areas of noncompliance and includes recommendations for improvements in order to meet the required standards.
Arc Flash Calculations
Engineering calculations, or modeling, determine the arc flash protection boundary and the incident energy level exposure to workers, as part of an arc flash hazard assessment. The generally accepted method of calculation is a nine-step process outlined in the IEEE 1584 Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations. This is a complicated procedure depending upon accurate data collection, and therefore should be done only by highly trained and qualified personnel.
Arc Flash Study
An arc flash study (also called an arc flash analysis or a hazard analysis) is a study investigating a worker’s potential exposure to arc flash energy, conducted for the purpose of injury prevention, the determination of safe work practices and arc flash boundary, and the appropriate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water one Celsius degree.
Example: If you take a disposable lighter and put your palm in the hottest part of the flame for one second, you will receive about 1.2 calories per cm2 – the onset of a second degree burn (blister burn)
Electrical safety is the practice of recognizing and taking the action steps necessary for being in the presence of electrical energy. Electrical safety involves taking precautions in order for hazards not to cause injury or death. According to NFPA 70E, employers must implement and document an overall electrical safety program, directing activity appropriate for the electrical hazards, voltage, energy level, and circuit conditions.
Electrical Safety Audit
An on-site examination, customized to a workplace facility, in order to verify the principles and procedures of an electrical safety program are being adhered to and are in compliance with NFPA 70E/CSA Z462 and OH&S 1910/1926 standards. If the ESP is not being followed, revisions to the training program or procedures must be made. Areas investigated include PPE, Arc Flash Equipment Labeling and Equipment Specific Lockout/Tagout Program Writing.
Energized work refers to work being done on “live” parts, also known as a source of voltage, potentially exposing the worker to any hazard they present.
A flashover is an electric discharge over or around the surface of an insulator. This happens when the ignition of smoke or fumes from surrounding objects causes the unexpected and rapid spread of fire through the air.
A hazard/risk assessment is completed at a workplace facility in order to estimate the risk of potential electrical hazards and determine the protective measures needed to reduce the level of risk. The process of an hazard/risk assessment includes a process of identifying and analyzing electrical hazards before work is started within the limited approach boundary or within the arc flash boundary of energized electrical conductors and circuit parts operating at 50 volts or more, or where an electrical hazard exists.
According to the NEC (National Electrical Code), high voltage is any voltage over 600V, and this is the cutoff used by e-Hazard for training purposes. There are differences of opinion, however; the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) considers over 1000V to be high voltage for alternating current (AC) and at least 1500 V as high voltage for direct current (DV).
High Voltage Qualified
A person who is high voltage qualified has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of electrical equipment and installations with any voltage over 600V. A HV Qualified professional will have received high voltage safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved.
Lockout-tagout (LOTO) refers to “deenergizing lines and equipment for employee protection,” according to OH&S regulations. It relates to the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected start-up or the release of stored energy could cause injury to employees. For example, hazards can be controlled by unplugging the equipment from the energy source when servicing, or cutting off the electricity by utilizing locks and tags. The locks keep the lines for electricity incapable of being restored, while the tags alert people not to turn on the energy source for the machines currently in service.
According to the NEC (National Electrical Code), refers to voltage with less than 600 volts of electricity (see High Voltage definition above).
Low Voltage Qualified
A person who is low voltage qualified has skills and knowledge related to the construction and operation of electrical equipment and installations with less than 600 volts of electricity. This professional will have received low voltage safety training to recognize and avoid the hazards involved.
The National Electrical Code (NEC), published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), is the benchmark of safe electrical design, installation and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards. It addresses the installation of conductors, equipment and raceways in the electrical and communications industries and optical fiber cables and raceways. Adopted in all 50 states, it addresses requirements for construction, whereas the NFPA 70E focuses on employee protection.
The NFPA 70E is the National Fire Protection Association’s published Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. The Standard is updated every three years. The NFPA 70E requires employers to assess hazards and work practices; have site-specific written programs; select appropriate personal protective equipment; provide electrical safety training for employees; perform regular inspections and audits; and maintain proper records.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
Personalized Protective Equipment or PPE is specialized clothing or equipment worn by employees for protection against health and safety hazards. Personal protective equipment is designed to protect many parts of the body, including the eyes, head, face, hands, feet and ears. Examples of PPE include such items as gloves, ear plugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators and full body suits.