10 Things To Do to make sure YOU are protected.
1. Get Informed
Know all the facts of Arc Flash, Train yourself and your coworkers.
Know how to protect yourself and how to prevent Arc Flash Explosions.
Know what is required by OSHA & NFPA 70E.
2. Inform your company of Arc Flash Analysis (if not already done)
If your company has not performed a proper Arc Flash Hazard Analysis, you need to inform the necessary people that it is required by OSHA & NFPA 70E. It will save lives and it is required. For more information on conducting an arc flash hazard analysis and what one consists of, contact CED.
3. Create your own generic protection map and schedule
Know for yourself and map out what panels/switchboards/MCCs you would possibly work on in the facility and how often. Know for yourself, what Voltage exists and what protection you need.
4. Purchase your personal PPE & WEAR IT!
You now know what you would possible work on that would require protection from arc blasts. You should now make sure you have the correct Personal Protective Equipment purchased and on hand at all times in a convenient location. The purchase of the necessary PPE is the responsibility of the company, so there is no excuse to not have the right PPE on hand at all times. But you have to wear your PPE at all times when necessary!
5. Purchase your insulated tools & USE THEM!
Take every safety precaution available. If common sense is not reason enough, OSHA requires it. Insulated tools can give you even more security to greatly minimize the risk of a short resulting in an arc flash. Make sure you have the necessary insulated tools at your facility and you use them.
6. Double check Lockout/Tagout policy and kit
Compliance with the lockout/tagout standard (29 CFR 1910.147) prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. Make sure, again, that you have all necessary Lockout/Tagout devices and in a place that they are easily accessible. Then make sure every employee that you work with is trained on how to properly perform Lockout/Tagout procedure and continue to get trained. Also, make sure there is an up-to-date Lockout/Tagout policy.
7. Make sure all panels, switchgear, and MCCs are labeled
Every panel, switchgear, and MCCs should be labeled stating the warning of arc flash and electric shock. It should state voltage, the hazard boundary, what type of PPE should be worn. If you see anything that is not labeled properly, label it immediately with a Brady label, to assure everyones safety and to avoid a very steep fine.
8. Discuss with fellow employees; do they understand?
Make sure everyone one that works on these panels, switchgear, and MCCs, either the plant crew or outside contractors, are all trained and know the policies and procedures put in place to protect against arc flash. Everyone is responsible for your safety. Remind them and discuss these safety issues on a regularly scheduled basis.
9. Look for ways to prevent Arc flash
There are a lot of ways to help prevent an arc flash from occurring. The use of current limiting fuses, a proper
lockout/tagout procedure, insulated tools, proper labeling, and there are also ways to prevent the accident by
removing your body from the danger zone. Check out the next page for more information.
10. Do not work on energized parts, unless you absolutely have to.
The best way to avoid an arc flash incident is to prevent it. Remove power and perform the necessary testing to ensure that power is absolutely removed from the area to be serviced by electrical workers. Don’t assume that a circuit is deenergized.
- Determine all possible sources of electrical supply
- Open disconnecting devices for each source
- Where possible, visually verify device is open
- Apply lockout/tagout devices
- Test voltage on each conductor to verify that it is deenergized
- Apply grounding devices where stored energy or induced voltage could exist or where
- deenergized conductors could contact live parts.