Are You in Compliance?
Understanding Electric Arc Flash Risk
An electric arc is a dangerous release of energy created by an electrical fault and is capable of causing death from resulting burns. More than 2,000 people are admitted annually to burn centers with severe arc-flash burns. In fact, the majority of hospital admissions due to electrical accidents are from arc-flash burns, not from shocks. Most severe burn injuries and fatalities are caused by non-flame resistant clothing igniting and continuing to burn.* Flame resistant clothing will self-extinguish or not burn.
Who is at risk?
Electricians, maintenance workers, operators and others exposed to energized equipment are at risk for an electric arc flash. Therefore, any operations that inspect, repair or maintain electrical equipment — especially manufacturers — are subject to CSA-Z462 guidelines. These operations include:
- Auto Manufacturing
- Chemical Plants
- Food Processing
- Metal Working
- Paper and Pulp
- Petroleum Refining
*CSA-Z462, Workplace Electrical Safety, 2008. This standard is based on NFPA70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the workplace, and has been harmonized with Parts I, II and III of the Canadian Electrical Code; CAN/CSA-Z460, Control of hazardous energy – Lockout and other methods; and CAN/CSA-M421, Use of Electricity in mines.