Slow-motion frames show an arc flash projecting six to seven feet beyond a designated 18-inch safety gap and producing hazardous molten metal. A vivid example how FR clothing is essential even within this safety area....More
See how even small, low-duration arc flashes can pose a big hazard to workers who aren’t adequately protected. Slow motion frames show how flames quickly project out nearly five feet, revealing the true extent of the danger....More
Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn't have specific standards for cold weather winter wear, OSHA does require the employer to protect the employee from the hazards present in the workplace. Every workplace must assess the needs of the workplace according to OSHA standards. In this assessment, winter wear and rainwear commonly are overlooked. In some climates this is more critical than others....More
Brett Brenner, president of the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Senior Member James C. Cawley, P.E., will co-present a new paper that examines the occupations most at-risk for fatal overhead power line instances on Jan. 29 at the 2015 IEEE IAS Electrical Safety Workshop taking place this week in Louisville, Ky. ...More
Arc flashes in electric equipment are hazardous to workers and can result in fatalities, costly damage to equipment and delays in production until repairs are made. Arc-flash labels on electrical equipment are required by federal law; OSHA regulations requiring these labels have existed since approximately 2000.
Unlabeled equipment is a safety violation, and if facilities managers have not hired people to label their electrical equipment, they risk increased insurance costs....More
OSHA is investigating an Aug. 6 incident in which three men were killed when the scaffolding they were made contact with power lines, causing them to be electrocuted.
It was around 8 a.m. – the start of the workday for many people – when Trevor James Riddick, Gary Edward Wortman and Samuel Anderson were electrocuted and died. The men were constructing a metal building at Streamline Product Systems in Kountze, Tex....More
A recent survey conducted by Littelfuse Inc. reveals that arc-flash safety is a priority among plant professionals and that protection technologies such as arc-flash relays are growing in popularity.
Even 10 years ago, arc-flash danger wasn’t at the top of many minds, but today 85 percent of the 825 survey respondents agree or strongly agree that arc-flash mitigation is important. According to OSHA, industrial arc-flash events cause 80 percent of electrically related accidents and fatalities among qualified electrical workers....More
Earlier this year, OSHA updated its standards for electric-power generation, transmission and distribution work, as well as for electrical protective equipment, covering general industry and construction.
The updated standards mandate improved fall protection for workers on aerial lifts and towers, adopt revised approach-distance requirements to ensure that unprotected workers don’t get too close to energized lines and equipment, and address the safe use and care of electrical protective equipment.
On July 16, 2012, a utility worker installing replacement batteries in a substation suffered second- and third-degree burns when a battery cable fell onto the terminals of a battery and created an electric arc. The employee, whose injuries required several surgeries, had not been trained on the proper procedures for working with wet-cell batteries, according to OSHA....More
Although it wasn’t until the 1800s that Thomas Edison and others figured out how to harness electrical energy, humans have been dabbling in electricity since at least 600 B.C. The concept of the electric-arc flash, however, is a relatively new phenomenon....More
When Ralph Lee first called attention to the threat of arc-flash explosions in the early 1980s, he noted that an electric arc between metals is four times as hot as the surface of the sun. Perhaps because the concept of electric arcing seemed as fantastical as a supernova, it took over a decade for Lee’s concepts to gain mainstream acceptance.
Just because electricity runs through every wall in every building that every reader of this magazine lives and works in, doesn't mean it's without hazards. In fact, electricity is one of the most dangerous workplace hazards. Its perceived safety makes it all the more dangerous because employees don't actively engage in electrical safety programs when they don't buy into electricity's potential risk. ...More
With tree workers often working just a hair’s breadth away from power lines, employers must carefully follow OSHA requirements or they will put their employees’ lives in jeopardy, the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) said today, following two serious incidents related to commercial tree trimming. ...More
It was just a typical day at work. Gary Norland and his coworkers were discussing weekend plans as they worked near overhead power lines. But when Norland leaned back and came into contact with 12,500 volts of electricity, he suffered life-changing burns the required a 4-month hospital stay and more than 50 surgeries.
Now, 20 years after the accident, Norland has a message: “Everything you are going to do is going to affect others for the rest of your life. So if you get injured, it's an impact that's going to affect everybody.”...More
The first thing specified by a significant majority of people is the flame resistant (FR) or arc rated (AR)* fabric brand. The number, type and source of these fabrics has expanded dramatically in the last few years, and there have been significant ......More
Over the past 15 years, the evolution in regulations, codes and standards, as well as basic understanding of the arc hazard, has elevated the importance and priority of managing and mitigating this hazard in the workplace...More
Each month, EHS Today's print edition features a variety of personal protective equipment, literature, software and services geared to improve your workplace. January 2017's product spotlight was hand safety.
To view product descriptions and photos, use the arrows to move back and forth through the slideshow.
Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists study workplace issues of critical relevance to business, including talent management, coaching, assessment, selection, training, organizational development, performance and work–life balance. What workplace needs are I-O psychologists predicting businesses will want to address in 2017?
Gym memberships, drinking more water, eating healthier. About 45 percent of Americans make New Year's Resolutions, and 38 percent of those are weight or fitness related, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Of those resolutions, fewer than half of those that make them, about 46 percent, keep them past six months.
While employers encourage participation in workplace wellness programs, especially in the new year, healthy meals start at home.
Although the availability of flame-resistant (FR) clothing has increased in the past ten years, the rate of non-fatal injuries due to arc flash and burns has remained steady.
More than 2,000 workers per year are admitted to the hospital due to burn injuries at a rate of about 5-10 per day, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
OSHA 1910 Subpart S and OSHA 1926 Subpart K as well as the NFPA 70E safety requirements detail the safe work practices for preventing arc flash injuries, including selecting the proper personal protective equipment.
For links to additional information included in the “Top 10 Asked Safety Questions for 2016,” visit https://safety.grainger.com/your-top-10-safety-questions.
Grainger’s team of safety specialists helps customers solve safety challenges, offers cost-saving solutions and recommends program standardization strategies. They hold degrees and professional certifications from accredited institutions in safety, industrial technology, chemistry and related fields.