Arc Flash Analysis: 5 Steps To Protect Your Team

Arc flash analysis determines the risks and preventative measures necessary when working around high-voltage equipment. It is designed to prepare workers and keep companies within compliance. The goal is to keep people safe in dangerous situations, and the more you know about your surroundings, the better. 

Arc flashes can be unpredictable, so knowing what you are up against is important. They can produce intense amounts of heat and electrical energy, which can cause a wide variety of severe injuries to those directly or indirectly related. Split-second accidents can leave workers with no time to respond. Hence, attention to detail and careful operational work are crucial to team safety. An arc flash analysis is the first step in keeping your team safe. 

1. On Site Evaluation 

During an arc flash analysis, a trained professional evaluated the high-voltage equipment in the workspace. These evaluations consist of checking for existing physical damage, electrical output,  abnormal temperature readings, as well as a few other aspects. High-voltage equipment should be inspected regularly as a preventative measure. 

2. Catalog Equipment

All high-voltage equipment should be cataloged and inventoried. Each piece of equipment should have records of when it was last inspected and its standard performance levels, including notes regarding repairs and upkeep. Keeping accurate information helps to diagnose problems when they arise. 

3. Label All Equipment

All Equipment should be appropriately labeled, with the information in plain sight and easy to read. Malfunctioning equipment should be tagged and taken out of use until repaired and deemed safe to put back in rotation. Labels should include relevant information such as required PPE, emergency medical treatment recommendations, and a concise list of possible risks associated with each piece of machinery.  

4. Preventative Maintenance 

Be proactive in preventative maintenance. Performing regular maintenance can catch problems before they arise. Properly checking equipment before and after use should be a regular practice at the workplace. Keeping machinery in proper working order is a simple way to prevent unnecessary accidents in the workplace. 

5. Staff Education 

Arc flash occurrences are unpredictable and can cause severe damage to anyone directly involved. To prevent injury, it is vital to keep all staff educated on the necessary safety precautions they should be taking. A moment of awareness can be the difference between superficial injury and death. 

Be Prepared

No one wants to think about the dangers of an arc flash injury in the workplace. Only some have a plan in place in the event of a severe or life-threatening accident. Preparation is critical when it comes to preventing accidents. Arc flash analysis prepares the workspace and the staff for the upcoming job. This crucial step will be the building block that sets your team up for safety and success. 

Additionally, many job sites require these safety measures to be in place to avoid certain regulatory fines and delays on the job. Taking the time to do a proper arc flash analysis regularly will safeguard your staff and your business. 

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