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Arc Flash Explosions

Safety Toolbox Talk Webmaster
3.4583333333333 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.46 (24 Votes)

Every day in the United States five to 10 arc flash explosions occur in electrical equipment. Anyone exposed to such explosions is at significant risk for death or serious injury.

Arc flash is described by the National Fire Protection Association as “a dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc.” A reduction of the insulation or isolation distance between energized components is responsible for this condition.

For example, a tool that is inserted or accidentally dropped into a breaker or service area, or other objects that are left behind, may compromise the distance between energized components.

Incidents may occur when a worker fails to ensure that equipment has been properly de-energized prior to servicing or inspection. Arc flash incidents typically occur in applications exceeding 120 volts.

Serious damage to equipment is a likely outcome in an arc flash incident. Sometimes affected equipment is so badly damaged that replacement is the only option. And, of course, the human body is equally capable of being destroyed or irreversibly damaged, with no replacement option.

The following arc flash safety reminders from Square D Products, a well-known producer of electrical equipment, can help company better protect their employees:


This toolbox topic was reviewed by ______________________________________ on ___________________________ with the following employees:

Jake's Avatar
Jake replied the topic: #627
While I do like this article and agree with the information, I'm curious where you got the statistic of "Every day in the United States five to 10 arc flash explosions occur in electrical equipment." I'm presenting these topics to my crew and I like to make sure I've got my facts straight before the presentation. Thank you.
Josh's Avatar
Josh replied the topic: #705