Can Engineers provide a “Safety by Design” Approach That Lowers Arc Flash Risk?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rate of arc flash incidents has steadily declined over the last five years. Thankfully, progress in standards, increased educational awareness, and advanced technologies are helping to make work environments safer. But, arc flash incidents still can occur, placing anyone working near energized equipment at risk. In 2017, the United States saw 1,000 injuries and 134 fatalities due to arc flash accidents, with 80 percent of the incidents resulting from human error.
As electrical distribution environments become more digitized, arc flash reduction and mitigation techniques need to be reevaluated to ensure safety. The way medium voltage (MV) and low voltage (LV) electrical distribution equipment is designed can play an important role in minimizing arc flash hazards. Arc flash incidents can result in damaged equipment, injury, and, in some cases, even death.
Electrical Engineers can incorporate into their design a “Safety by Design” approach to minimize workplace arc flash risks. The “Safety by Design” concept considers all possible causes of arc flash incidents during the product design development phase. Our engineers are focused on the mindset of “how can we prevent an incident in the first place” when developing new MV and LV power distribution products.
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JD McCullough, P.E.