Arc Flash is an explosive release of energy caused by an electrical short circuit between two energized conductors or an energized conductor and earth.
The discharge of electrical energy causes an explosion of light and sound. The temperatures inside are extremely hot and cause the conductors to vaporize. The explosion causes shrapnel to escape at high speeds potentially causing severe injury to anyone nearby.
Most incidents happen when the electrical system is being worked on and “live” and thus Arc Flash presents a serious risk to the employees.
The level of damage in an arc flash incident does not necessarily depend on the system voltage because the lower the voltage, the more current there can be in the system and the higher current levels create the high amounts of energy that is dissipated in an arc flash incident in an electrical system.