What is Arc flash and how to avoid it

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Arc Flash

An Arc Flash is an explosive release of energy caused by an electrical short circuit between two energised conductors or an energised 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 vapourise. The explosion causes shrapnel to escape at high speeds potentially causing severe injury to anyone nearby. The injuries can range from burns, blindness, hearing loss, impact injury, and even death.
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.

Arc Flash and the Law

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Health and safety legislation in Ireland and the UK imposes numerous duties on employers and the self-employed (contractors) in relation to Arc Flash and electrical safety in general. Employers must ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of employees and any other persons who may be affected by their undertakings.

More specifically, employers must make a suitable and adequate assessment of the risks to health and safety, and those include Arc Flash and other risks involving electricity, and to put in place the necessary preventive and protective measures.

Persons engaged in any work activity involving electricity, must be competent to prevent danger. They not only should have appropriate technical knowledge, but also an understanding of the hazards, risks and work precautions to be observed.

Read more about Arc Flash and Premium Power here

What we do

  • Survey and model your electrical network, and calculate prospective arc energy levels.
  • Recommend measures to reduce risks.
  • Guide you on the equipment, PPE and labelling required.
  • Use advanced modelling tools to supply wide range of information about the clients electrical network
  • Allow for the further expansion of power systems

This is where Premium Power can help. We are committed to ensuring that Arc Flash is at the forefront of discussion on workplace safety in Ireland and the UK especially in the context of the industrial manufacturing and data centre environments. Find out about some of the services we provide in arc flash assessment, analysis and training.

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