Arc Flash Electrical Worker Quick Field Guide APP is available on Google Play!

At long last, our NEW Arc Flash Electrical Worker Quick Field Guide APP is available on Google Play for just $2.99!

Arc Flash Electrical Worker Quick Reference Field Guide For PPE & Safety Equipment

This quick reference for the front-line electrical worker provides valuable information in a simplified manner on:

·        Electrical job hazard assessment

·        Electrical test instruments

·        Explanation of the detailed warning label for arc flash and shock, including the various boundaries.

Also included is guidance on electrical specific PPE, including selection using both the detailed warning label and task table methods. In addition, a listing of what is new in the CSA Z462 2018 edition and electrical incident rescue procedure!

We Need Arc Flash Training! Wait A Minute….

So, just what is the scoop with “Arc Flash Training”? Or simply put, “We need Arc Flash Training”! A statement I hear several times in my travels. Well the scoop is that there is no such thing as “Arc Flash Training”. Further not something to be titled on a “so-called” training certificate. Unfortunately, this has become an industry term and with that part of our vocabulary. The main issue is that we have completely ignored what really is the serious problem associated with electrical hazards. This of course is electrical shock.

In many cases we cannot even see a shock hazard, and many shock incidents will go unreported in the workplace. Whereas an arc flash incident, because of its characteristics and often explosive nature will draw attention to everyone. An arc flash incident, unless electrical equipment has been so poorly maintained to the point of failure, improperly installed, worker error, such as the misapplication of a test instrument or dropping of a tool, is not likely going to occur. I have spoken to several fellow journey-person electricians who in their entire careers have never experienced an arc flash event, however ask them how many times they have been shocked?

The fact is that a qualified electrical worker (QEW) is by far more likely to be in harms way of electrical shock than an arc flash. This includes HVAC Technicians, Elevator Mechanics, CET’s, etc.

Our CSA Z462 standard is often referred to as “The Arc Flash Standard”. No, it is the “Workplace Electrical Safety” standard. Electrical safety in the workplace, brings far so many items rather than arc flash. And so many other more important things to consider; for example,

·        What is the company standard for meters or electrical test instruments?

·        Are they approved by a recognized organization such as CSA or ULC?

·        Are they Category rated?

·        How well is our electrical equipment- breaker panels, disconnect switches, motor control centres, etc. labelled or identified?

·        Who are we identifying as a “qualified electrical worker” in our workplace?

·        How well is our electrical equipment being maintained including flexible cords?

Like fall protection, confined space, WHMIS, workplace electrical safety requires documentation such as a program policy and any necessary supporting documents such as pre- job checklists and permits. It is not just constitute having an “arc flash assessment” conducted, our equipment labelled and then throw PPE at workers. That does not work. In so many cases where an arc flash assessment was completed, the worker has no idea on how to interpret the information that is on the detailed warning label. Thus, no idea on when and where to use the clothing and PPE, not to mention how to maintain it.

Workplace electrical safety constitutes much more than “Arc Flash” or so called “Arc Flash Training.” In many cases it is not even proper training, merely an awareness session. For more information on keeping our workplace, and the PEOPLE in it safe, contact me at len@arcflash.ca.

We hope you enjoyed all of the information in our November Newsletter and look forward to hearing from you, as well as bringing more up-to-date electrical safety information and tips in our December Newsletter!

As always, you are invited to contribute a story or a question that you would like to bring forward to other readers, related to workplace electrical safety or lockout, including PPE and safety equipment.

Please send your stories and questions to Len at len@arcflash.ca. You can also continue the conversation with us on our LinkedIn Workplace Electrical Safety Communications  group!