With years of experience, ESUK has pioneered the European holistic approach to arc flash hazard assessment and management. Paul Hopton explains…
As an Electrical Safety Consultant, I meet many clients whilst helping them with their electrical problems. As part of this special feature on arc flash, I thought I would share with you some of my recent observations from around the World. The first thing to note is that the client’s perception of arc flash can often be somewhat different to reality.
With the advent of the 18th Edition stimulating a media frenzy, perhaps now is as good a time as any to review the true meaning of competence, and what part training has to play. For many, the provision of training certificates is the focus and if an ECS card is available then all-the better.
The electric shock hazard from both ac and dc power systems has been well documented and understood for decades thanks to the research of people like Charles Dalziel. Jim Phillips, PE, explains.
The IET Wiring Regulations has recently removed the term “competent” person from the definitions within the standard. The term now used is “skilled” person, which specifies the need for adequate education, training and practical skills appropriate to the nature of the work being undertaken. Immediate thoughts go towards how a new entrant into the industry gains the level of skills needed to work in an electrical role. Perhaps, more importantly, we should be looking at how an existing skilled person maintains the level of skills needed to remain safe in the workplace.
We are pleased to announce that, effective May 1, 2016, Electrical Safety (UK) Limited will merge with Pennine Elec-Tech Limited under the name Electrical Safety UK.
The Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974 requires employers to provide “… such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his or her employees …” Andrew Linley, director of compliance at Electrical Safety UK, explains…
IEEE 1584TM and NFPA 70E® might have been “Made in the U.S.A.” but both of these standards have been gaining increased use in arc flash and electrical safety practices found in many other countries around the world. This global use could lead to the conclusion that electrical safety practices may also be the same in each country. Although there are similarities, many distinct differences also exist. This paper provides an overview of electrical safety practices used in countries such as the U.K., Ireland and the European Community compared to those found in the United States.
MANY YEARS AGO, Mike Frain was called to give evidence in the prosecution of an electrical worker involved in an electrical flashover injury to his apprentice. As he recalls the experience was an extremely unpleasant one, the only comfort being that he was not the one in the dock. Since then it has been his desire to stay clear of such experiences and help other people to do likewise.
When someone is killed or injured by electricity what first comes to mind is electrocution but electric shock is not the only hazard
IN ADVISING industrial and commercial companies on electrical safety rules and procedures, I make enquiries to every delegate on training courses about their own experiences.
An arc flash, is usually caused by inadvertent contact between an energised conductor such as a bus bar or wire with another conductor or an earthed surface. When this occurs, the resulting short circuit current can melt the
conductors and produce strong magnetic fields that blow the conducting objects apart.
MIKE FRAIN OF ELECTRICAL SAFETY UK, EXAMINES LIVE WORKING ON LOW VOLTAGE SYSTEMS IN INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL FACILITIES; DETAILING A METHODICAL PROCESS FOR IDENTIFYING THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH LIVE WORKING AND THE METHODS FOR CONTROLLING THEM.
FROM MY EXPERIENCE, I believe Regulation 14 from the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, referring to live working, is often misunderstood and sometimes overlooked.
MIKE FRAIN OF ELECTRICAL SAFETY UK LTD DISCUSSES THE ELECTRICAL ARC FLASH HAZARD AND HOW THE DUPONT(TM) ARC-GUIDE HAS BEEN DEVELOPED TO HELP EMPLOYERS COMPLY WITH EUROPEAN LAW THROUGH RISK ASSESSMENT
Arc flash risk assessment for workers who operate in proximity to, or on, energised electrical equipment, cables and overhead lines, is an essential part of electrical safety management. Electrical work should be carried out with conductors dead and isolated wherever possible but there are tasks that require working either on, or in close proximity to, energised equipment. Even then it should also be acknowledged that the process of de-energisation often requires exposure to the hazard through interactions such as switching, racking and testing of equipment.
While legislation requires businesses to perform risk assessments for most work activities, electric-arc risk is often overlooked because many people are unsure how to assess and manage it effectively, say Mike Frain and Elaina Harvey.
On 1 February 2007, at an office building in Shoe Lane, central London, two technicians were installing a capacitor to help reduce energy consumption at the site. One of the workers was fitting cables in the back of the
capacitor, which was positioned above a number of live conductors. The cables came into contact with one of the conductors and caused an electric-arc flashover. The worker suffered severe burns to his face and upper
body – horrific injuries that have prevented him from returning to work.
NORTHERN FOODS HAS BEEN ON A JOURNEY TO CAPTURE AND REDUCE RISKS ACROSS ITS OPERATING SITES OVER THE LAST SIX YEARS. THIS ARTICLE OUTLINES THE PRACTICAL, PROGRESSIVE STEPS TAKEN TO IMPROVE ELECTRICAL WORKERS SAFETY ACROSS THE BUSINESS
November 2010 saw Jackie Wooldridge of Northern Foods
organising the IOSH networking event on Electrical Safety in
the Food Industry. The project, supported by Mike Frain of
Electrical Safety (UK) and the HSE, commanded a considerable
amount of attention. Featured issues were the key aspects of
electrical safety – including the hazards of shocks and burns,
through to the implementation of robust but pragmatic
electrical safety rules.
Electric arc flash and the considerable hazard it presents to
personnel working on, or near to, live electrical equipment, are
explained, as are the recommended measures that need to be taken
to eliminate or minimize this risk and hence to ensure safety and
compliance with the law.
On 1 February 2007 at an office building in Shoe Lane, central London, two
technicians were installing a capacitor to help reduce energy consumption at the site. One of the workers was fitting cables in the back of the capacitor, which was positioned above a number of live conductors. The cables came into contact with one of the conductors and caused an electric arc flashover. The worker suffered severe burns to his face and upper body, horrific injuries that have prevented him from returning to work.
BRIGHT SPARK and leading consultant Mike Frain explains the fundamentals of Electric Arc protection and choosing the right kit…
What is an electric arc?
Mike Frain: A natural form of an electrical arc is lightning. In electrical equipment, it is the breakdown of air or other insulating gases between conductors such as busbars. Electrical breakdown and ionisation of the air will occur causing high currents to flow into what is essentially a short circuit leading to an ongoing plasma discharge between the conductors. The tips of an arc can reach 20,000 C, which is four times hotter than the sun and all known elements will be rapidly vapourised at these temperatures.
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The injured employees were trying to reinstate the power supply to one of the furnaces at BAS Castings’ foundry on the Wharf Road Industrial Estate in Pinxton, near Mansfield, on 2 September 2016 when the incident happened.
After contractors had completed furnace repairs, the two employees replaced the fuses. They then shut the door to the fuse panel, which engaged the interlock, a system that monitors the position of the guard or gate to shut off power or access.
It has been sixteen long years since IEEE 1584 – IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations was first published in 2002. This standard was highly celebrated back then because for the first time there was an internationally recognized standard that provided a method to calculate the arcing short circuit current, incident energy and arc flash boundary. The results of these calculations are often listed on arc flash/equipment labels and have become an integral part of arc flash studies and risk assessments globally.
However, it did not take long before the focus began to shift towards what comes next.