An “electrically safe work condition” used to mean that a work area was free from shock and electrocution hazards. This traditional thinking ignores the fact that more than 80% of electrical workplace accidents are burns or injuries caused by the intense heat and blast associated with an arc-flash. Industry trends including the ever-increasing of loads, heightened reliance on on-site generation and further demands for continuous operation have increased the risk factor.
Statistically, five arc-flash events occur daily in the United States. These incidents result in injury or death to personnel, unexpected downtime, damage to equipment as well as fines and legal fees. A 1999 EPRI study estimated that the cost of a single arc-flash event averages $15.75 MILLION dollars. Moreover, legal obligations from such an incident can extend from the property owner to contractors, subcontractors and even individual engineers and managers.
OSHA recognizes NFPA-70E as an accepted industry standard and, under the general duties clause, requires that all employers provide a safe work environment.
This means that every commerical facility that uses electric power must assess electrical safety hazards and take steps to mitigate these risks. Often, solutions for addressing high hazard categories involve reducting time to trip or adding distance between the operator and the live bus. Standard features in all ETC-12 upgrades such as the remote mountable display, auto reset actuator and flashSAFE maintenance mode provide a simple and effective way to accomplish these tasks.