What is an Arc Flash

Arc Flash

What is an Arc Flash

An electrical Arc Flash (or blast) is an intensive lightning that occurs when an electrical discharge or short circuit moves through the air and releases an intense burst of energy. Hotter than the sun and capable of creating a shrapnel explosion faster than a bullet, it can also result in large doses of electromagnetic radiation, toxic air, extreme noise and an explosive pressure wave.

Phenomenon where a flashover of electric current leaves its intended path and travels through the air from: (The higher the voltage and the shorter the distance to the main power supply, the greater the arc and blast.)

  • One conductor to another
  • To the ground
  • Caused by things such as
  • Dust
  • Dropping tools
  • Accidental touching
  • Condensation
  • Material failure
  • Corrosion
  • Faulty installation

An unfortunate truth about Arc Flash incidents, that they can occur regardless of training. Without proper protective measures, workers are left exposed to dangerous conditions and have to suffer the consequences. Every year, more than 2,000 people are admitted to burn centers with severe arc-flash burns.

While arc-flash cannot be completely eliminated, there are steps we can take to prevent it. The single most important measure is placing the equipment in a “Safe Working Conditions” If it is more dangerous to turn the equipment off, workers should wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).