The importance of Arc Flash protective equipment is often underestimated. This was sadly demonstrated in the recent events in Perth when two men, who were undertaking electrical maintenance, lost their lives in an explosion and several were also injured.
Employees of a privately owned company that services the high voltage electrical industry were working in the Woolworths of Perth’s Galleria Shopping Centre. An explosion occurred in the transformer room believed to be caused by a short circuit in the equipment. One worker died instantly, while the other sustained serious burns to 80% of his body and was rushed to hospital but sadly, died sometime after.
Mobile Test ‘n’ Cal wishes to extend their deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured in the accident. We have donated to NECA’s Morley Galleria Incident Appeal and if you would also like to donate, please follow this link; http://neca.e-newsletter.com.au/link/id/zzzz54d2ef18ada8f164/regform?evuid=zzzz54d1aa1ab85a1179
It is a common misconception that cotton workwear will assist in the case of an arc flash, flashover, arc blast or arc fault. In the event of an arc flash, cotton clothing may cause serious injuries to a worker as it is not arc rated and can burn. They can often burn onto the workers body whereas an arc rated, flame resistant product will not burn and is able to protect the workers body from harm. Whilst two pieces of protective wear may look the same, their ability to protect a worker is very different. Flammable polyesters are even worse as they can melt causing even more serious injuries.
It is also therefore important to have Arc Flash equipment regularly inspected. Proper inspection evaluates the protective equipment’s ability to effectively respond in the event of an arc flash. There is no specific regulatory requirement for inspection intervals for arc flash equipment; it is left up to the user’s discretion. In cases where it is used frequently, it is recommended that inspection be carried out every 3-6 months. However if it is used much less frequently, once every 12 months is usually a sufficient interval.