Arc flash safety training is generally conducted in production facilities where the risk of arc flash and electrical short circuit is high. This training ensures that your workplace and your employees are safe from the hazards of electrical and fire accidents. Protection against workplace hazards is one of the basic rights of every employee. Arc flash training should cover the following aspects:
- The skills required to identify exposed live electrical conductors and other parts of electrical equipment.
- Lockout tagout training (LOTO) to safeguard your employees from the unexpected startup of machinery and equipment or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance.
- The ability to determine the nominal voltage of exposed live electrical conductors and other parts.
- The ability to identify approach distances corresponding voltages to which the qualified person will be exposed.
- A ‘qualified person’ is an employee who demonstrates the ability to perform duties safely at his level.
- The decision making process necessary to determine the degree and extent of the hazard as well as the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and arc flash clothing require to perform the task safely.
- Employers are trained to choose the appropriate voltage detector and to use a device that verifies the absence of voltage. This also includes interpreting indications provided by the device.
- Arc flash training also enables the employee to understand all the limitations of each specific voltage.
The following standards also need to be considered while conducting electrical safety training:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards 29-CFR, Part 1910. OSHA 1910 sub part S (electrical) Standard number 1910.333 that specifically addresses Standards for Work Practices and references NFPA 70E.
- National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 70 – 2002 “The National Electrical Code” (NEC) that contains requirements for warning labels.
- NFPA 70E 2000 that provides guidance on implementing appropriate work practices required to safeguard employees from injury while working on or near exposed electrical conductors or energized circuit parts.
- The Canadian Standards Association’s upcoming CSA Z462 Arc Flash Standard is being developed as Canada’s version of NFPA70E when it is released in 2008.
- The Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers IEEE 1584 – 2002 Guide to Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations.
After successful completion of fire safety training, there are a few things that your employees need to know:
- What is an electrical hazard?
- What is the correct procedure for lockout tagout?
- How is Personal Protective Equipment used?
- How are insulated tools and test equipment used?
- How is an electrical inspection conducted?
- What are safe electrical practices?
- How is electrical equipments maintained properly?
- What is the proper switching and cleaning procedure?
- What are the appropriate clearance distances?
- What kind of electrical hazards can occur in confined spaces?
- What is the proper use of portable electrical equipment?
There are a number of private organizations who help you analyze the risks of arc flash in your factory; label the equipment; prepare a detailed report and provide arc flash safety training. Some companies also provide you with arc flash hazard software that enables you to follow government regulations and provide a safe environment for your workforce.