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Nikola Tesla Offers Advice about the Proper PPE to Wear for Arc Flash Hazards

Oct. 5, 2016
Exposure to an arc flash without proper personal protective equipment can be deadly for workers.

An arc flash is a phenomenon where a flashover of electric current leaves its intended path and travels through the air from one conductor to another, or to ground. The results are often violent and when a human is in close proximity to the arc flash, serious injury and even death can occur.

It’s not uncommon for an injured employee to never regain his past quality of life. Extended medical care often is required, sometimes costing in excess of $1 million, according to estimates from OSHA.

Arc flash can be caused by many things including:

  • Dust
  • Dropping tools
  • Accidental touching
  • Condensation
  • Material failure
  • Corrosion
  • Faulty Installation

Three factors determine the severity of an arc flash injury:

  • Proximity of the worker to the hazard
  • Temperature
  • Time for circuit to break

So who better to talk about electrical arc flash safety than Nikola Tesla, the inventor and electrical engineer who contributed to the design of our modern electrical supply systems?

This animated video is the third in a three-part series about arc flash safety, available online at the Graphic Products YouTube Channel. It provides a light-hearted yet memorable look at this serious topic.

The video also outlines protection standards set forth by the NFPA, and calculates PPE needed to protect against calories of energy generated by an arc flash arc flash incident, when and if it happens.

“Having the right protective gear takes some extra preparation, but it’s critical in working safely and confidently when arc flash hazards are present,” said Graphic Products’ Compliance Specialist Brian McFadden. “This video packs a lot of safety info into less than 2 minutes, and could even save a life.”

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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