Arc Flash Hazards
|Fully Licensed and
Q: What is an arc flash event?
A: An electric arc is created between two
conductors with sufficient energy to sustain the arc.
Sufficient heat (approx. 35,000F) causes the
conductors to melt and vaporize. Because copper
expands by 67,000 times when it is vaporized a
pressure wave is created strong enough to rupture
ear drums. The event is accompanied by an intense
light, shrapnel and molten metal.
Q: Can an arc flash blast only occur at high voltage
A: No. An Arc Flash can occur at voltages as low as
208VAC provided there is a sufficient available fault
current. (See Arc Flash/Blast Demonstration Video)
Q: Can a worker be injured by the Arc Flash / Blast?
A: If a person doesn't have the necessary personal
protective equipment (PPE) they can be severely
burned or killed by an Arc Flash/Blast.
- 2 people a day die because of Arc Flash Blast
- Five (5) to ten (10) arc explosions occur in
electric equipment every day in the U.S.
Q: Can a worker be protected from all Arc Flash /
A: No. It is common that sufficient energy exists,
such as at a service entrance, such that no PPE
would protect the individual. In these instances
work on the equipment would not be done unless
power is isolated from the equipment.
Eddie Adams Story
Two workers in Cat 4 PPE
(40Cal/cm2) racking in a 480VAC
Circuit Breaker (Picture from
Arc Flash/Blast Demo Video
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