Global survey shows many facilities fail to conduct arc-flash hazard assessments
By Peter Saunders
May 30, 2019 – A new global survey on facility electrical safety finds most respondents consider arc-flash mitigation a priority in their workplace, but fewer have completed risk assessments to identify hazardous areas, leaving workers exposed to dangerous conditions.
The survey was conducted earlier this year by Littelfuse, which manufactures circuit protection and power control technologies. Of the respondents’ facilities that have successfully completed a risk assessment, 76% report equipment rated at high risk of more than 8 calories/cm2.
(The calorie rating determines the required minimum arc-flash protection clothing workers must wear to protect themselves. By way of example, the onset of second-degree burns may occur at 1.2 calories/cm2).
While 79% of respondents agree mitigation is a priority, assessments have only been completed at 66% of the surveyed facilities. Further, one in three workers reports having experienced an arc-flash event.
The survey also shows a need for increased safety awareness and training. While 85% of respondents are familiar with standards for electrical safety, nearly 25% say they have never received related training at their workplace.
“Electrical incidents contribute to a substantial number of worker injuries and fatalities,” says Peter Kim, vice-president (VP) and general manager (GM) of Littelfuse’s industrial business unit. “Conducting an arc-flash risk assessment is an important first step to ensure the safety of workers.”
For a full report of the survey findings, visit www.littelfuse.com/safety-survey-results.