825 electrical industry professionals were surveyed on the importance of arc flash mitigation in the work place by Littlefuse, Inc. Results indicate arc flash safety is a growing priority among company leaders.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration(OSHA) reports 80% of electrically related accidents and fatalities are the result of industrial arc-flash events. A majority of industrial professionals who responded to the survey (67%) reported they had completed an arc-flash hazard assessment in their facilities.
Another popular technique for arc flash mitigation are arc flash hazard assessments. These assessments can be done in house or by an independent third party. Arc flash assessments determine the PPE Levels required on each piece of electrical equipment. In the past, a scale of HRC 1-4 has been used. NFPA 70E is now moving away from HRCs, however, they are still a commonly used classification. More than 50% of those who responded to the survey indicate they have had “significant (HRC 3 or higher) arc-flash hazards.”
The question of which solution for reducing arc-flash and keeping workers safe was most popular came back with a variety of answers. Included in the results were arc-resistant switchgear, arc-flash relays and high-resistance grounding with the most popular mitigation technique being current-limiting fuses.There are well used in the industry but because an arc-flash draws less current than a bolted fault there may not be any interruption by the circuit-breaker and other forms of arc-flash mitigation must sometimes be used. Consulting electrical engineers for arc flash studies and arc flash mitigation is a critical component.