by , on May 1, 2019

Is that Electrical Wire De-Energized?

A worker in New Jersey escaped injury after a power line fell to wet ground and arc flashed.

How much energy is there? Probably very low from an arc flash perspective since the fault current would be low, the arc gap length was VERY small from the side of the line to the ground but the clearing time was long but the worker moved in less than 2 seconds.

What was the worker wearing? Looks like AR Rainwear which is min 5 cal/cm2 per ASTM F1891 but worn over AR clothing meeting ASTM F1506 in most utilities in the US. Shoes do well in arc flash and typically the line worker would be in DI Overshoes to prevent step potential (a real hazard in wet locations with a power line on the ground). This worker’s distance to the face was substantial but it is possible here to receive a first degree burn on the unprotected face.  Fortunately he was wearing rubber insulating gloves meeting ASTM D120 and protector gloves meeting ASTM F696.

A utility worker was working on the line when it fell. The line was believed to be de-energized. Why wasn’t the line checked?

Earlier that evening, two officers at that same intersection had to quickly get away when a transformer started arcing.

Training on OSHA 1910.269 and proper arc flash and shock PPE for all electric utility work is critical.

 


Hugh Hoagland
About author:
Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

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