by , on October 29, 2009

Disclosure: Our live training would compete with this training and our upcoming online training could also compete. We are considering using parts of the software with some technical fixes in our training. It holds lots of promise in some areas.

This electrical safety training has a huge cool factor but comes up deficient on practical training. Etcetera’s new tool is neat but there are issues with the arc flash and shock modules (needs more caveats and detail). The lessons work very hard to be interactive and have the potential of helping a worker understand arc flash much better than most lecture training. It falls short in oversimplification of the real issues.

It oversimplifies the IEEE 1584 calculations that can give the wrong impression. In one case I took the virtual worker to a 240V panel and worked on the device with a 0.37 cal/cm2 exposure BUT that is calculated at 18 inches away. The software says you receive no burns even though the hands are IN the arc and would receive 2-3rd degree burns. It gives the impression that you can arc 240V phase to phase with your hands and receive no burns which isn’t accurate.

The shock module shows a worker holding the metal part of a screwdriver and putting it into a 240V panel with bare hands and says he receives only a 5 mA shock which can’t hurt you. This is again dependent on too many variables and gives the wrong impression which could in some cases be deadly.

The other issue is using the tables without a gaining understanding that they must do some engineering work to determine if they meet the tables. In a live class this can be made clearer.

We see a lot of value in the scenarios and are working with them to see if they can fix the issues. The game format it totally neat even if there are some engineering technical glitches. I can’t recommend using it as your only NFPA 70E training in its current state BUT they have done something interesting no one has ever done and it could play a part in the future of training. The testing using real scenarios holds the most potential. If you have a good online refresher and have interaction with a live instructor to answer questions this type of training could be part of a training system. Just needs a lot of background support or other options to give more full understanding. With some tweaks this could be used in a classroom setting to allow workers to better understand shock and arc flash but in it’s current state it could lead to technical errors which would hurt workers needlessly. I applaud a new potential tool with a lot of promise.

Read the OHS article here…

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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