Article Critique: The Danger Of Arc Flash

582 words - 3 pages

Unit IV Article Critique: The Danger of Arc Flash
Columbia Southern University

The Danger of Arc Flash

This article is about the dangers of arc flash specifically fire fighters. The article explains what arc flash is and what the resulting injuries can be plus causes of arc flash in the workplace. It talks about the responsibilities of the employer and the employee and the standards for electrical safety in the workplace.

The article was written in 2009 by Elizabeth Ford Burkhart for Fire Engineering July 2009 issue. The article starts out with an excerpt from a fatal incident to an Illinois firefighter and an electrician. This significance of this excerpt is it shows the dangers of an arc flash even with trained professionals when working around high amp sources.

In 2009 there was two workers killed every day from arc flash incidents. An arc flash is an ...view middle of the document...

The bottom line the employers have the responsibility to provide a safe work environment and workplace. The employers accomplish this be training the employees and supervision. Also this is accomplished with performing workplace safety analysis and initiating engineering controls as necessary. The employee is responsible once trained and made aware of the potential dangers and is responsible for protecting themselves by following approved procedures and practices. The article also discussed NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace which was created in 1979 as a sister code to NFPA 70, National Electric Code which deals with equipment and system installation issues where as NFPA 70E is geared for safe worker practices. NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health this standard is for firefighter safety and hazards associated with firefighting to include arc flash.

I thought the article was well written and informative. It gave good and relevant references incase one wanted to explore more into the topic. After reading the article I now have an understanding of what an arc flash is and what some of the contributing causes can be. I also learned why an arc flash injury is usually devastating and most of the time fatal. But most important I learned with training, workplace safety analysis and implementing engineering controls we can reduce greatly reduce the frequency of arc flash incidents.


* By: BURKHART, ELIZABETH FORD. Fire Engineering. Jul2009, Vol. 162 Issue 7, p102-103. 2p
* CapSchell, Arc Flash and Electrical Safety News, May 27, 2008.
* National Institute for Safety and Health, “Arc Flash Awareness—Information and Discussion Topics for Electrical Workers,” National Electrical Manufacturers Association, September 2007.
* Industry Applications Conference (IAS), 2005. Fourtieth Annual IAS Meeting. Volume 3, Issue 2-6, Oct. 2005, 1919-1923.
*National Institute of Occupational Safety Hazards summary report

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