Tyndale presents Arc Week: a unique, week-long educational look at the world of arc flash hazards through the lens of Shark Week. Join Scott Margolin – our dedicated technical expert by day and passionate shark enthusiast in his free time – for engaging, memorable parallels that bring important lessons about risk protection and PPE to life.
Catch it all: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3.
In this episode, Special guest Duane Siders, Chief Revenue Officer at National Safety Apparel (NSA), joins Tyndale’s Scott Margolin to look back at some of the most famous arcs in history – and how far we’ve come. But not before we look back at some of the most famous sharks in history, Arc Week style…
When it comes to those historic sharks, you’ll want to check out the video above (trust us!).
That said, though Arc Week is meant to be interesting and unique, arc flash incidents are deadly serious and there are severe real world implications of “swimming in dangerous waters” without the right PPE.
Famous Arcs in History
In fact, there have been some arc incidents that have gained notoriety in recent years. Check out Episode 5 of Season 1 for a closer look at four of them. As you watch, take note of the difference in outcome of the first two incidents, which occurred before most people wore arc-rated (AR) clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- In those two arcs, the arc flash ignites the workers’ flammable clothing and continues to burn – dramatically increasing the extent and severity of injury.
- In contrast, the second two arcs take place when AR PPE is used, and the consequences are dramatically different: the workers are not wearing fuel, the clothing does not ignite, and they are back at work the next day.
AR clothing can – and does – save lives.
The Grandfather of NFPA 70E Arc Flash Compliance and Industrial Electrical Safety
Special guest Duane Siders, Chief Revenue Officer at National Safety Apparel (NSA), joins Tyndale’s Scott Margolin to look back on the arc that many people view as the Grandfather of NFPA 70E arc flash compliance and industrial electrical safety.
- An arc incident occurred at a major secondary supplier to a big three auto manufacturing facility in New York.
- A woman was severely burned in an arc flash due to a tool that contacted live electrical parts.
- The year was 2000, and NFPA 70E had just been revised to include arc flash for the first time, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was on the committee.
- OSHA, who was looking to potentially make an example of the new NFPA 70E arc flash rules, essentially said that if the facility abated the hazard, including AR PPE, the extraordinary workplace safety penalties for the incident would be drastically reduced or even eliminated.
- Scott and Duane worked together to outfit this manufacturing facility’s workers with AR PPE, providing more than 1,000 AR coveralls on extremely short notice – delivering the life-saving protection these workers need and deserve, and playing a role in this historic incident.
Good news: 20 years later, there are now more than 1M industrial electricians and operators protected by AR PPE than there were then. So, while incidents continue to occur, the catastrophic injuries and fatalities are dramatically reduced today from what they could be (and were then).
Compliance with OSHA
Speaking of OSHA, the organization views standards like NFPA 70E in two important ways:
- Evidence that an industry recognizes a hazard (arc flash) and
- As feasible means of abatement of that hazard.
So, while OSHA doesn’t enforce NFPA 70E per se, if you’re compliant with NFPA 70E you’re compliant with OSHA.
Do you have a flash fire – rather than an arc flash – hazard? OnMarch 19, 2010, OSHA issued an Enforcement Policy Letter for compliance with OSHA 1910.132 as it relates to protection against flash fire. “[I]ntended to clarify OSHA’s policy for citing the general industry standard for personal protective equipment (PPE) for the failure to provide and use flame resistant clothing (FRC) in oil and gas well drilling, servicing, and production-related operations,” this memo provides another example of how OSHA’s interpretations can dramatically and positively improve safety for workers facing similar hazards to those in the electrical industry.
Check out Episode 5: Respect Your Environment – the grand finale we’ve all been waiting for. Our group of arc flash experts assemble for a real shark dive, examining other aspects of arc flash safety (aside from PPE) to show how the hierarchy of controls work together to keep you safe.