[2019 Statistics] Arc Flash Explosions Occur Every Day — Arc Flash Accidents | Blog

Arc Flash Hazrad

A report published in Industrial Safety and Hygiene News estimated that, on average, there are 30,000 arc flash incidents every year. The report went on to estimate that those incidents resulted in an average annual totals of 7,000 burn injuries, 2,000 hospitalizations, and 400 fatalities per year.

OSHA report on electrical arc flash injuries
OSHA report on electrical arc flash injuries

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According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

“An arc flash is a sudden release of electrical energy through the air when a high-voltage gap exists and there is a breakdown between conductors.”

important reasons for electrical arcing
important reasons for electrical arcing

Hazards and effects associated with HV Electrical Energy

An incident involving an arc flash and/or electrical explosion can expose people to levels of energy that could lead to severe burns or death.

osha report on arc flash hazard and injuries
osha report on arc flash hazard and injuries

Electrical Arc Turns NYC Sky Blue

On the night of December 27, 2018, an electrical flash at a Con Edison substation in Astoria, Queens temporarily lit up the New York skyline in a brilliant aqua blue. The event was extensively covered in social media.

electric arc turns night sky blue in NYC
electric arc turns night sky blue in NYC

Fatality at Australian Power Plant

At Yallourn Power Station in Australia, Victorian worker Graeme Edwards was working on a generator unit after an outage, when a high-voltage circuit breaker exploded. Graeme Edwards, a unit controller with more than 30 years of experience, was critically injured during the arc flash explosion.

Electrician injured by Arc Flash

In February 2018, an electrician went to install a new power supply in a wall-mounted, low voltage (415 V) switchboard to provide three-phase power for an electric motor. The switchboard was still live and, as he tried to remove an existing circuit breaker with a screwdriver, an arc flash occurred.

These arc flash were caused by different reasons which could be avoided by performing arc flash analysis periodically.

Let us know if you have any queries regarding this topic and do provide us with your feedback in the comments.

Hiring a professional electrical engineer to conduct an Arc Flash Analysis and Short Circuit Study is a great way to ensure the safety of your facility and workers against unwanted incidents.

AllumiaX, LLC is one of the leading providers of Power System Studies in the northwest. Our matchless services and expertise focus on providing adequate analysis on Arc Flash, Transient Stability, Load Flow, Snubber Circuit, Short Circuit, Coordination, Ground Grid, and Power Quality.

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About The Author

Abdur Rehman is a professional electrical engineer with more than eight years of experience working with equipment from 208V to 115kV in both the Utility and Industrial & Commercial space. He has a particular focus on Power Systems Protection & Engineering Studies.

Abdur Rehman is the CEO and co-founder of allumiax.com and creator of GeneralPAC by AllumiaX. He has been actively involved in various roles in the IEEE Seattle Section, IEEE PES Seattle, IEEE Region 6, and IEEE MGA.

Leaders in Industrial & Commercial Power Systems Engineering