Arc flash burns are an all-too-common injury in workplaces that are home to complex electrical equipment and highly specialized tools. People who work in welding, electrical engineering and plasma cutting are at a particularly high risk for this type of injury. Although arc flash burns are sometimes the result of unforeseen mishaps, in many cases, they’re easily avoidable. Anyone who owns, operates or oversees a workplace in which arc flash burns are an issue is urged to heed the following safety tips.
1. Have Tools Cleaned and Inspected Regularly
When working with specialized, potentially dangerous tools, it’s in your best interest to stick to a strict maintenance schedule. This means having the tools cleaned and inspected as often as their respective manufacturers recommended. In addition to reducing the risk of injury, consistent maintenance helps extend the life of certain tools, ultimately saving businesses a substantial amount of money. Regular inspections can also prove invaluable in identifying and stamping out dangerous issues before they have a chance to occur. A detailed arc flash hazard analysis can also go a long way in nipping safety concerns in the bud.
2. Meticulously Enforce Safety Gear Rules
Although most workplaces that house specialized tools require workers to wear safety gear when operating said tools, a surprising number of seasoned employees often neglect to don it on the job. This is particularly common among tool operators who have never suffered an accident. However, one seemingly inconsequential mishap is all it takes for an arc flash burn to occur. As such, it’s in every supervisor’s best interest to strictly enforce safety gear rules by imposing consequences on workers who refuse to don protective attire.
3. Provide In-Depth Training for New Employees
If you regularly hire people who have little to no experience working with specialized tools, it’s imperative that you provide them with in-depth training. Not only will this greatly reduce the risk of on-the-job mishaps, it will provide you with a more efficient and knowledgeable workforce.
When it comes to workplace injuries, arc flash burns are among the most severe. In certain cases, incurring one of these burns can cause physical and/or psychological damage that affects a person for the rest of their life. Fortunately, provided the proper precautions are taken, arc flash burns are very preventable. In the interest of avoiding arc flash burns in your workplace, take care to have your tools regularly cleaned and inspected, meticulously enforce rules pertaining to safety gear and provide in-depth training to new tool operators.