OSHA Safeguards For Electrical Personal Protection – Arc Flash

This is probably the second most-viewed arc flash video online. It shows three workers working in the open door of an exterior electrical substation when an arc flash occurs. They all sustained burns—one was very serious. Read more about this story here.

This video shows the supervised re-energizing of a switchgear box that led to an arc blast. No one was injured in this video, but it does illustrate the explosive force of such an event. Unlike the first two videos, this video has audio and is shot from a close distance; this gives a more visceral sense of the blast’s raw power.

Arc Flash Hazard Risk Clothing Minimum Requirements

Jazard Risk Chart - Arc Flash Protective Clothing

Part Number: 1910
• Part Title: Occupational Safety and Health Standards
• Subpart: S
• Subpart Title: Electrical
• Standard Number: 1910.335
• Title: Safeguards for personnel protection.


Use of protective equipment.


Personal protective equipment.


Employees working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards shall be provided with, and shall use, electrical protective equipment that is appropriate for the specific parts of the body to be protected and for the work to be performed.

Note: Personal protective equipment requirements are contained in subpart I of this part.


Protective equipment shall be maintained in a safe, reliable condition and shall be periodically inspected or tested, as required by 1910.137.


If the insulating capability of protective equipment may be subject to damage during use, the insulating material shall be protected. (For example, an outer covering of leather is sometimes used for the protection of rubber insulating material.)


Employees shall wear nonconductive head protection wherever there is a danger of head injury from electric shock or burns due to contact with exposed energized parts.


Employees shall wear protective equipment for the eyes or face wherever there is danger of injury to the eyes or face from electric arcs or flashes or from flying objects resulting from electrical explosion.


General protective equipment and tools.


When working near exposed energized conductors or circuit parts, each employee shall use insulated tools or handling equipment if the tools or handling equipment might make contact with such conductors or parts. If the insulating capability of insulated tools or handling equipment is subject to damage, the insulating material shall be protected.


Fuse handling equipment, insulated for the circuit voltage, shall be used to remove or install fuses when the fuse terminals are energized.


Ropes and handlines used near exposed energized parts shall be nonconductive.


Protective shields, protective barriers, or insulating materials shall be used to protect each employee from shock, burns, or other electrically related injuries while that employee is working near exposed energized parts which might be accidentally contacted or where dangerous electric heating or arcing might occur. When normally enclosed live parts are exposed for maintenance or repair, they shall be guarded to protect unqualified persons from contact with the live parts.


Alerting techniques. The following alerting techniques shall be used to warn and protect employees from hazards which could cause injury due to electric shock, burns, or failure of electric equipment parts:


Safety signs and tags. Safety signs, safety symbols, or accident prevention tags shall be used where necessary to warn employees about electrical hazards which may endanger them, as required by 1910.145.


Barricades. Barricades shall be used in conjunction with safety signs where it is necessary to prevent or limit employee access to work areas exposing employees to uninsulated energized conductors or circuit parts. Conductive barricades may not be used where they might cause an electrical contact hazard.


Attendants. If signs and barricades do not provide sufficient warning and protection from electrical hazards, an attendant shall be stationed to warn and protect employees.


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