Canadian Mining Company Fined After Preventible Arc Flash Incident

Perth, Australia – First Quantum, a British Columbia-based mining company, has been fined $65,000 by a court in Perth for safety failures that led to a preventible arc flash incident dating from 2011. Unfortunately, First Quantum had identified the potentially deadly workplace danger months before an employee was hurt.

First Quantum Minerals employee Shane Russell suffered burns from an arc flash while working inside an electrical substation at its now-closed Ravensthorpe nickel operation in the southern portion of Western Australia. Mr. Russell was struck by a potentially fatal electrical discharge, suffering burns to his left hand and left side of his face. Russell was hospitalized but did not ultimately suffer any permanent injurypreventible arc flash.

Australia’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety said there was no “hard barricade” behind the isolator to prevent accidental contact with uninsulated live bus bars. The department found an internal investigation conducted by First Quantum into an incident in early 2011 and an internal report that identified the danger of working on the motor control center without full isolation. According to that internal document, the potential consequence of an arc flash re-occurrence was identified as being “major” and the likelihood was “possible.”

Read more from original source.

Read More

TN Lineman Recovering from Arc Flash

Dickson, TN – On August 25, Dickson Electric Systems substation supervisor Zach Spicer suffered second-degree burns to his face and neck in an arc flash incident at the DES Old White Bluff Substation.

According to the victim’s sister-in-law, Spicer “was accessing a breaker cabinet, high voltage side when contact or an arc formed, causing an electrical fault that released heat and energy…He remembers stammering around and seeing everyone’s expression looking at him.”

Two days after the burns, doctors determined that Spicer had not lost his eyesight and during the skin graft surgery they were able to not only save his right hand, but also his fingertips.

Spicer remains at the Vanderbilt Medical Center Burn Unit where he has undergone three surgeries and numerous procedures.

A second Dickson Electric Systems employee also suffered severe barc flashurns to his face and neck in the incident. He was released the evening of the accident and is recovering at home.

An Arc Flash is an electrical explosion caused by a fault condition or short circuit when either a phase to ground or phase to phase conductor is connected and current flows through the air. Arc flashes cause electrical equipment to explode, resulting in injury or death to workers and destruction of electrical equipment.

Temperatures can exceed 35,000° F. For reference, the surface of the sun is 9000° F. These extreme temperatures rapid heat and expand surrounding air – the extreme change in pressure is known as an arc blast. The arc flash and blast will likely vaporize all solid copper conductors. These conductors expand up to 67,000 times their original volume when vaporized. The arc flash and blast produce fire, intense light, pressure waves, and flying shrapnel.

When an arc flash happens, it does so without warning and is lightning quick. The result of this violent event is usually destruction of the equipment involved, fire, and severe injury or death to any nearby people. Proper safety and protection measures must be taken to limit the damage from an arc flash which include conducting an arc flash study, short circuit study, and NFPA 70E electrical safety training.

Read more from original source.

Read More

NZ Electrical Worker Survives Arc Flash Accident

Wellington, New Zealand – An electric utility worker in New Zealand has been awarded more than $85,000 in compensation after suffering serious burns in an electrical arc flash while working at a Wellington substation in 2014. The heat of the arc flash was so severe that the man’s pants melted on his legs.

The electrical accident occurred when two Northpower employees were performing maintenance work on roadside transformers. A bracket fell onto live contacts, causing an electrical short and arc flash. In court, the injured man testified that he had pulled a transformer off a panel, and was then hit by the arc flash and flames.

The electrician, who was 20 when the accident occurred, described the pain, trauma and ongoing effects of the incident in court last week. “I pulled the transformer off the panel and all I could hear was myself arc flash accidentscreaming and the flames and the arc flash,” he told Wellington District Court on Thursday. “All I could feel was intense heat and there was me, running for my life.”

An Arc Flash is an electrical explosion due to a fault condition or short circuit when either a phase to ground or phase to phase conductor is connected and current flows through the air. Temperatures may exceed 35,000° F. For reference, the surface of the sun is 9000° F.

These high temperatures cause rapid heating of surrounding air and extreme pressures, resulting in an arc blast. The arc flash will likely vaporize all solid copper conductors which will expand up to 67,000 times their original volume when vaporized. An arc flash produces fire, intense light, pressure waves, and flying shrapnel any of which can cause electrical equipment to explode, resulting in injury or death to workers and destruction of electrical equipment.

When an arc flash happens, it does so without warning and is lightning quick. The result of this violent event is usually destruction of the equipment involved, fire, and severe injury or death to any nearby people. Proper safety and protection measures must be taken to limit the damage from an arc flash which include conducting an arc flash study, short circuit study, and NFPA 70E electrical safety training.

The court ruled that Wellington Electricity and Northpower failed to provide clear instructions to prompt workers to stop if they encountered increased risks or conditions; was responsible for not shutting off the power before work was undertaken; and for not documenting hazard assessments. The 2014 incident led to immediate changes in Northpower’s work practices, including a new approach to planning and risk assessment.

Read more from original source.

Read More

5 Maintenance Workers Hospitalized after Arc Flash Explosion

Queensland, Australia – Three maintenance workers fixing a power board sustained third-degree burns after an electrical explosion at the JBS processing plant in Ipswich, Queensland (Australia). Two other employees were hospitalized for smoke inhalation related to the accident.

The injuries were likely the result of an arc flash. The maintenance workers suffered severe burns on their upper bodies, faces, and hands.

An arc flash is an electrical explosion due to a fault condition or shortmaintenance workers circuit when either a phase to ground or phase to phase conductor is connected and current flows through the air. Arc flashes cause electrical equipment to explode, resulting in injury or death to workers and destruction of electrical equipment.

Temperatures may exceed 35,000° F (the surface of the sun is 9000° F). These high temperatures cause rapid heating of surrounding air and extreme pressures, resulting in an arc blast. Such a blast can vaporize all solid copper conductors. When vaporized, these conductors expand up to 67,000 times original volume. As a result, an arc flash  and arc blast produces fire, intense light, pressure waves, and flying shrapnel.

When an arc flash happens, it does so without warning and is lightning quick. The result of this violent event is usually destruction of the equipment involved, fire, and severe injury or evne death to any nearby people. Proper safety and protection measures must be taken to limit the damage from an arc flash. These measures include conducting an arc flash study, short circuit study, and NFPA 70E electrical safety training.

The JBS facility is the largest beef plant in the southern hemisphere, with a daily production of 3,350 head per day. JBS in Ipswich employs about 2,000 making it the largest employer in that region.

Read more from original source.

Read More

Arc Flash Explosion Causes Fires and Leaves Town without Power

Ephrata, WA – An Arc Flash incident in the small town of Ephrata, in Grant County (WA) has left the town without power and caused fires in the downtown area. No injuries have been reported.

Power Utility customers in this small central Washington town were without power after an explosion at a public utility district substation. A substation of the Grant County Public Utility District caught fire after an arc flash that resulted from a fault in the power line. The arc flash in turn caused an explosion of light and sparks which started fires in downtown Ephrata. Utility officials said the outage was caused by equipment failure in the Central Ephrata Substation.

Read more from original source.

 

Read More

Arc Flash at Omaha Air Force Base Injures 2

Offutt AFB, NE – Two workers were injured at Offutt Air Force Base last week in an arc flash accident. One worker was an Air Force civilian employee from the 55th Civil Engineering Squadron, and the other was from the Omaha Public Power District. Neither employee’s injuries were life-threatening.

The arc flash occurred while the two men were working on electrical equipment. It caused a flash fire, pressure blast, and sound blast. electrical safety arc flash

An Arc Flash is an electrical explosion due to a fault condition or short circuit when either a phase to ground or phase to phase conductor is connected and current flows through the air. Arc flashes cause electrical equipment to explode, often resulting in injury or death to workers and destruction of electrical equipment.

In this case, the arc flash briefly disrupted power in the StratCom building, but a back-up generator quickly kicked in and operations were unaffected.

There are a variety of reasons why an Arc Flash can occur, but most of them are human error and preventable. Many arc flashes occur when maintenance workers are manipulating live equipment for testing or repair and accidentally cause a fault or short circuit. Improper tools, improper electrical equipment, corrosion of equipment, improper work techniques and lack of electrical safety training are just some of the events that can lead to a devastating arc flash or arc blast.

When an arc flash happens, it does so without warning and is lightning quick. The result of this violent event is usually destruction of the equipment involved, fire, and severe injury or death to any nearby people. Proper safety and protection measures must be taken to limit the damage from an arc flash which include conducting an arc flash study, short circuit study, and NFPA 70E electrical safety training.

Contact  a Martin Technical Electrical Safety Expert for a free consultation on how we can help with your Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Labeling, Training & Safety Needs.

Read more from original source.

Read More

Goodyear faces over $1M in Fines after 4 Employee Deaths

Danville, VA – The  Virginia Department of Labor has cited Goodyear’s Danville (VA) facility with nearly $850,000 in fines for workplace safety violations and about $165,000 for health violations. The state issued a grand total of 122 citations including 89 “serious,” four “willful-serious” workplace safety violations, and 26 “serious” and three “other-than-serious” health violations.goodyear employee deaths

In addition, Goodyear was also cited and penalized for the death of Charles “Greg” Cooper at the Danville Goodyear plant on April 12, and for separate non-fatal accidents in which an employee was burned by steam, a machine operator was injured when their arm got caught in a feed conveyor, and another was hurt when their arm got caught in a takeaway belt cement bridge roller.

The largest employer in the Danville area, the Goodyear Tire plant has been the scene of 4 employee deaths within the past year. Billy Scheier died on August 12 from blunt injuries to the chest and medical asphyxia. Greg Cooper died on April 12. Kevin Edmonds died during his work shift on March 31. And in August 2015, Jeanie Lynne Strader also died in an accident at the plant.

The Danville plant was cited for failing to maintain workroom floors in a clean and dry condition and Goodyear was also penalized for not having procedures for controlling “potentially hazardous energy.” These equipment-specific Lockout/Tagout procedures need to be followed before employees troubleshoot problems or perform maintenance on equipment.

VOSH found nearly two dozen instances and locations of inadequate machine guarding within the Danville facility. Their statement says that Goodyear did not provide methods for machine guarding to protect operators and other employees from hazards “such as those created by point of operation, ingoing nip joints, rotating parts, flying chips and sparks.”

Virginia Department of Labor also found untrained machine operators at the Danville Goodyear plant were exposed to 120-to-480-volt circuit conductors when opening cabinet doors to adjust timers and resetting overcurrent devices for machines. Arc Flash accidents generally happen lighting quick and without warning. The result of this violent event is usually destruction of the equipment involved, fire, and severe injury or death to any nearby people. Training is paramount to avoiding any electrical accident. The Martin Technical Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Labeling and Safety Program is one of the most comprehensive in the industry. Read more about our Arc Flash safety and training programs.

Read more from original source.

Read More

GA Arc Flash Accident Generates $110K+ in OSHA Fines

Euharlee, GA – Georgia Power faces $112,000 in proposed fines from federal workplace safety regulators after an arc flash severely burned an electrician at it’s Bowen plant in the fall of 2015. OSHA’s recent investigation of the Bowen generating facility resulted in two repeated, five serious, and two other-than-serious safety citations.

The arc flash occurred when a 48-year-old electrician was working on an electrical cabinet that was still powered. The electrician, an employee of Zurich-based technology company ABB Inc., suffered second and third-degree burns to his hands, arms and torso.

An Arc Flash is an electrical explosion due to a fault condition or short circuit when either a phase to ground or phase to phase conductor is connected and current flows through the air. Arc flashes cause electrical equipment to explode, resulting in injury or death to workers and destruction of electrical equipment.

Georgia Power received two repeat citations farc flashor failing to ensure the electrical cabinet was not powered down before allowing work to begin and not developing specific steps to power down machinery and prevent start up during maintenance and servicing (known as Lockout/Tagout). Georgia Power was cited for these same lockout violations at the Bowen facility in 2014.

The company was also cited for serious violations such as failing to ensure proper grounding of electrical equipment, inform other employers of their electrical lockout program and provide adequate procedures for electrical energy isolation.

In addition, the injured electrician’s employer, ABB, was issued two serious citations for its failure to coordinate with other employers on the specific requirements of removing power from equipment before maintenance and servicing and for exposing workers to electrical hazards. ABB Inc. faces $10,780 of proposed OSHA fines.

When an arc flash happens, it does so without warning and is lightning quick. The result of this violent event is usually destruction of the equipment involved, fire, and severe injury or death to any nearby people. Contact a member of our Safety & Compliance Team today to ensure proper safety and protection measures are in place at your facility to limit the damage from an arc flash. Contact Us for a Free Consultation on How We Can Help You with Your Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Labeling, Training & Safety Needs.

Read more from original source.

Read More

UNC Employee Suffers Arc Flash Burns in Campus Electrical Accident

Chapel Hill, NC – OSHA is investigating the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill due to an arc flash incident this month that resulted in a power outage at the campuAbout Arc Flash, arc flash burnss’ Dey Hall and Wilson Library. The outage was caused when an arc flash struck a UNC employee while he was working in the transformer vault of Dey Hall. The employee was hospitalized for arc flash burns.

According to an OSHA statement, the employee was seen “running out of the building on fire.” Someone helped put the fire out, according to the release, and EMS was called. The employee was taken to UNC hospital. Davis Library, Student Stores, the Student Union, the House Undergraduate Library and Wilson Library were all closed due to the outage, and have since reopened.

Read more from original source.

Read More

Arc Flash Fire Injures AZ Bowling Alley Worker

Prescott, AZ – A worker was replacing blanks when an electrical arc occurred at a bowling alley in Prescott, AZ. Fire officials found evidence of a catastrophic failure in an electrical panel the employee had been servicing.electrical arc

The electrical arc propagated a flame and destroyed the front of the breaker panel, starting a fire. The employee was able to recover from the arc explosion and grabbed a fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire. He suffered burns to his hand, as well as singed facial hair, and was transported to a local hospital.

Fire department officials reported that the fire was extinguished and had not extended from the breaker panel. Responders shut down all power to the building until an evaluation and repair of the electrical system could be accomplished.

Read more from original source.

Read More