This web site provides employers and safety personnel with a comprehensive introduction to arc flash labels and safety. Our goal is to provide you with an overview of the tools and information you need in order to protect your workers and your business against the threat of arc flash.
Arc flash is best described as a short circuit through air that transitions from one exposed live conductor to another conductor or to a ground via a flash, ionizing it to form a superheated plasma.
Arc flash is one of the most dangerous workplace hazards, causing serious injuries and fatalities and costing companies millions in worker's compensation and damage to equipment--not to mention OSHA fines and legal fees. A study* by the Electrical Power Research Institute estimated direct costs to an employer from a fatal electrical accident at $1.3 million, with indirect costs adding another $2 to $8 million. Unfortunately, many employers are unaware of the risk, and many more have not implemented important safety procedures and devices to protect their workers.
Prior to 1982, it was assumed that electric shock was the major risk associated with live electrical work. In 1982, Dr. Ralph Lee first identified arc flash, in a paper presented to the IEEE-IAS titled "The Other Electrical Hazard: Electric Arc Blast Burns." According to this paper, as many as 80% of electrical injuries resulted from arc flash rather than from shock. Over the next several years, industry awareness of the hazard began to grow, especially in the petrochemical industry.
In 1990, the threat of arc flash was well-established, and OSHA updated 29 CFR-1910 Subpart S to recognize the need for arc-flash safety. A few years later, NFPA 70E was revised to include the calculations necessary to establish arc flash protection boundaries. Also in the mid-1990s, equipment manufacturers began to offer arc-resistant switchgear as a means to minimize arc flash hazards.
The DuraLabel PRO arc flash labeling package includes a DuraLabel PRO printer, arc flash labeling supplies, and labeling database software that tracks your labels and ensures they include the required information.