It’s time you had an Arc Flash study done

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Are you ready for the new OSHA electrical safety requirements? Do you feel prepared? Have you had your Arc Flash Risk Assessment complete? If the answer is no then it is time to get started. “What is an Arc Flash?” this is one of the most frequently asked questions. An Arc Flash occurs because of a release of energy caused by an electrical arc, resulting in an explosion. The flash can reach temperatures up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the main reasons to get an Arc Flash Risk Assessment is because the explosion that occurs is known to cause serious damage. With the extreme temperatures of the blast, burns account for around 80% of all the injuries. Any employee not wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are also at risk of electric shock, blindness, shrapnel wounds, and in some cases death. The damage to your facility can also lead to problems such as lengthy downtime, extensive repairs, and even loss of profit. Often times a simple adjustment to your electrical systems like the breaker settings or the installation of a breaker disconnect can really help to reduce accidents.

Another reason for having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed is simply because it is required by OSHA. In 2014 OSHA recognized an arc flash as a “hazard” and after that, the OSHA General Duty Clause began to cover arc flash explosions. All employers need to properly implement and document electrical safety programs that direct activity to the risks involved. All Companies must now comply and have an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed every 5 years. The leading standard and best practice in electrical safety is the NFPA 70E Handbook. Two main points from the handbook would be that the employer is required to conduct an assessment, and must hand out the proper PPE if a potentially dangerous situation arises.

Having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed by qualified and trained professionals is highly important. Are you ready? Contact the experienced Arc Flash specialists at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services today to perform an arc flash analysis for your facility, complex, office, or campus.

For more information contact:

Phone: 844-321-3869

Email: sales@thompsonspecialty.com

Website: www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

What does the new NFPA 70E 2018 Standard mean to you?

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The NFPA 70E has been the go-to playbook for electrical safety practices since 1979 when it was first published. To keep it updated and current, every three years it is revised to include new regulations and requirements for electrical safety. The 11th edition, also known as the 2018 version, is right around the corner and there are hundreds of minor and major revisions specifically, regarding Arc Flash that you need to educate yourself on.

So, what does all this mean to you the employer? Why should you care?

Complying with consensus standards can be difficult. NFPA 70E offers electrical safe work practices for the industry. The NFPA 70E is a how-to-comply instruction manual for several of OSHA’s regulations including electrical hazard assessments and how to select the appropriate PPE for electrical hazards. It is however ever changing and keeping up with all the changes can be difficult.

OSHA enforces compliance to NFPA 70E using Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which is commonly referred to as the GENERAL DUTY CLAUSE, as the basis for implementation. As the employer, you “shall furnish to each of its employees’ employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees.” As a result, companies can be cited by OSHA for non-compliance of NFPA 70E.

It is more important than ever that you utilize a third party that specializes in Arc Flash Risk Assessments and has the experience and knowledge of the OSHA and NFPA 70E requirements. Call Thompson Automation and Specialty Services today at 844.321.3869 to learn more and to find out how we can help you stay compliant with OSHA and the new NFPA 70E standards.

www.thompsonspecialty.com

 

Is the Risk of an Arc Flash Explosion Worth the Consequences? 

I look at risk as a combination of probability and consequences.   If the probability and consequences of an accident are low, then the risk is low.  If the probability is high and the consequences are high, then the risk is high.  Perceived risks then drive spending and investments and while we can’t put a specific value on reducing risk we ArcFlashLabeltypically will measure an expected Return on Investment (ROI) for what we spend.  If you have not already made the investment to have an Arc Flash Risk Assessment done at your facility you need to know about and consider the probability and consequences.

The probability of an Arc Flash is related to the quality, care, and age of your electrical system.  The consequences of an Arc Flash can be devastating.  Arc Flash explosions are known to cause serious damage to your facility and personnel.  What is the impact to your business if an arc flash explosion shuts your production line or facility down for a day, a week or a month? You need to consider the total financial loss of an accident; costs that include the disruption of your business and to your customers can be substantial.  Regulatory fines alone can be crippling.

An Arc Flash Risk Assessment is required by OSHA and will-full noncompliance can quickly extend fines into the millions of dollars. What about future expenses then like increased insurance rates and injury settlements.  It can be shuttering to consider, but what about the cost of a death of an employee.

The good news in all this, however, is that the cost of having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment done is low.  It’s very hard to place hard numbers on the cost of an accident.  However, if the risk of an accident is rather high but the investment is low, it makes the decision easier to deal with.  An Arc Flash and the resulting explosions can be devastating to your organization and the employee that is not properly prepared or protected against it.  Whether your motivation is to protect your employees, meet the OSHA requirements, or protect against future expenses; having an Arc Flash Risk Assessment completed by qualified and trained professionals is important.  Contact the experienced Arc Flash specialists at Thompson Automation and Specialty Services at 844-321-3869 today to learn more or to have them perform an Arc Flash analysis for your facility.

The Partner for Agribusiness

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The Partner for Agribusiness is a quarterly publication for Austin Mutual Insurance Company.  Thompson Automation & Specialty Service was recently featured talking about the Dangerous Power of Arc Flash.

Kent Voigt, Senior Risk Consultant, for Austin Mutual Insurance saw the Thompson Automation & Specialty Services presentation at the Ag Cooperative Safety Directors of Iowa in Story City, IA and asked if we would be interested in presenting our presentation to their Risk Consultants in Omaha.  They also asked if Thompson Automation and Specialty Services would like to be interviewed for an article in their The Partner for Agribusiness publication that is mailed to their agricultural customers quarterly.  Here’s the article.  Safety pays dangerous power of Arc Flash

GEAPS

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Recently, Thompson Automation & Specialty Services participated as an exhibitor, in the National GEAPS (Grain Elevator and Processing Society) Expo in Kansas City, MO.  More than 3000 people from all aspects of the grain industry attended the 3 day event.

Mike Pendergast (Thompson Automation and Specialty Services) and Rob Costello (Thompson Electric) handled the booth duties promoting arc flash awareness, infrared thermal imaging and electrical safety for grain elevators.  Thompson Automation and Specialty Services is using these national expos to create awareness of the dangers of electrical hazards in grain handling facilities.  As a result, owners and operators of grain facilities, are now realizing the dangers of electricity and the need for arc flash risk assessments, electrical surveys and training for their employees.

The interest generated by our presence at the GEAPS Expo, and the follow up from our contacts made at the Expo, emphasizes the growing interest in electrical safety and the need for Thompson Automation and Specialty Services to stay active in the grain industry.