You probably already know the basics about arc flashes and flash fires… they’re dangerous and they’re among the most devastating workplace hazards. Is there anything else that you need to know?
When it comes to your safety, we believe that there should never be a limit on how much you can learn. Today, we’ll be taking a deeper look into the differences between an arc flash and flash fires, as well as how to prepare for them.
An arc flash is an unwanted electrical discharge that can rapidly raise temperature and pressure leading to an explosion. There are tonnes of reasons that an Arc flash may occur, but the majority of them stem from the same thing: Human error. Whether it be lack of awareness, carelessness, improper tools, or inadequate preventative maintenance, a lot of the arc flashes that happen on the work site could have been avoided.
Flash fires ignite and spread quickly at very high temperatures, but only last a few seconds. They’re caused by the ignition of a combustible material in the air. Despite the short duration, flash fires can easily cause injuries, death and damage to equipment. This hazard is seen mainly in the oil and gas industry, but can also be happen anywhere that combustible dust particles are being produced through manufacturing.
Here are some videos to give you a visual example on how the two differ. Hopefully, seeing these accidents on your screen will make you never want to see them at work!
If you’re being smart and safe about your workplace hazards, you shouldn’t have to worry about them, but not everyone is. That’s where proper protective equipment comes in to play. Not everyone takes safety as seriously as they should, so you need to be prepared for anything.
Wearing Fire Resistant clothing that’s up to the the correct standards for you industry can save your life. You should ensure that your FR garments are free of contaminants, not overly worn and that you’re layering them properly so that you don’t compromise their effectiveness. If you have any questions about this, you can always talk to your work wear provider, including the super knowledgeable staff at Direct Workwear!