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Arc Flash Hazards in Plants - What are Arc Flash Hazards, How to Determine Arc Flash Hazards in Your Plant, and How to Protect Plant Staff

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Wastewater treatment facilities typically operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without any power shutdowns. As a result, electrical equipment may have to be worked on while it is energized. The danger and potential for injury while working on or near energized electrical equipment is called an arc flash hazard. An arc flash occurs when there is a failure or short circuit in the electrical equipment; it can consist of an arc, an explosion, or a ball of fire with hot molten metal that can cause injury and even death.

This paper describes arc flash hazards, the steps involved in determining the arc flash hazard associated with energized electrical equipment, arc flash hazard labels, the personal protective equipment (PPE) level required to be worn while within the flash hazard boundary, and typical arc flash hazard ratings of electrical equipment in wastewater treatment facilities.

Keywords: PPE; arc flash; arc flash hazard; flash hazard boundary; personal protective equipment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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