Electrical incidents

*Most electrical accidents occur because people are working on or near equipment that is:

  • Thought to be dead
  • Known to be live but those involved do not have adequate training or appropriate equipment, or they have not taken adequate precautions

*HSE – HSG85 Electricity at Work Safe Working Practices 2003

Around 1000 electrical accidents at work are reported to HSE each year and about 25 people die of their injuries.

Many deaths and injuries arise from:

  • use of poorly maintained electrical equipment;
  • work near overhead power lines;
  • contact with underground power cables during excavation work;
  • mains electricity supplies (230 volt);
  • use of unsuitable electrical equipment in explosive areas such as car paint spraying booths;

Fires started by poor electrical installations and faulty electrical appliances cause many additional deaths and injuries”
Source: Click here to view 

Video of Person trapped in the arc blast and arc flash
Source: Click here to view
WARNING - Graphic content

This video is from the US and has been discussed on many web forums and is available in the public domain. There are no confirmed details about why this incident occurred and what happened to the person involved in the arcflash. Some say it was in Bogota Columbia in April 2007 and that the breaker being racked in had been in storage for a long time in a damp location allowing the fibreglass insulation to absorb moisture. The breaker is being placed back in service and racked in for the first time, no one tested the breaker before installation, when the line side disconnects it contacted the buss, the damp insulation allowed a phase to phase fault to occur.

We believe that the person was racking in a breaker standing approx 1 metre from the door hinge out of the way of the blast - this is standard switching procedure in the US. The workers appear to be wearing NFPA 70 E category 2 FR PPE 8 cal/cmPPE because the worker racking in the breaker pulls down his visor. This video is purely for demonstration purposes to show the potential effects of an arc flash.