U.S. Department of Labor
Process: Shipboard Electrical
Table of Contents
Electrical hazards that may result in arc flash
Workers wearing/having a conductive material on their person (e.g., jewelry, tools).
An arc flash or blast can reach temperatures up to 35,000°F, capable of igniting clothing or causing second- or third-degree burns to exposed skin. Conductive tools or materials worn by workers can create a pathway for the flow of electricity, leading to severe injury and possible death.
Avoid wearing jewelry, including metal watches, metal fasteners on clothing, or any other conductive material.
Non-conductive safety goggles should be worn to protect the eyes instead of glasses with metal frames.
Conduct a hazard analysis to identify safety measures and the appropriate type of personal protective equipment (PPE) or other protective equipment for the hazard/risk category (see tables at pages D6 and D7).
Dust, corrosion, or other impurities on the surface of a conductor/breaks or gaps in insulation.
Damaged insulation on high-voltage wiring and dust or other impurities accumulated on equipment can create a pathway for the flow of electricity and may possibly lead to an arch flash or blast when high-voltage components are involved.
Equipment should be kept in safe working condition and free of dust or other impurities. During construction or extensive repair activities that generate dust/debris that is difficult to eliminate, equipment should be protected through the use of barriers (e.g., sheeting or flame-retardant tarps).
To prevent the intrusion of metal filings, employers should follow regular cleaning schedules or place electrical enclosures under positive pressure.
Equipment and wiring must be suitable for the specific installation and environmental conditions present.