Do you know what arc flash is?

Many workplaces—such as those exposed to electrical equipment, high-voltage machinery and energized circuits—are susceptible to a phenomenon known as arc flash, which can result in severe burn injuries. Arc flash is the sudden release of electrical energy through the air when a high-voltage gap exists and there is a breakdown between conductors. An arc flash can be spontaneous or result from inadvertently bridging electrical contacts with a conducting object. Other causes may include dropped tools or the buildup of conductive dust or corrosion. (1)

Common results from an arc flash:

  • Burn injuries (non-fire-resistant clothing can burn onto skin)
  • Fire that could spread rapidly through a building
  • Blast pressure (upwards of 2,000 pounds per square foot)
  • Extreme heat

Protect your employees

According to the American Burn Association, burn injuries are one of the leading causes of unintentional death and injury in the United States. One civilian fire death occurs every 2 hours, 35 minutes.(2)

OSHA regulations are in place to help prevent arc flash and other electrical hazards, and to help minimize burn risks for employees who work on or nearby energized equipment. These OSHA resources include, but are not limited to, information on:

  • Protection boundaries
  • Barricades
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Hazardous (classified) locations
  • Warning labels

For more information, please visit

Be sure to contact your Summit Loss Prevention consultant if you have any questions or concerns.

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The information presented in this publication is intended to provide guidance and is not intended as a legal interpretation of any federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations applicable to your business. The loss prevention information provided is intended only to assist policyholders of Summit managed insurers in the management of potential loss producing conditions involving their premises and/or operations based on generally accepted safe practices. In providing such information, Summit Consulting LLC does not warrant that all potential hazards or conditions have been evaluated or can be controlled. It is not intended as an offer to write insurance for such conditions or exposures. The liability of Summit Consulting LLC and its managed insurers is limited to the terms, limits and conditions of the insurance policies underwritten by any of them.
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