Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Occupational Injuries from Electrical Shock and Arc Flash Events" (PDF, 546 KB)
Authors: Richard B. Campbell, ScD, NFPA; and David A. Dini, P.E., UL, LLC
Date of issue: March 2015
Electrical safety in the workplace is an important topic that is addressed by NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace® (2015 edition). This standard addresses arc flash and shock hazards, and there is a need for more empirical incident data on the actual hazards that may be experienced when equipment faults or adverse electrical events occur. The availability of such information allows for better-informed decisions for on-going revisions to this standard.
Specifically, NFPA 70E now includes detailed tables for arc flash hazard identification and arc flash PPE categories in the 2015 edition. These tables require specific levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) for various types and ratings of electrical equipment. Certain tasks where the risk of an arc flash or shock hazard may be lower, such as, normal operation of properly installed and maintained equipment which may not require the use of any special PPE. Some of this risk reduction is based on anecdotal data and/or the collective experience of the technical committee, and there is a desire to have more empirical incident data on the actual hazards and associated injuries that may be experienced when equipment faults or adverse electrical events occur.
The goal of this project is to gather information on occupational injuries from electric shock and arc flash events through a review of literature, electrical incident data, and similar sources. This will include pertinent information such as the nature of the incident, adherence to safety requirements, use of appropriate PPE, and extent of injury.