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Proper protection from arc flashes

Oklahoma employees who perform electrical work can be at risk for arc flash injures. Every year, 2,000 people around the country are treated in hospitals due to injuries sustained by arc flashes. However, electrical workers can minimize their risk to the workplace hazard by wearing the proper personal protective equipment.

The clothing used for arc flash protection has undergone a transformation with the last few years. The fabric that is being used can be worn more comfortably by workers, and the synthetic blends gives them more protection. In order for the personal protective equipment for electrical work to be effective, it has to be resistant to flames. It has to be self-extinguishable on the first day a worker puts it on and remain so after extended use. The equipment also has to be able to endure at least 25 industrial wash cycles.

The ability to provide proper insulation that can protect the wearer from second-degree burns is another factor in the effectiveness of personal protective equipment for arc flashing. Specifically, the clothing's arc rating should not be more that the amount of electrical energy that can be produced. In order to create a clothing program that can be successful, the workplace hazard must first be identified. A risk assessment should be conducted next, followed by the specification of the fabric that will best protect the workers.

Individuals who are injured on the job due to inadequate workplace safety may be legally entitled to compensation. An attorney who practices workers' compensation law may evaluate the circumstance surrounding the workplace incident and may advise clients of their legal options. Assistance may be provided for applying for worker's compensation benefits and with appealing inadequate settlements. OSHA may be notified of violations of federal safety regulations.

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