Webcast: Electrical Safety by Design - Reduce electrical hazards and enhance plant safety

Littelfuse, Inc.
Webcast: Electrical Safety by Design - Reduce electrical hazards and enhance plant safety

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the two most common electrical hazards in industrial environments are electric shock and arc flash.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) reports that there were 2,480 non-fatal electrical injuries and 134 electrical fatalities in the United States in 2015. All workers need to be reminded that while Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential, it is the last line of defense in an electrical hazard.

The ANSI Z10/CSA Z1000 Occupational Health and Safety risk control hierarchy lists PPE as the least effective safeguard for arc-flash risk. By far the best approach is to design safety into the plant’s electrical system from the start. 

Cost is often an obstacle to implementing engineering controls to mitigate risk, but electrical incidents have a huge impact on a plant’s bottom line both directly and indirectly. OSHA estimates the average electric shock injury costs an employer over $180,000. Furthermore, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) reports that Liberty Mutual polled executives and learned that for every $1.00 spent on workplace safety, they saw a return of $3.00.

Safety is a good investment. Upgrading components such as current-limiting fuses, arc-flash relays, industrial GFCI, and Bluetooth® enabled relays to design in safety need not be expensive and the return on safety investment is well worth it.

Workers and business owners need to be reminded that while PPE is essential, it is the last line of defense in an electrical hazard. Even one incident can cost more than the price of the component upgrade, so there is no excuse for not considering it. Working together we can make electric shock and arc-flash injuries in industrial environments, much less common. The best way to reduce risk of injury from electrical hazards is to design in safety from the start.

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