Monday, February 5, 2018

"He suffered burns, broken bones, and knocked unconscious..."

The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog has posted incidents involving electrical explosions in the past. A lot of incidents involve a high current fault creating an electrical explosion by forming a high energy arc flash which rapidly vaporizes metal and insulation material. Here is a recent story.

An employee was seriously injured when an electrical box exploded around 2:30 a.m. one day during the week of February 1, 2018 at die casting company in the United States.

Local fire department chief said the worker was injured when the box suddenly exploded, causing a flash fire and flinging the box's door at the employee.

"He suffered burns and broken bones and was knocked unconscious for a while when the door hit him," the local fire department chief.

Survival Flight airlifted the man to a hospital to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.

Local fire department chief said the worker's identity was not being released.

Local fire department chief said details about what happened were not immediately clear, except that a large electrical panel was involved.

"I'm not sure if he was working on it or if he was just going by it and it blew," he said.

Local fire department chief said it's possible the electrical box exploded after it was re-energized following some repairs.

"When you throw a lot of electricity at something all at once, there is a tendency for that to happen," he said.

Local fire department chief said the flash fire was out by the time firefighters arrived. He said firefighters focused their efforts on preparing a landing site for the Survival Flight helicopter.

Fire crews remained on the scene for about an hour.

Local fire department chief said the company's maintenance crew took charge of handling and repairing the damaged electrical box. "They know more about it than we do," he said.

Also assisting at the scene were the local County Ambulance Service, the local Police Department and the local County Sheriff's Department.

We pray that this injured worker recovers fully from their injuries. All too often these explosions result in a fatality because many times these workers are alone. So no one is aware of their injuries and they die before medical assistance can be provided. 

The APSB always recommends that workers who are performing electrical maintenance have a helper or are required to check in (via radio) every 5 minutes to their supervisor. 

OSHA has a useful publication  titled understanding "Understanding Arc Flash", which can be downloaded here.

For further educational information we strongly recommend using youtube because there seems to be numerous arc flash training videos. How to chose a video of youtube? We recommend using "filter" and sort by date, view count. 

Please comment.

No comments: