While you may think of workplace electrical-related injuries being a result of electrocution or shock, they’re not the only causes. In fact, arc flashes that create explosive forces of gas and heat are responsible for up to 55 percent of all burn center visits from those injured on the job. The average cost for a Pennsylvania worker who needs medical treatment for an arc flash injury is $1.5 million.
Arc flashes vs arc faults
When dealing with an arc flash case, it’s important to understand the difference between an arc flash and an arc fault. An arc fault is a high-power discharge that triggers an arc flash. Arc faults can be caused by various things like a loose fuse, faulty wire or even dropping a tool into a live cabinet.
As the arc fault triggers an arc flash, there is an explosion. This is what’s referred to as the arc flash. The flash emits intense light, violent pressure and extreme heat. This is what actually causes injury to the employee. The force of the pressure can be up to 10,000 PSI, which is equivalent to a high-speed collision. The heat can be up to 35,000 degrees, which is hotter than the sun’s surface.
Workplaces can be safer
After learning about the average cost of medical treatment for an arc flash injury, it’s vital to have worker’s compensation coverage available to you through your employer to pay for your medical bills. Apart from having insurance for this type of electrical injury, there are some preventative measures that you and your employer can take to reduce your likeliness of experiencing this condition.