The history of the NFPA goes back more than 120 years, founded in 1896 with the mission “To help save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge, and passion.” The NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering their mission. Current NFPA membership totals more than 50,000 individuals around the world.
While most are familiar with the NFPA through their publications, many have assumed that the NFPA was a government organization, but in fact, the NFPA is a nonprofit organization. Which means any of its recognized publications, including the well-known “NFPA 70 National Electrical Code, “is not enforceable by law until it is adopted in part or whole by a jurisdictional government such as states. Most states in the US have done precisely this since it was first published in 1896, so it is a common misconception that it is a governmental document.
The same can be said for the NFPA70e as it is also a best practice standard but not itself enforceable by law. In the 70E’s case, however, another agency has adopted it as their standard as their go to, OSHA. OSHA refers to and uses the 70E standard as a guideline to safe electrical work and specifically Arc Flash.
Stay tuned for safety tips throughout May for electrical safety month!
It’s been a very busy time at Thompson Electric this summer. There have been a lot of new hires, new offices and new business units for Thompson Electric.
First, we have hired a lot of very talented people to fill some existing positions and also for new positions. The new positions are Human Resources – TEC Corp, General Manager – Thompson Specialty Services, Office Administrator – Thompson Specialty Services, Administrator Coordinator – Thompson Electric in Sioux City and a new Assistant Service Manager in Sioux Falls and Omaha.
Thompson Electric in Omaha moved into their new office location over Memorial Day and are still getting settled in, while Thompson Electric in Sioux Falls has purchased a new building with the anticipation of moving sometime in September.
Also, we officially started Thompson Specialty Services as its own business unit. TSS will service and develop new business with arc flash, infrared thermal imaging, preventive maintenance, solar energy and many other opportunities that are being worked on and developed.
Finally, all three offices are extremely busy with work. So, you can see it has been a busy summer at Thompson Electric and looking ahead, the future looks just as busy.
What is it? Where does it come from? What causes it to happen? Is it dangerous? What’s it called?
ARC FLASH – Some of you may have heard the term “Arc Flash”, but what is it? Arc Flash is the result of a rapid release of energy due to an arcing fault between a phase bus bar and another phase bus bar, neutral or a ground. During an arc fault the air is the conductor.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) put into effect a regulation in 2014 that requires companies that have the electrical capacity to produce an arc flash, to provide their employees and contractors with information that explains the amount of incident energy (the arc) and the proper PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) to wear and the required boundaries (to keep employees safe from entering).
Facts about Arc Flash:
- Electrical arcs produce some of the highest temperatures known to occur on earth, up to 35,000°F. This is 4 times the temperature of the surface of the sun which is about 9000°F.
- Fatal burns can occur when the victim is several feet from the arc. Serious burns are common at a distance of 10 feet. Staged tests have shown temperatures greater than 437°F on the neck and hands of a person standing close to an arc blast.
- Arcs spray droplets of molten metal at a high speed. Molten metal from an arc can be propelled for distances up to 10 feet. Blast shrapnel can penetrate the body.
- Blast pressure waves have thrown workers across rooms and knocked them off ladders. Pressure on the chest can be higher than 2000 lbs./sq. ft.
Thompson Specialty Services provides Arc Flash Risk Assessments for our existing clients and also for new clients. To have a better understanding of what an arc flash is, please click on the link below and see the Thompson Specialty Services video on arc flash.