Throughout my career, I have experienced many safety hazards from technicians getting minor electrical shocks to being electrocuted and burned over 60 percent of their body. That being said, safety is of the upmost importance when working with electricity or any other forms of energy-producing equipment.
The 2012 NFPA 70E “Electrical Safety in the Workplace,” effective this March, contains revisions requiring stricter arc-flash protection, making now a good time to brush up on the importance of short circuit, coordination, and arc-flash studies. Whenever a fault occurs in an electrical power system relatively high currents flow, producing destructive energy in the forms of heat and magnetic forces. When an electrical fault exceeds the interrupting rating of a protective device or the fault-withstand rating of electrical equipment, the consequences can include injury or death, fire, damaged electrical equipment, OSHA fines, and costly downtime.