While reading through an electrical safety forum today, I became a bit saddened by the attempts of many to throw electrical safety companies under the bus – companies who encourage their clients to have an arc flash hazard assessment completed for their facilities. Sure, there are marketing/broker/reseller and certain equipment manufacturing companies that are merely trying to upsell products using “safety” as the buzzword. However, there are real safety companies that have been in business for decades. Sure, safety companies make money doing arc flash assessments – of course they do. But to say that arc flash analysis is a commodity is just plain crazy. Complete facility arc flash analysis has barely been around for 10 years. It’s still relatively new so of course people are going to fight it because it involves CHANGE! Knowing what we now know about these hazards, we are, in many cases, able to mitigate the hazard. So why would you not do that? I hear of companies that try and avoid spending the money on electrical safety and just “do the bare minimum.” WHY?! IEEE 1584 states that PPE is the last line of defense. Why debate tables, trip times, and tasks when you can find out exactly what the hazard is and mitigate it? And if not, why not at least train and dress employees in appropriate PPE?
Jay Smith, Jr.
Executive Vice President