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What You Should Know About Arc Flash Accidents at Work

Let’s discuss arc flash accidents and how an experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.

According to recent research, the number of arc flash accidents ranges from 5-10 every day. These accidents cause over 2,000 injuries and at least 730 deaths annually.

Let’s discuss arc flash accidents and how an experienced St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.

st. louis female electrician

What Is an Arc Flash?

An arc flash is an intense release of energy caused by an electrical arc fault. These flashes can get as hot as 35,000 Fahrenheit, which is 3.5 times hotter than the sun’s surface.

Common Arc Flash Injuries

1. Severe Burn

The intense heat produced during an arc flash can cause burns on your neck, face, or hands within milliseconds. What’s more, an electrical flashover can ignite your clothing, causing it to melt or catch fire.

2. Hearing Damage

Loud blasting sounds from arc flashes can exert enormous pressure on the ears, leading to severe ear damage.

3. Eyesight Damage

An arc flash produces ultraviolet light that can cause irreparable eyesight damage. Also, the superheated air can burn your eye tissues and cause instant blindness.

4. Fall Injuries

If you are working on a ladder or scaffold, the blast pressure produced by an arc flash can be enough to knock you off the ladder or scaffold. Such falls can leave you with severe cuts, fractures, or even permanent brain damage.

Also, thermal energy within the arc flash can expose you to flying debris-related injuries.

How Can You Minimize the Injuries Caused by Arc Flash Accidents?

Arc flash injuries can be extremely unpleasant and painful. Therefore, do the following to minimize the severity of injuries associated with arc flashes:

  • Wear arc-rated PPE to minimize the effects of the burns in case of an arc flash accident
  • Wear hearing protection plugs that can protect you from arc flash hazardous sound
  • When dealing with electrical connections, put on protective eyewear to filter high-intensity light in case of an arc flash

However, if an arc flash accident occurs, do the following:

  • Don’t touch the victim when they are still in contact with electricity. Doing so can get you electrocuted. Instead, shut off the power and call emergency personnel
  • Put out any fire that may arise due to the accident
  • Don’t attempt to remove melted clothing that may be stuck on the skin as it could aggravate the injuries
  • In case of burn injuries, run cool water on the victim. Also, avoid applying ice, ointment, or cream on burn injuries because they can make the injuries more severe

Have you suffered an arc-flash-related injury at work? Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys can evaluate your case and help you get a better idea of the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, lost wages, and other costs associated with the accident. Contact us for a free case review today.

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Updated: October 7, 2021