Arc Flash Event at High School near Birmingham, AL

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Arc Flash Event at High School near Birmingham, AL

On Thursday morning, August 20, two employees of Oak Mountain High School were planning on doing maintenance work on parking lot lights. When they flipped a 277V breaker, an arc flash occurred. Due to the arc flash, one worker suffered injuries on his face; the other received 2nd degree burns up to his elbow.

Neither worker had PPE on, and they had not had previous training on electrical safety. One of e-Hazard’s Train the Trainer graduates, Randy Glaze, was able to conduct e-Hazard’s Low Voltage electrical safety class to about 30 Shelby County employees soon after the incident.

e-Hazard’s Low Voltage class includes extensive information on shock and arc flash hazards, as well as information on PPE necessary for work on low voltage systems.

OSHA 1910.335 states that appropriate PPE must be worn by employees working on or near electrical equipment. OSHA also states that employers must provide that PPE.

There are over 1700 students enrolled in the school, located in a Birmingham, Alabama, suburb. As a precaution, 1000 students were evacuated from the building at the time of the accident. No one else in the school received injuries from the incident.

Both workers are expected to recover.

Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

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