Video: Utility Workers Continue Working After a “Running” Arc Flash on a Detroit Area Utility Line

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Video: Utility Workers Continue Working After a “Running” Arc Flash on a Detroit Area Utility Line

Utility workers seemed to escape serious injury while working to repair utility lines.

That “large spark”, as it was described,  was an arc flash, and the worker was extremely lucky that all that seemed to happen was his hard hat being blown off his head, which he deftly caught in his hands before it could crash to the ground. Most likely since the arc didn’t really reach him directly before it cleared, he will receive a first degree burn to the face and a little pain but likely no permanent injury. The end of the video shows the workers going right back to work. See the video here.  This was a “running arc”, which our measurements show to be at less than 1 cal/cm², typically, when it reaches the worker.

The utility lines needed repair after an ambulance crashed into a pole and the lines came down across the ambulance. A total of five people were reported injured in the vehicle accident, which happened yesterday in Detroit’s west side. The ambulance was transporting a patient. Another car was involved in the accident as well. Two people in that car, two emergency medical technicians, and the patient being transported sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash is under investigation.

Hope the line technician is safe and sound.  His daily wear is arc rated most likely.

For more resources on arc flash, see, and for arc flash testing, see

Wonder about the arc flash? Read these for more information:

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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