Cooper Bussmann contributed $500,000 to the Arc Flash Collaborative Research Project organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This sponsorship will expand the knowledge of the electric arc flash phenomena with the objective of advancing codes and standards for greater workplace safety.
Arc flash (an electric current that is passed through air when insulation or isolation between energized conductors can no longer withstand the applied voltage) can cause severe injury, and accounts for more than 2,000 worker injuries requiring admission to burn centers for extended treatment every year.
Electrical safety and knowledge of the hazards associated with arc flash has come a long way since arc flash tests were initiated in 1996 at the Cooper Bussmann Gubany Center for High Power Testing, said Kevin Stein, president, Cooper Bussmann. That groundbreaking research led to the award-winning IEEE paper 'Staged Tests Increase Awareness of Arc Flash Hazards in Electrical Equipment,' and has since improved arc flash understanding exponentially.
The IEEE and the NFPA joined forces on this initiative to fund research and testing to increase the understanding of arc flash. The results of this collaborative project will provide practical safeguards for employees in the workplace, as well as statistical data for improving electrical safety standards and predicting the hazards associated with arcing faults (and accompanying arc blasts). The multiyear project is estimated to cost $6-$7 million.