Understanding and reducing arc flash hazards

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Although arc hazards have existed since man began using electricity, increasing deaths, injuries and property loss from arcing faults have led to increased study into the causes, effects and methods of protection. The studies are not complete, and the scientific community has not reached complete accord on the methods used to calculate the hazards. However, these studies serve as a starting point for improving worker safety. While much work remains to be done, in the interest of improved safety, several national codes and standards have been revised. These revisions are intended to reduce worker exposure to arc hazards and establish safer work practices when approaching or working on energized equipment. Since the changes affect every person involved in the design, installation, service and maintenance of electrical systems and all machinery, mechanical equipment and devices powered or controlled by electricity, applicable codes and standards should always be followed.

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