Minnesota electricians may be some of the estimated 2,000 individuals who annually suffer serious arc flash injuries, which occur when people work on energized electrical units without proper protective clothing. Of the injured individuals, it is estimated that 400 become burned so severely that they do not survive.
Arc flash clothing is made from fabrics that prevent severe and potentially deadly electrical burns. The clothing is quickly becoming more fashionable and more comfortable for workers to wear. Arc flash clothing is required to have a resistance to flame and insulation. The flame resistance aspect of the clothing allows the fabric to self-extinguish. When it comes to installation, the clothing must protect against second-degree burns.
Employers are required to provide safety-related training and work practices for their employees. On the actual work site, it is up to the employee to abide by those safety practices. In some cases, this means wearing specially designed protective clothing. Employers should fully train employees with a clothing program that helps workers identify hazards, perform accurate risks assessments and identify the protective fabrics or clothing that will be needed to get the job done safely.
Even when workers are wearing the proper protective clothing, they could still be at risk for suffering on-the-job injuries. For example, electricians could still suffer electrical burns, especially if they were not properly trained to deal with specific situations or they were not provided with effective safety gear. If an employee does suffer arc flash burns or other serious workplace injuries, a workers’ compensation attorney could assist in preparing and filing a claim for benefits.