Arc Flash in the U.K.

Spent some time today going through my email and found these announcements from ProcessingTalk, a newsletter out of the U.K. "Judith Hackitt CBE (Chair of the Health and Safety Commission) said on 29 April, 2008, at a conference on major hazards in London, entitled "Leading from the Top - Avoiding Major Incidents" - that the HSC would like to see U.K. companies sharing 'good practice' on known hazardous events, and circulating these between themselves - both internally within companies and with the wider industrial community. "TAS Engineering Consultants is one of very few companies in the U.K. that regularly conduct and advise on electrical arc flash protection and potential hazards for U.K .-based clients. "There is quoted to be a huge amount of interest in this subject at the moment throughout the U.K. electrical engineering and safety management community, and as a leading member of this community TAS wish to take the lead to establish the 'Best Practice', and take the steps towards avoiding any incidents. "Arc flash occurs when electric arcs are formed during fault conditions in switchgear. The arc can pose a significant risk to both personnel and plant, and injuries can be caused by the intense thermal radiation, pressure (blast) waves, molten material and noxious gases produced by such arcs. Serious burns and fatalities have both occurred as a result. A separate effect is that switchgear can be damaged and be out of operation for significant periods, causing plant shutdowns. "TAS, through its managine director,  John Maplesden, has presented papers on the subject at various events, such as the HazardEx series of conferences. See http://www.processingtalk.com/news/whp/whp205.html,  and published relevant papers, see http://www.processingtalk.com/news/tar/tar100.html. "Now TAS wish to take the lead in discussing this important area and assessing the level of knowledge about arc flash hazards in industry, to understand what plant operators are doing to mitigate the possible dangers, and protect their workforce (such as by use of the proper PPE, Personal Protective Equipment). The objective will be to create a network that can share good practice amongst the user community. "RESPONDENTS ARE NEEDED!. "Initially the survey is being conducted by mailing the questionnaire to U.K. engineers in industries that are higher power users, (the mailing will go out in June) and there is also an on-line survey form on the TAS website, http://www.tas.co.uk/researcharcflash. "Respondents from overseas are welcome, but their experiences, attitudes and knowledge of arc flash hazards may be reported separately, to see and identify where differences exist compared to UK practice. "Following the collation and analysis of the information, the aim is to share the results and point to the best 'Good Practice' on such electrical safety intelligence within UK industry." In a second annoucement in the same edition, comes word of a freeguide which outlines the facts, risks and steps required by industrial companies to help prevent dust explosions in their plants. The guide is particularly useful to owners, engineers and senior managers, who are responsible for health and safety and who source electrical equipment for hazardous areas within the plant The eight-page guide, published by explosion protection electrical equipment specialist Cooper Crouse-Hinds, provides an introduction to the subject of dust explosions, including why and when they can occur; the latest European dust standards; safety measures; who is responsible for equipment safety; dust explosion facts and statistics; and ignition data on a wide variety of dust types, including food dusts, metals and chemicals. Copies of the guide are available at the Cooper Crouse-Hinds U.K. sales office.