Arc Flash Hazard Analysis: 4 FAQs

Arc flashes are a potential safety risk when it comes to your manufacturing facility’s electrical equipment. But how can you ensure your employees are protected?

The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) 70E, “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace,” provides safety procedures for using electricity on the job. One of its guidelines includes “arc flash” assessment and protection.

NFPA 70E is voluntary on the part of companies — that is, it is not enforced by any government agency — yet, we’re seeing more companies interested in conducting an “arc flash hazard analysis” of their electrical equipment.

Here are four frequently asked questions I’ve received about arc flashes and assessments to reduce them:

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7 Security Measures to Increase Facility Safety [Infographic]

Ensuring security and safety at your food or beverage plant has never been more important. Facility owners are increasingly considering how to best protect their product, investments and, most importantly, their employees. Following 9/11, the government even increased security regulations for these processing plants that are so integral to the nation’s food supply.

Of course, no amount of planning can absolutely guarantee safety or prevent an incident, but these design measures are effective at discouraging threats and improving security.

At Stellar, we’ve built numerous food plants, and we’re constantly exploring and designing new security measures into our projects. Here are seven ways to increase safety at your facility:

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The Food Facility Safety Double Standard: Keeping Your Maintenance Crew as Safe as Your Product

There’s a prevalent double standard when it comes to food facility safety management. Think about the measures taken when a visitor enters a food plant production area: You have to dress out, walk through a foot bath, take off jewelry, wear a smock. All of these precautions are designed to keep your product safe — but what about your maintenance crew?

It’s not uncommon to see safety standards and attention to cleanliness become more relaxed in maintenance areas or on the roof of a food plant. Food safety precautions get a lot of attention because owners (rightfully) fear product contamination and highly publicized recalls, but what about the risks outside your building? One maintenance or construction accident can do just as much damage in negative publicity and lawsuits as a product recall.

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How to Prevent a Dust Explosion at Your Food Processing Plant

Dust explosions have been linked to numerous fatal accidents in the United States. Between 1980 and 2012, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board investigated more than 280 combustible dust incidents that killed 141 people and injured 767 others.

Food manufacturing plants are among the most susceptible to these incidents, especially those in the baking segment that use a lot of flour and sugar. Of course, protecting your facility and employees is paramount, but the risk factors aren’t always obvious. Before we look at how to proactively protect your facility, let’s examine how these disasters can happen.

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Three Reasons to Consider a Behavior-based Approach to Worker Safety

In last week’s post, I introduced you to the behavior-based approach to worker safety. While ergonomic design and regulatory compliance remain critical to worker safety, behavior-based safety strategies incentivize employees to take ownership of their own safety. Employees proactively identify potential hazards, helping prevent them from ever happening in the first place.

Below, I outline in more detail three reasons you should integrate a behavior-based approach into your food plant’s worker safety practices.

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How a Behavior-based Approach Can Enhance Your Worker Safety Culture

Worker safety is a critical element in every food plant, regardless of the type of products manufactured. And while creating a safe, ergonomic work environment is a must, sometimes it’s not enough to ensure the safety of your most important asset—your employees.

In a recent Food Engineering article on ergonomic practices, I discussed how a behavior-based approach can enhance your plant’s worker safety. With behavior-based safety training, workers are incentivized to proactively look for potential hazards, creating a safety-oriented workforce.

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