May 22, 2020
Mark’s Story – The Dangers of Arc Flash

Arc flash is an electrical explosion that occurs on energised equipment and can reach up to 35,000 Fahrenheit or 19,426 Celsius which is four times hotter than the sun depending on the voltage of the machine.

Mark is a qualified electrician and experienced an arc flash. He wants to warn others of the dangers and this is his story.

Whilst conducting routine works; a quality assessment on a switchboard, Mark was confident the work could be accomplished live.

He had to clip four crocodile clips. He clipped the first crocodile clip in place. After clipping the second crocodile clip, a white flash sparked. Mark was still conscious but realised what had occurred. His clothes and his hair had burnt, and his skin hanging off.

In his attempt to pull off two pieces of insulation, Mark had exposed himself to two separate electrical phases and in bridging a gap with his screwdriver, he had created a large arc flash which created an intense fireball. Mark sustained 12% burns to his body and required skin grafts. He was in hospital for three weeks and was off work for a further three months.

Arc flash can be prevented by turning off the power and isolating the equipment. It is important to always plan your work and your safe work procedures. Never put yourself in danger where you are exposed to unwarranted and avoidable risks.

Click on the image to watch Mark’s full story…


Credit: Worksafe Queensland