This piece was originally published in the June 2016 issue of ei, the magazine of the electroindustry.
By Julie Chavanne, Communications Director, ESFI
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recently attended the IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS) Electrical Safety Workshop held in Jacksonville, Florida, in March. The workshop is an international forum that aims to change electrical safety culture while advancing the application of technology, work practices, codes, and regulations to prevent electrical incidents and injuries in the workplace.
The event included fundamental and advanced tutorials, standards working groups, and presentations from distinguished workplace safety experts. The presentations highlighted emerging technologies that help prevent occupational injuries and incidents, such as the installation of medium voltage fuses to mitigate arc flashes, automating voltage testing by applying the prevention through design principle, and the addition of arc-flash detection technology to feeder protection relays to reduce arc-flash incident energy.
In addition to technical applications, the workshop covered behavioral processes that aim to further electrical safety and minimize hazards in electrified settings. These included implementing integrated safety management into workplace safety programs to improve performance, employing effective incident investigation processes to prevent future electrical incidents, and striving to eliminate hazards in the design process rather than implementing administrative controls to mitigate them.
As our industry continues to innovate, it is imperative that electrical safety practices continue to adapt. The IEEE IAS is making this a reality by not only designing electrical facilities and equipment but also making sure that electrical safety remains a top concern while the systems they design are put into practice. ESFI commends the IEEE IAS for its contributions to the industry and for driving the electrical safety culture.