More than 2,000 workers are injured yearly in arc-flash incidents. One of the most affected areas is in manholes and vaults where there are an abundance of terminations and splices. These confined spaces are particularly dangerous due to environmental stresses and contaminations found in these places. Complicating this situation is the congestion, proximity and age of the material found there.
But the most important element contributing to the danger is the fact that there is no way to identify which joint is weak enough to fail so you need to protect yourself against any possibility of failure.
An Arc Suppression Blanket or ASB can be extremely useful in providing protection against arc flashes. ASBs are designed to reduce the danger from both thermal radiation from the arc flash and the pressure wave from the arc blast.
When an arc flash occurs, the ASB forces the arc to travel around the edges of the blanket before it reaches the worker and allows greater cooling because a plasma arc's temperature decreases as it moves further from the fault. (See the video below)
Examples of high-quality Arc Suppression Blankets are the Elliotts BlastMat 40KA and the BlastMat 25KA.
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