Hazardous Locations

Hazardous locations and situations can be created by electrical and procedural failures that can generate shock and arc flash risks to customers, employees, and maintenance personnel.  It is imperative that potential failures and dangerous situations be recognized and addressed before they cause physical harm and/or property damage.  It is also critical to analyze hazardous locations following a failure or loss to determine how the location became dangerous so that safety in the future may be improved.  Hazardous locations can be created through failures of electrical equipment including high power transmission equipment, switchgear, consumer products, and consumer electronics.  They can also be created through a lack of or inadequate safety procedures as well as human error.

As a result of these physical or procedural failures, situations that present arc flash and shock hazards can be created.  Arc flash hazards can be created as a result of deteriorating or improperly maintained equipment, or as a result of procedural and human errors.  Shock hazards can be created through equipment failure, improper installation, or improper use.  Exponent has extensive experience investigation both types of hazards and analyzing locations for potential future hazards.

Our expertise in analyzing various hazardous locations includes:

  • Unsafe or dangerous switchgear
  • Unsafe, damaged, or dangerous power transmission lines
  • Energized surfaces purported to induce shocks
  • Failed electrical consumer electronic products inducing shocks
  • Confined spaces

As experts in the field of evaluating and recognizing hazardous locations, Exponent engineers have investigated incidents such as:

  • Switchgear arc flashes
  • Electrocutions (fatalities resulting from electric shocks)
  • Shocks resulting from high voltage systems
  • Shocks resulting from consumer electronic product use
  • Explosions resulting from electric arcs with combustible gases in confined spaces

Exponent professionals also have extensive experience in the analysis of the experienced and potentially experienced symptoms as a result of a human body receiving an electric shock.  This includes:

  • Calculations concerning expected current levels through a human body
  • Analysis of wounds and their relation to received shocks
  • The relationship between current through a human body and the expected physiological responses