Electrical Codes, Standards and Guidelines are filled with specific requirements concerning how electrical energy should be safely handled. These requirements usually come out of hard experience based on safety incidents that have occurred, and are focused on preventing them from happening again in the future. Any sound safety program must take into account these specific requirements. However, it is useful to explore the common aspects of electrical safety that underlie these specifics. Electrical energy has three general types of hazards associated with it:
Traditional electrical equipment safety has been concerned with risk of electric shock and risk of fire. A new emerging concern has been with the hazards associated with arc flash, as evidence has accumulated that this is a serious hazard that needs to be taken into account.