Cooper Bussmann, St. Louis, announced that it has contributed $500,000 to the Arc-Flash Collaborative Research Project organized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This Platinum Level sponsorship will expand the knowledge of the electric arc-flash phenomena with the objective of advancing codes and standards for greater workplace safety.

Arc-flash (an electric current that is passed through air when insulation or isolation between energized conductors can no longer withstand the applied voltage) can cause severe injury, and currently accounts for more than 2,000 worker injuries requiring admission to burn centers for extended treatment every year.

“Electrical safety and knowledge of the hazards associated with arc-flash has come a long way since arc-flash tests were initiated in 1996 at the Cooper Bussmann Gubany Center for High Power Testing,” says Kevin Stein, president, Cooper Bussmann. “That groundbreaking research led to the award-winning IEEE paper Staged Tests Increase Awareness of Arc-Flash Hazards in Electrical Equipment and has since improved arc-flash understanding exponentially. Cooper Bussmann has led the industry with our Safety Basics electrical safety training program, so it is only natural that we continue to lead as a Platinum Level contributor for the latest round of electrical safety research.”

Cooper Bussmann has a range of products and services that help address electrical safety issues and arc-flash in particular. These range from current-limiting fuses (that minimize the arc-flash hazard) to engineering services that perform arc-flash analysis, to electrical safety training and development of electrical safety programs.

The IEEE and the NFPA joined forces on this initiative to fund research and testing to increase the understanding of arc-flash. The results of this collaborative project will provide practical safeguards for employees in the workplace as well as statistical data for improving electrical safety standards and predicting the hazards associated with arcing faults (and accompanying arc-blasts). The multi-year project is estimated to cost a total of $6 million to $7 million.

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