Jacobs Field Services in Columbus, Nebraska was fined $11,408 after an employee was hospitalized from an arc flash hazard accident. The arc flash accident occurred in February 2017. The employee exposed to the arc flash was hospitalized but has since been able to recover from this accident. NFPA 70e.

During OSHA’s investigation, they found that this was bound to happen at some point. Other employees had also been at risk due to faulty workplace policy. The faulty policy permitted the injured employee to take off some of his personal protective equipment (PPE) after he had determined the load side of an electrical disconnect box that was de-energized. The line side was not accounted for and these components were still energized.

In addition, Jacobs relied too much on the effectiveness of the arc shield to deflect incidental contact with the line side’s energized pieces. OSHA found that this faulty arc flash hazard policy violated the NFPA 70e regulation and was why a penalty and fine was issued. Jacobs has since contested the fine.

OSHA determined that in this situation the employee was not at fault. Rather he was a product of improper training and procedures at the facility. The employee exposed to the arc flash was acting within the guidelines and procedures that they were required to follow. It is amazing that this did not happen sooner and that no other employees were exposed to an arc flash.

NFPA 70e 2018 Regulations

Though Jacobs contested the penalty, $11,408 is a small price to pay when someones life is at risk. Take proper action to ensure your employees are protected. Proper arc flash risk assessment and NFPA 70e approved arc flash training is necessary for every workspace to ensure everyones safety.

Contact us today for a free quote on Arc Flash Risk Assessment and Arc Flash Training.


An Arc Flash Accident in Queens, New York exposed residents to how much damage can be done when an arc flash accident occurs. Consolidated Edison is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the United States. In 2017, they did roughly $12 billion in annual revenue. Consolidated Edison says that an electrical fault at a substation in Astoria, Queens caused an electrical arc flash Thursday night, December 27th. This Arc Flash lit up the sky over New York City while causing some flight delays and scattered power outages.


Arc Flash Photo credit to Ben Feuerherd and C.J. Sullivan of the New York Post

What Caused The Arc Flash Accident?

Consolidated  Edison (commonly referred to as Con Edison) issued a statement Friday, December 29th. They said, “An electrical fault on a section of 138,000-volt equipment in one of our Astoria substations caused a transmission disturbance and a sustained electrical arc flash, creating the blue light people witnessed. The equipment that malfunctioned is associated with voltage monitoring within the substation.”

Apparently, the equipment that malfunctioned was designed to measure the voltage which allowed the energy to escape instead, as reported by ABC7NY.

Many small customers of Con Edison experienced flickering lights while some of their larger customer. A few of them being LaGuardia airport and local subway transits. Service on the subway system’s 7 line in Queens was impacted for 30 minutes while track equipment was reset. Some other customer electrical equipment also shut off and had to be reset.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill explained, “A half hour before the transformer explosion, there were about five-hundred 911 calls. In a half hour covering the explosion, more than thirty-two hundred 911 calls. All manner of calls: There was an explosion, some people thought it was a bomb, blue light in the sky, blackout conditions.”

Who Was Hurt?

Fortunately, there were no reported injuries. However, city officials have scheduled a meeting with the energy giant on February 11th, 2019. This is to find out how this arc flash accident could have been prevented.

Is your building up to NFPA 70e 2018 regulations?

If not, Contact Us today for your free Estimate!