Arc-flash safety is hot topic in trade and technical publications these days. While most of the articles address personal protective equipment (PPE) and other effective arc-flash reduction technologies, a great deal of them fail to highlight the applications of remote racking and remote switching equipment. To date, these are among the most-effective and affordable measures a company can take to enhance worker safety.

Remote racking and switching equipment create distance between electricians and one of the greatest hazards of the job: arc flash. We’re all aware that, when it comes to arc flash, there is safety in distance, but sometimes we need reminding.

To help keep the idea of “distance is safety” in the forefront, the NFPA 70E adopted the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Hierarchy of Hazard Control Measures chart in 2018. The chart illustrates the concept of hazard reduction from the most-effective measures (elimination of the hazard) to the lease-effective measures (PPE). Remote switching and racking of electrical apparatus is considered an engineering control (the third most-effective method) of arc-flash hazard reduction.

Arc-flash hazard exists. If you can get the job done from a safe distance outside the arc-flash hazard boundary, more power to you. Remote racking and switching equipment takes you up to 300 feet outside the arc-flash hazard boundary. It’s safer, more beneficial—and in many cases more affordable—than PPE and other solutions.