‘Safety Plugs’ for Prevention of Arc Flash Accidents

March 14, 2009
Meltric Corporation of Franklin, WI, a manufacturer of industrial duty electrical plugs and receptacles is pleased to present its line of switch-rated Safety Plugs and Receptacles. ‘Safety Plug’ features that prevent exposure to arc flash and live parts include UL switch ratings, a safety shutter, and easy lockout/tagout provisions. Safety Plugs and Receptacles are UL approved for use as a ‘motor circuit disconnect switch’ and as a ‘branch circuit disconnect switch’. They feature an integral switching mechanism that ensures the safe make or break of live connections and makes certain that the contacts are dead before the plug can be removed. Safety is also assured when re-inserting the plug into the receptacle because the male contacts do not engage the live female contacts until after they are fully enclosed inside the device’s arc chambers, thus preventing outside exposure to arc flash – even in short circuit conditions up to 100 kA. The receptacles feature a safety shutter that ensures user safety by preventing unintentional finger, tool or wire access to live parts. By preventing worker exposure to live parts the safety shutter is able to maintain an electrically safe work environment as required in the NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. The safety shutter, in conjunction with the device’s switch ratings, enables users to change-out motors and other electrical equipment with plug and play simplicity. Since a NFPA 70E defined hazard/risk category of zero is sustained during equipment connection and disconnection, a qualified technician does not have to wear PPE nor follow other cumbersome NFPA 70E specified safety procedures that are typically necessary for electrical safety during change-outs of hard wired equipment or equipment connected with pin and sleeve devices. In order to lockout most competitive pin and sleeve type plugs an additional third-party ‘lockout shield’ or ‘plug cap’ is required. These devices can be expensive and are often times lost, broken, or not available when you need them. A Safety Plug’s lockout provision is integral to the device - it is always available when you need it. On most Safety Plug models the lockout provision is a simple 5/16” hole in the plug shroud that facilitates the insertion of a typical padlock which prevents the plug from being inserted into a receptacle. An optional provision for locking out the receptacle is also available. In most cases this is accomplished via a specially machined hole at the receptacle pawl which allows insertion of a padlock to secure the receptacle lid in a closed position. This same optional provision can be used to prevent removal of the plug if desired.