Arc Flash Research Project

A collaborative effort between IEEE and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

ARC FLASH NEWS

Schneider Electric Contributes $500,000 to IEEE/NFPA Arc Flash Initiative

Company Committed to Electrical Worker Safety

PALATINE, Ill., 20 February 2008 - The Schneider Electric North American Operating Division today announced a $500,000 contribution to become a Platinum Level sponsor of IEEE and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Arc Flash Collaborative Research Project. The donation will help expand the knowledge of the electric arc phenomena and enhance worker safety through advances in the codes and standards relating to safe employee work practices.

"Schneider Electric's contribution toward Arc Flash research aligns with its commitment to improving electrical standards and ongoing initiatives to protect worker safety," said Jim Pauley, vice president, industry and government relations for Schneider Electric. "We believe this project will produce the data necessary to further our understanding of the arc flash phenomena, which will help us design safer components and provide better guidelines for safely maintaining electrical equipment."

An arc flash is an electric current that is passed through air when insulation or isolation between electrified conductors is no longer sufficient to withstand the applied voltage. The flash is immediate, and the results can cause severe injury. According to IEEE research, more than 2,000 times per year, workers are admitted to burn centers for treatment of extended injuries caused by arc flash.

"We are very excited to welcome Schneider Electric as a sponsor of the Arc Flash project," said Sue Vogel, director, Technical Committee Programs for the IEEE Standards Association. "Its contribution will help speed the work of this project and ensure a solution that will help save lives."

IEEE and NFPA have joined forces to fund and support research and testing to better define arc flash hazards and protect electrical workers. The results of this collaborative project will provide information to improve electrical safety standards, predict the hazards associated with arching faults and accompanying arc blasts, and provide practical safeguards for employees in the workplace. The multiyear project is estimated to cost $6.5 million.

About Schneider Electric
Headquartered in Palatine, Ill., the North American Operating Division of Schneider Electric had sales of $3.7 billion (U.S.) in 2006. The North American Operating Division is one of four operating divisions of Schneider Electric, headquartered in Paris, France, and markets the Square Dâ, Telemecaniqueâ and Merlin Gerinâ brand products to customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In the United States, Schneider Electric is best known by its flagship Square D brand, with Telemecanique becoming increasingly known in the industrial control and automation markets and supported by many Square D distributors. For 100 years, Square D has been a market-leading brand of electrical distribution and industrial control products, systems and services. Schneider Electric is a global electrical industry leader with 2006 sales of approximately $17.2 billion (U.S.). Visit the Schneider Electric website. external link

About IEEE
IEEE is the world's largest technical professional society. Through its more than 370,000 members in 160 countries, the organization is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Dedicated to the advancement of technology, IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed nearly 900 active industry standards. The organization also sponsors or co-sponsors over 450 international technical conferences each year.

About the IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body, develops consensus standards through an open process that brings diverse parts of industry together. These standards set specifications and procedures based on current scientific and technological consensus. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 870 active standards and more than 400 standards under development. For more information on IEEE-SA visit their website.

About the National Fire Protection Association
The National Fire Protection Association has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.