The purpose for the arc flash study is to determine the available incident energy and the protective clothing (PPE) requirement for persons working on live equipment.  An Arc Flash study can only be conducted in conjunction with a short circuit and coordination study to obtain clearing times of overcurrent protective devices.  This will calculate the proper PPE, based on the arcing fault current levels and protective device clearing times per IEEE 1584-2004, to comply with OSHA 1910.132 d and 1910.335.  NEC 110.16 states for flash protection:


"Switchboards, panel boards, industrial control panels, meter socket enclosures and motor control centers that are in other than dwelling occupancies and are likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance while energized shall be field marked to warn qualified persons of potential electric arc flash hazards.  The marking shall be located so as to be clearly visible to qualified persons before examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance of the equipment.:


Why perform an Arc Flash Analysis?

In short; personnel safety.  Any time energized electrical equipment is examined, adjusted, serviced or maintained; the risk of injury is present.  Depending on the amount of energy present, serious injury or death can result without proper protective equipment (PPE) and training.  Through engineering analysis the appropriate PPE can be identified, greatly reducing the potential for injury.


What Regulations Apply to Arc Flash?

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.132 (d) as follows:


1910.132(d)(1) The employer shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of personal protective equipment(PPE). If such hazards are present, or likely to be present, the employer shall:


1910.132(d)(1)(i) Select, and have each affected employee use, the types of PPE that will protect the affected employee from the hazards identified in the hazard assessment;


1910.132(d)(1)(ii) Communicate selection decisions to each affected emplyee; and,


1910.132(d)(1)(iii) Select PPE that properly fits each affected employee.


1910.132(d)(2) The employer shall verify that the required workplace hazard assessment has been performed through a written certification that identifies the workplace evaluated; the person certifying that the evaluation has been performed; the date(s) of the hazard assessment; and, which identifies the document as a certification of hazard assessment.


NFPA 70E-2011 Article 110.16 requires Arc-Flash Hazard Warnings be placed on electrical equipment likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing or maintenance while energized.  Without completing a study the proper PPE cannot be determined.


What are the Benefits?

  • Increased safety
  • Regulatory and Code compliance
  • A more reliable electrical system
  • A record oneline of the existing building electrical distribution


See downloads for arc flash analysis brochure.

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