Arc flash occurs when an electric current passes through air between ungrounded conductors or between ungrounded conductors and grounded components. The temperatures can reach 35,000°F. Exposure to these extreme temperatures can cause severe burns to the skin and ignite clothing. The majority of hospital admissions due to electrical accidents are from arc flash burns, not from electrical shock. Arc flashes can and do kill at distances of 10 feet. ESS offers nationwide arc flash training, and is current on NPFA 70E, NFPA 70 (NEC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in regards arc flash and electrical safety.
NFPA – 130.5 Arc Flash Risk Assessment
In general: arc flash risk assessment shall be performed:
· To identify arc flash hazards
· To estimate the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to healthy and the potential severity of injury or damage to health
Arc Flash PPE
Incident energy calculations are widely recognized as the best way to determine the level of arc flash PPE selection to protect employees from arc flash hazards.
Electrical equipment such as switchboards, panelboards, industrial control panels, meter socket enclosures, and motor control centers that are in other than dwelling units and that are likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized shall be marked with a label containing all the following information:
· Nominal system voltage
· Arc flash boundary
· At least one of the following:
a. Available incident energy and the corresponding working distance, or the arc flash PPE category in Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(b) or Table 130.7(C)(15)(A)(B) for the equipment, but not both
b. Minimum arc rating of clothing
NFPA 70 (NEC)
NEC 110.16 Flash Protection – Electrical equipment, such as switchboards, panel-boards, industrial control panels, meter socket enclosures, and motor control centers, in other than dwelling occupancies, that 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.
PPE and Arc Flash Arc Rated (AR) Clothing
Simply put, employees shall have the appropriate PPE
for Electrical Hazards present. The only way to determine if hazards are present is to perform an Arc Flash and Shock Hazard Analysis. How do you protect an employee from a hazard if you don’t know the extent of the hazard?
Employees working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards shall be provided with, and shall use, electrical protective equipment that is appropriate for the specific parts of the body to be protected and for the work to be performed.
The employer shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of PPE. If such hazards are present, or likely to be present, the employer shall:
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.
Simply put, companies need to have a record of their analysis and date in which it was completed.
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
ESS offers all types of training nationwide. For information, call ESS
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