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Why Do An Arc Flash Hazard Analysis?


Conducting an arc flash hazard analysis can be the difference between life and death.


NFPA 70E [130.3 (a) and (b)] states that, “flash hazard analysis has to be done to determine energy exposure levels, protection boundaries and what, specifically, constitutes adequate PPE for any work space where arc flash can occur”. There are even guidelines and tables to help electricians in the event a study has yet to be performed. Yet, this is likely not news to most individuals involved in occupational safety. What many people don’t consider is: how accurate is the math?

Research has shown that NFPA 70E provides generalized tables based on the task, hazard and associated risk that can be used for the selection of PPE. However, when dealing with 35,000° F explosions, “generalized” simply isn’t good enough to protect life and property.

Calculating an arc flash hazard analysis is difficult. The most comprehensive approach for conducting an arc flash study is to perform calculations based on IEEE 1584. Although IEEE 1584 calculations are quite laborious and detailed, no expense should be spared when dealing with possible injury or even death. 

Unfortunately, few people are actually equipped for, or even capable of doing the calculations the way they are supposed to be done, leaving businesses and contractors to settle for the "generalized" numbers instead. Since “generalized” is no longer acceptable, it is imperative that an arc flash analysis be conducted using the right software and tools by qualified individuals with the proper training and experience.

While money does not equate to the human factor, it's still a consideration, especially when liability is examined. If you miss the radius on a protection zone by as little as an inch, and somebody gets hurt, you just put everything you've ever worked for on the line. The U.S. is a litigious society, and costs related to arc flash incidents exceeded $100 million in 2009 alone.

  • Don’t put your business on the line due to electrical safety non-compliance.

In 2004 NFPA70E required that all systems that are to be “worked on while energized”, be labeled with the available incident energy, arc flash hazard category, proper personal protective equipment (PPE), and shock hazard information. Unfortunately, without a means to enforce this code many have not complied until OSHA began handing out fines for non-compliance around 2009. Compliance is no longer voluntary, IT’S THE LAW!

Contact Arc Flash Solutions, Incorporated today to resolve your high voltage electical safety compliance issues and eliminate the possibility of costly OSHA fines for electrical safety non-compliance.

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High Voltage Arc Flash is one of the most dangerous workplace hazards,
causing serious injuries and fatalities.

Protect your employees from Arc Flash hazards.
Providing Arc Flash and Electrical Shock Hazard Awareness Training