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Arc Flash Analysis with Electrical Testing Solutions

The Impact of Arc Flash

Explosive energy released during arcing faults will send more than 2,000 workers to burn centers this year.  In addition, of approximately 350 persons killed in the work place by electricity last year, roughly 50% were related to arc flash.  Most of these workers will not have been properly warned of the magnitude of arc flash, if at all.  Although injuries are not as frequent as other job-related injuries, their severity makes the cost to human life and industry much greater.  The monetary cost alone can easily exceed $1 million in medical expenses, equipment replacement, downtime, and insurance costs.

Why Arc Flash is a Vital Issue

The potential for arc flash has existed as long as plants have been powered by electricity.

There are two factors that have made arc flash a focus:

  1. A greater understanding of arc flash hazards, and the risks they pose to personnel.  Research into arc flash and arc blasts has begun to quantify the powerful forces they unleash.
  2. Increased vigilance on the part of OSHA. OSHA is using the requirements of NFPA 70E, the industryโ€™s consensus standard for electrical safety, to judge whether the employer โ€œacted reasonablyโ€ in protecting its workers from arc flash hazards.  Noncompliance can result in substantial fines to employers.

Electrical Testing Solutions Minimizes Risks from Arc Flash Hazards: What is an Arc Flash Study?

Working within NFPA and IEEE guidelines, our experienced power systems engineers will perform accurate systematic Arc Flash Hazard Analysis as follows:

  1. Short Circuit Calculations โ€“ ETS will either use your data or gather the data to make calculations for you to identify bolted and arcing fault levels at key points in a power distribution system.
  2. Protective Device Coordination โ€“ ETS can perform an electrical systems coordination study or use the customerโ€™s study, to determine the duration of the arcing faults.
  3. Arc Flash Hazard Calculations โ€“ The incident energy level, the flash hazard boundary, and the PPE required are then calculated for each location.
  4. Documentation โ€“ The information above is compiled for you into a comprehensive report, which contains information necessary to comply with regulatory requirements.
  5. Unsafe Work Locations โ€“ The report will identify work locations having incident energy level in excess of available PPE ratings.
  6. Arc Flash Hazard Mitigation โ€“ Recommendations will be made to minimize Arc Flash Hazards by changes in system protection or operational procedures.
  7. Arc Flash Hazard Labels โ€“ In addition to the report, our customers will receive a field label containing the flash hazard boundary distance, incident energy level, PPE category and shock category and shock hazard for each location.

Implementing recommendations from an ETS Arc Flash Hazard Analysis can bring you the following benefits:

  • Improve employee safety.
  • Improve your electrical distribution system.
  • Provide safety information to subcontractors.
  • Assist in compliance with regulations.
  • Provide you with documentation that may bring about reductions in workers compensation and insurance rates.

When you should consider an Arc Flash Analysis

  • Arc Flash Analysis has not been performed in the past three years.
  • Short-circuit, protective coordination studies have not been performed in the past five years.
  • Changes have occurred to the electrical distribution system or electrical utility system.
  • A safety audit is required or the facilities insurance policy is up for renewal.
  • Modifications or expansions of the electrical distribution system are being considered.

Contact Us to schedule your Arc Flash Analysis!