Arc Flash Hazard Analysis Services
Every 30 minutes an electrically induced injury occurs in the workplace with severe results, such as skin burns, respiratory issues, hearing loss, and eye damage. These injuries occur in fractions of a second due to a sudden arc flash. An arc flash, or arc blast, is a type of electrical explosion that results from a low-impedance connection to ground or another voltage phase in an electrical system. This electric arc is supplied with sufficient electrical energy to cause substantial damage, fire, or injury. The subsequent result for your business is unscheduled downtime, expensive repairs and replacement, regulatory fines, and worst of all, personnel injury or death.
Arc flashes pose a huge danger, but they can be generated by minor oversights. The following are the major causes of an arc flash:
- Mishandling of tools
- Accidental contact
- Equipment failures
- Faulty installation
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) assures that employers provide a safe and healthful workplace by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act states that employers 'shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.” Arc flash is considered one of these recognized hazards, and thus failing to take proper steps to avoid arc flash is a regulatory violation.
As a result of the injuries and deaths related to arc flash, changes and additions have also been incorporated into the National Fire Protection Association’s National Electrical Code, the most recent version being NFPA 70E-2012, to help protect people and property from this electrical hazard.
How We Can Help
Predictive Service’s engineering professionals can conduct an Arc Flash Hazard Analysis to determine the amount of energy that could be generated in an arc flash incident. The information will then be used to define a flash protection boundary around the potential source, and to determine the level of arc-rated apparel and other personal protective equipment required to keep employees safe when they cross the boundary while working on or near exposed live parts.
There are a variety of reasons for attaining an Arc Flash Hazard Analysis, including:
- Improved employee safety
- Provision of safety information to subcontractors
- Regulatory compliance
- Better documentation supporting adjudication of worker’s compensation claims
- More complete documentation and labeling of all electrical panels