Be Prepared and Stay Safe with Arc Flash Hazard Analysis

By IBT Inc

April 04, 2010

Safety


Video courtesy of ArcFlash.com.au

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

  • The majority of hospital admissions due to electrical accidents are from arc-flash burns, not from shocks.
  • Each year more than 2,000 people are admitted to burn centers with severe arc-flash burns.
  • Arc-flashes can and do kill at distances of 10 feet.

Arc Flash IncidentArc flash happens when electrical connections make contact and causes sparking or arcing between them. This contact generates heat and an unexpected release of energy that can ignite non flame-resistant clothing, cause major flesh burns and other injuries, as well as significant damage to equipment in a facility.

Conducting an Arc Flash Hazard Analysis is the only way to know how severe arc flash events could be at your facility. The analysis determines the energy that could be generated during an arc event by evaluating the energy magnitude and potential time duration.

IBT offers complete Arc Flash Hazard Analysis performed by electrical engineers. By studying the potential exposure to arc-flash energy, safe working practices and proper personal protective equipment (PPE) can be implemented in the effort to prevent injury.

If avoiding employee injury and costly equipment damage isn’t compelling enough, another reason to perform Arc Flash Hazard Analysis is to ensure compliance with Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations pertaining to electrical safety. OSHA has cited companies for not following the regulations and guidelines in NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace and the NFPA 70: National Electrical Code® (NEC®) put forth by the NFPA.

Richard S. Terrill, the Regional Administrator for Occupational Safety and Health, US Department of Labor for the Northwest Region at Seattle, responded to a question about OSHA’s stand on arc-flash hazards by stating:

NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace, 2009 Edition“…OSHA considers NFPA standard a recognized industry practice. The employer is required to conduct an assessment in accordance with CFR 1910.132(d)(1). If an arc-flash is present, or likely to be present, then the employer must select and require employees to use the protective apparel. Employers who conduct the hazard/risk assessment, and select and require their employees to use protective clothing and other PPE appropriate for the task, as stated in the NFPA 70E® standard 2000 Edition, are deemed in compliance with the Hazard Assessment and Equipment Selection OSHA standard.”

IBT offers the full line of Arc Flash protective clothing and tools for every application. Electrical rated clothing includes complete clothing kits, coveralls, bibs, jackets and hoods. IBT also carries a line of arc rated raingear, sweatshirts and t-shirts. To compliment the clothing, we carry gloves including leather protectors and insulated rubber gloves.

Since no job requiring clothing can be performed without insulated tools, IBT also offers a very competitive line of tools including pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches cable cutters and nut drivers. For the latest in Arc Flash protective gear…shop IBT!

IBT Arc Flash Hazard Analysis

Data Collection

  • One-line diagrams, other pertinent electrical prints and information about current electrical system
  • Conductor sizes and lengths
  • Distribution equipment types and ratings
  • Overcurrent protection information
  • Transformer ratings and impedances
  • Available energy levels incoming to plant (from the electrical utility)

Engineering Analysis

  • Analyze information obtained during the data collection
  • Input information into engineering analysis program
  • Build electrical distribution networks
  • Cross review information to electrical system

One-Line Diagrams and Reports

  • Fault analysis information and reports
  • Arc flash information and reports
  • Create one-line diagrams

Arc Flash Warning Labels

  • Develop labels per ANSI Z535.4 specifications using engineering analysis information
  • Create labels for materials unique to your facility’s needs: Thermal generated polyester labels, Laser generated polyester labels, Plaque-type engraved labels
  • Create Billfold PPE Cards if desired
  • Create and apply labels at facility

Train Electrical and Safety Personnel on Arc Flash Requirements

  • OSHA, NEC® (2005), and NFPA 70E (2009) Arc Flash Requirements
  • NEC® Article 110.16 Labeling Requirements
  • Arc Flash Labeling Information and How to Comply
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requirements
  • Incident Energy and Electrical Safety Training
  • Review of Arc Flash Study

 

Video courtesy of ArcFlash.com.au.  Images courtesy of NIOSH and NFPA, respectively.

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