arc flash studies


An electric arc is an electrical phenomenon that occurs when an electric current pass through the air instead of its correct path. The result is extremely high heat that can cause severe burns, blinding light, and an explosion that can lead to hearing damage and life-threatening injuries or death.

 Arc Flash Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment prevents these incidents. Proper safety and protection measures must be taken to limit the damage from an arc flash, which include conducting an arc flash study, short circuit study, and NFPA 70E electrical safety training of essential personal protective equipment to work with electricity.

OSHA 1910.132(d) and OSHA 1910.335(a)(1)(i) requires employers to assess the workplace and identify electrical and other hazards, select and provide PPE for their employees, inform their employees about the hazards that are present, and train qualified employees on how to use protective equipment. While the NEC requires all electrical equipment to have Arc Flash warning labels.If you do not have any Arc Flash labels yet, you need to install them; labels are included in our Arc Flash Hazard Analysis.

For Arc Flash studies Call us today at (+1) 954-218-6608!

FAQ’s about Arc Flash

What is an Arc Flash?

An Arc Flash is the light and the heat produced by an Arc Fault. It manifests as an electrical explosion or discharge. An arc flash study is the evaluation of a workplace facility by an electrical safety expert to determine hazards and risks in relation to electrical systems. 
Our company is specialized in achieving compliance without excessive data and reports. These assessments are based on NFPA 70E, IEEE 1584, NESC or the OSHA 1910.269 requirements depending upon the application.

What causes an Arc Flash?

An electric arc is an electrical phenomenon that occurs when an electric current pass through the air instead of its correct path.

What sort of injuries can happen from an Arc Flash?

The result is extremely high heat that can cause severe burns, blinding light, and an explosion that can lead to hearing damage and life-threatening injuries or death.

What are the costs associated with an Arc Flash accident?

An Arc Flash incident can result in several months of lost work time. More serious injuries can end a worker’s career or even cost a life. The average medical expense for an employee who survives an Arc Flash is $1.5 M, and the price of litigation and settlement in arc flash can go up to $10 M.

Does Proper PPE Protect me from Injury?

Yes, wearing the proper PPE will protect you from injuries while also protecting your business from costly liability lawsuits.

How is the correct level of PPE determined?

The Arc Flash Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Category is determined by consulting the PPE tables in article 130.7 of the NFPA 70E standard. PPE categories range from 1 to 4 (with four having the highest incident energy rating and requiring the most protective gear).

Can an Arc Flash incident be prevented?

Yes, the best way to prevent arc flash incidents from occurring is to de-energize equipment before beginning work. However, to perform a hazard analysis, reduce available fault current, and predict faults will also help to prevent Arc Flash from happening.

Does Preventive Maintenance reduce the potential for an Arc Flash?

An effective Electrical Preventive Maintenance (EPM) program helps avoid serious injuries, disruptions, and potentially lost profits from Arc Flash.

What regulations govern Arc Flash analysis?

OSHA Standards 29-CFR, Part 1910. Occupational Safety and Health Standards. 1910 subpart S (electrical) Standard number 1910.333 specifically addresses Standards for Work Practices and references NFPA 70E.

What does OSHA look for in Arc Flash Compliance?

OSHA requires employers to protect employees from electrical hazards, including Arc Flash. The most common OSHA standards cited for Arc Flash include:
29 CFR 1910.132(d)(1)—Requires employers to perform a PPE hazard assessment to determine necessary PPE.
29 CFR 1910.332(b)(1)—Practices addressed in this standard. Employees must be trained in and familiar with the safety-related work practices required by 1910.331 through 1910.335 that pertain to their respective job assignments.
29 CFR 1910.333(b)(2)(iv)(B)—A qualified person must use test equipment to test the circuit elements and electrical parts of equipment to which employees will be exposed and must verify that the circuit elements and equipment parts are de-energized.
29 CFR 1910.335(a)(1)(i)—Employees working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards must be provided with, and must use, electrical protective equipment that is appropriate for the specific parts of the body to be protected and for the work to be performed.
29 CFR 1910.335(a)(1)(iv)—Requires employees to wear nonconductive head protection wherever there is a danger of head injury from electric shock or burns due to contact with exposed
energized parts.

What is NFPA 70E?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E is a comprehensive standard that establishes best electrical safety practices standards on how to protect industrial workers from electric Arc Flash and Arc Blast exposure and resulting potential injury and death.

What is an Arc Flash Hazard study or Analysis?

An arc flash hazard analysis or risk assessment is a study conducted by a trained safety expert to evaluate electrical equipment and power systems in order to predict the potential for or incident energy of an arc flash.

What is the difference between Short Circuit Hazards and Arc Flash Hazards?

The short-circuit study is based on a review of one-line drawings. Maximum available fault current is calculated at each significant point in the system. Each interrupting protective device is then analyzed to determine whether it is appropriately designed and sized to interrupt the circuit in the event of a bolted type of short circuit.
To perform an arc flash hazard analysis, data is collected about thefacility’s power distribution system. The data includes the arrangement of components on a one-line drawing with nameplate specifications of every device. Also required are details of the lengths and cross section area of all cables. The utility should be contacted for information including the
minimum and maximum fault currents that can be expected at the entrance to the facility. Once the data has been collected, a short circuit analysis followed by a coordination study should be performed. The resultant data can then be fed into the equations described by either NFPA 70E-2020 or IEEE Standard 1584-2002. These equations will produce the necessary
flash protection boundary distances and incident energy to determine the minimum PPE requirement.

Can we do an Arc Flash Analysis ourselves?

An Arc Flash Study must be performed by an electrical safety expert.

Can all employees just dress in category 4 PPE when working on energized equipment?

Working in Category 3 or Category 4 PPE can be hot, difficult and result in loss of dexterity and vision. Some workers argue that while working in Category 4 PPE provides them more protection in the event of an accident, they are more likely to make a mistake and cause and accident when wearing Category 4 PPE. If the work does not require this for safety purposes, the worker should not be exposed to this. Also, sometimes a situation exists where hazard levels are greater than 40 cal/cm2, aka over Category 4.

What is incident energy and incident energy exposure?

Incident energy is a measure of thermal energy at a working distance from an arc fault. It is required for selecting arc rated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when work is performing at or near a potential source of an arc flash. The selected PPE arc rating shall be based on the incident energy exposure. The incident energy analysis requirement stipulated in NFPA 70E Article 130.3(B)(1) is the basis for performing an arc flash hazard calculation study (AFHCS).

What is an Arc Flash boundary?

Flash Protection Boundary (outer boundary): The flash boundary is the farthest established boundary from the energy source. If an arc flash occurred, this boundary is where an employee would be exposed to a curable second degree burn (1.2 calories/cm2).

What are Arc Flash Hazard categories?

There are four categories of Arc Flash PPE:
PPE Category 1: Minimum Arc Rating 4 cal/cm2
PPE Category 2: Minimum Arc Rating 8 cal/cm2.
PPE Category 3: Minimum Arc Rating 25 cal/cm2.
PPE Category 4: Minimum Arc Rating 40 cal/cm2.

What is an Arc Flash Label?

It contains the information from the results of the Arc Flash Hazard Analysis, including:
Arc Flash Boundary
Required PPE
Incident Energy and Corresponding Work Distance /Or PPE Category
Nominal System Voltage
Glove Class
Assessment Date

What is considered “Overduty”?

Equipment is considered “Overduty” when is has a higher available short circuit current than it has been rated for. When a piece of equipment or a protective device is considered “overduty”, it is an OSHA violation.

Not sure if you need an arc flash study in your power system? Schedule an appointment with us!