Arc Flash Studies
What is an Arc Flash?
An Arc Flash is an intense release of energy caused by an electrical arc fault between two conductors. The flash and ensuing blast result in a violent explosion that contains intense heat and energy. Here are some key statistics involving arc flash incidents.
- Over 80% of all electrical injuries are caused by an arc flash event. Not from electrocution.
- Over 2000 workers per year are treated in burn centers as a result of an arc flash.
- Temperatures in an arc flash event can exceed 10,000° F, more than the surface of the sun.
- Arc Flash Incidents can cost companies millions of dollars in medical bills, lost time & litigation.
What can an Arc Flash Do?
The results are devastating to equipment and workers. Equipment is often destroyed resulting in expensive replacement costs and downtime. Severe burns are the most common injury to workers and likely will result in permanent damage or death. Other injuries can include blindness, hearing damage and internal injuries from the blast.
What is an Arc Flash Study?
An Arc Flash Study is an engineering study of the electrical distribution system that is designed to identify and quantify the degree of hazard inside each electrical device. Identifying the degree of hazard allows the worker to choose the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when working on the panel energized, which includes testing and troubleshooting.
Is an Arc Flash Study Required?
- NFPA 70E requires an Arc Flash Assessment that includes Incident Energy Calculations and Arc Flash Labels that identify PPE.
- OSHA is the law and OSHA requires “… a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards.”
- Arc Flash is a recognized electrical hazard.
- OSHA is the shall and NFPA 70E is the how.