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Arc Flash Hazard Analysis

Arc flash hazard analysis is required to determine the risk to personnel, warn them of the hazards, and to instruct working personals as to what kind of personal protective equipment they must wear.






1.0   The primary reason to be concerned about arc flash is for the safety of the personnel. Short circuits and arc faults are dangerous and potentially fatal to personnel. Exposure to an arc flash results in a variety of serious injuries such as,

a)   Severe burns        

b)   Damaged eyesight

c)   Ruptured eardrums

d)   Collapsed lungs

e)   Psychological trauma and in some cases

 f)   Death.


2.0   The secondary reason is to be concerned about arc flash hazards is liability and government regulations

        The OSHA regulations apply to every worker that may approach or be exposed to energized electrical equipment. Failure for an employer to conform and follow OSHA and NEC requirements can lead to employee injuries fines, penalties, and expensive law suits.


3.0   There are several regulations that address arc flash hazards. They are,

  a)  National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 70 known as The National Electric Code.         The NEC 2002, addresses the arc flash hazard in Article 110.16 NFPA 70B 2002, Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance.

         b)   NFPA 70E 2000 Standard for Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces OSHA

         c)   Standards 29-CFR, Part 1910 Sub part S (electrical) Standard number 1910.333.


4.0  The Arc Flash is addressed legislatively at both the state and central government levels. All state Occupational Safety And Health Administration (OSHA) acts have a general duty clause requiring employers to take reasonable precautions to ensure their employees' health and safety. In some countries, Bills establishes a duty under the Criminal Code for employers, managers and supervisors to ensure workplace health and safety. Under the code there is no specific limit on fines against a corporation that's found guilty, and individual representatives of a corporation can receive a maximum sentence of life imprisonment if convicted of criminal negligence causing death.






5.0   Power Linker performs Arc Flash Analysis and Arc Flash Incident Energy Calculation:

        The different procedures have been proposed to calculate electrical arc incident energy, flash boundary limits and provide with flame resistant personal protective equipment recommendations.

        The procedures include the IEEE Standard 1584, IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations, NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety Requirements for Employee Workplaces.

        All methods are based on calculations conducted for selected range of prospective fault currents, system voltages, physical configurations etc.

         Power Linker apply the Electrical Transient Analyzer Programme (ETAP) since many years,  with five license copies for this Arc Flash Analysis.


6.0     How Power Linker will proceed with arc flash analysis?

         Arc-flash incident energies and boundary distances can be calculated in a variety of ways. For example, you can use the equations from IEEE Standard 1584. The IEEE 1584 established nine-steps in the arc flash hazard analysis process, namely,

a.  Obtain Electrical system and installation data from customer

b.  Determine system modes of operation

c.  Determine bolted fault currents

d.  Determine arc fault currents

e.  Find duration of arc, based on protective device characteristics

f.   Document system voltages, classes of equipment and clearances

g.  Select working distances

h.  Determine incident energy for typical system and equipment

i.   Determine flash-protection boundary for all equipment

j.   Recommend personal protective equipment

k.  Suggest the Labels with Arc Flash Data to be displayed on respective system or equipment.

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