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Do You Need to Update Your Arc Flash Study?

Posted on July 31, 2012 11:32 am

Do You Need to Update Your Arc Flash Study?

 

NFPA 70E requires that the arc flash hazard study be reviewed for accuracy any time a change has taken place and every five years as a minimum. Change is the only constant within most industrial manufacturing facilities. The following are typical changes within a facility that can have a major effect on arc flash hazard levels.

  • Equipment is removed or added
  • Circuit breakers get replaced or their settings are changed
  • Motors are changed or moved
  • Equipment is resupplied by a different source
  • Transformers are replaced or added
  • The utility supply changes

 

The primary purpose of an arc flash study update is to determine if changes to the plant’s electrical system, or from the utility company, have changed the arc flash hazard levels. These arc flash hazard levels are posted on arc flash warning labels throughout the facility. Inaccurate arc flash warning labels pose a serious hazard because the electrical workers use this information to determine the appropriate level of arc flash PPE while performing energized work. Improper PPE protection could result in serious injury or death.

 

In addition, the arc flash study is a valuable information asset that should be maintained. The arc flash study is a computer model of the facilities electrical system. This computer model contains valuable information about the equipment within the plant and the connection points between each piece of equipment. This information asset is valuable not only for arc flash hazard data, but other electrical information such as system capacity, single line diagrams, energy efficiency and system reliability.  Current single line diagrams are required by NFPA 70E, 2009 Edition, “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace”, as referenced in OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Subpart S, Appendix A.



This entry was posted in Arc Flash


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