Arc Flash Risk Assessment – Hazard Analysis
The facility arc flash risk assessment is formerly known as the “arc flash hazard analysis” or also referred to as an “arc flash study”.
The Jacman Group provides a cost-effective, comprehensive arc flash risk assessment for facilities of all sizes and industries throughout the United States.
Our Arc Flash Risk Assessment process includes:
- Data Collection: Our field experts collect all the necessary data from your electrical system.
- Electrical System Modeling: A digital model is created of your facility’s electrical distribution system and this model is used to complete the engineering analysis.
- Engineering Analysis: Multiple safety engineering analyses are performed including Short Circuit Analysis, Protective Device Coordination Analysis, Protective Device Interrupt Rating Analysis, and Incident Energy Analysis.
- Equipment Labeling: Customized, Site-Specific, NFPA 70E-compliant Arc Flash safety labels are created and applied to the electrical equipment.
- Report of Findings and Recommendations: The results are provided in both a printed and digital report, including any findings describing dangerous conditions within the facility and recommendations for mitigating these hazards.
Many companies in North America are coming to grips with a new electrical safety concern – Arc Flash Safety. Often, the initial question that is raised by management is – does this even apply to our facility? In short, the answer is a resounding YES!
In the United States, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) can and does cite companies that do not provide protection for their employees against arc flash & arc blast hazards. Although the OSHA 1910 standard does not specifically define all of the procedures and personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary for a sufficient arc flash safety program, it does recognize the NFPA 70E standard as the best practices for implementation of a comprehensive electrical safety program.
Most companies do not have the expertise or do not wish to expend valuable resources required to interpret, assess, and implement an energized electrical safety program – and that’s exactly where The Jacman Group comes in.
We provide assistance to companies of all sizes to establish the required elements of an Electrical Safety Program including:
- Facility Arc Flash Risk Assessment
- Arc Flash/NFPA 70E Electrical Safety Training
- Proper Arc Flash PPE
The proper arc flash risk assessment and training can prevent an incident before it happens
The arc flash risk assessment is the process that is undertaken to determine the level of hazard that exists at each electrical enclosure such as a control panel, panelboard, disconnect switch or switchgear. There are several steps required to complete the assessment.
Step 1 – Data Collection
There is a variety of information required to correctly document the power distribution system. This information includes data on circuit breakers, fuses, cabling, and end loads. Most companies do not want to de-energize in order to collect this data as this task requires an experienced, skilled, and qualified individual or team.
Step 2 – Arc Flash Risk Assessment
Most engineers conduct the arc flash risk assessment by utilizing specialized software. In this phase, the engineer models the power distribution system based on the data collected. From this model, PPE categories, incident energy levels (calories/cm^2), and the arc flash boundaries for the electrical distribution system are determined.
From the study results, most reputable companies will analyze points in the system where the PPE Category 3 or above and make recommendations for possible system changes that would reduce the PPE category to an acceptable level. This is standard procedure for our group as is a review of the system for any major system coordination issues and insufficient fault bracing of electrical system components. We will identify problems and report them as a part of the arc flash report.
The system model will allow for the addition of future information and study of the expanded power distribution system if desired. We recommend that the electrical engineer conducting this study have a background in power distribution and also be involved with other aspects of arc flash safety such as data collection and safety consulting.
Step 3 – One-Line Diagrams
Our team utilizes industry-standard SKM Systems Analysis software to create detailed one-line diagram(s) of the electrical system and we include them with the project deliverables.
Step 4 – Equipment Labeling
Arc Flash warning labels adhere to ANSI standards and shall be affixed to all equipment included in the assessment. Labels display the flash protection boundary, incident energy, work distance, required PPE level, and the shock hazard voltage and boundaries.
We can recommend arc flash clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) options based on the specific results of your study, upon request.
Arc Flash Consulting & Post-Analysis Support
Regardless of how much time is spent in the data collection, analysis, consulting, and training stages, there are always other questions that arise. We’re here for you long after the completion of the project to answer any questions and continue to assist you through this ongoing process.
The potential for human error shall now be considered in all risk assessments – NFPA 70E
Proper Arc Flash Training is the key element of any effective electrical safety program. Implementing the Arc Flash Safety Training into your program enables employees to recognize hazards they’re exposed to daily and protect them in the event that an arc flash should occur.
The Jacman Group’s unique training methodologies will leave each and every employee with a new respect for electricity, which in turn will make a safer environment for everyone.
Onsite training and live virtual/online classes available.
An infrared (IR) electrical scan is an inspection that will identify hot spots in your electrical system.
IR electrical inspections detect system overloads, loose defective components and damaged switchgear. Infrared thermography is used to find areas of excess heat (caused by increased resistance) so that problems can be corrected before a component fails, causing damage to the component, creating safety hazards and productivity loss.
Over time and as conditions change, this should be revisited to find and prevent issues before they cause damage to your personnel, equipment and facility as a whole. As always, proper maintenance is a critical component. The IR survey should be conducted at least once per year, however, it’s highly recommended to perform at intervals of 6 to 8 months in an effort to capture operating characteristics within the constant temperature changes and atmospheric effects to the equipment.
An IR study can be completed at the same time as your Arc Flash Study, if requested.
Arc Flash Risk Assessment:
NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace states:
An arc flash risk assessment shall be performed:
(1) To identify arc flash hazards
(2) To estimate the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to health and the potential severity of injury or damage to health.
(3) To determine if additional protective measures are required, including the use of PPE
Update Requirements: The arc flash risk assessment is required to be updated when major modifications/renovations take place or at a minimum of every 5 years.
“An arc flash risk assessment shall be performed and shall…. Be updated when a major modification or renovation takes place. It shall be reviewed periodically, at intervals not to exceed 5 years, to account for changes in the electrical distribution system that could affect the results of the arc flash risk assessment.”
The Arc Flash/NFPA 70E electrical safety training should be conducted at a minimum of every three years, however most companies conduct this training annually.
NFPA 70E states: “Retraining in safety-related work practices and applicable changes in this standard shall be performed at intervals not to exceed 3 years.”
Questions & Information
The Jacman Group specializes in Arc Flash/NFPA 70E Safety Training and facility Arc Flash Risk Assessments. We are 100% focused on Electrical Safety and help companies of all sizes achieve and maintain a safe electrical work environment.
Contact us for more information about our Arc Flash Safety Services or to request a quote:
Other helpful links: What is Arc Flash? | What is NFPA 70E? | IEEE