What’s Involved In An Arc Flash Study?

Simply put, there are a lot of mathematics and close inspections done by an electrical engineer in an arc flash study. Complex calculations make up the foundation for a very detailed report that is dedicated to the safety of individuals operating near electrical equipment. These reports are done regularly and information is updated as equipment becomes damaged or experienced recall. 

High-voltage electrical equipment can be incredibly dangerous if handled improperly or if the equipment malfunctions. The results can be severely damaging and even life-threatening. An arc flash study is one of the first steps toward preparing for a new construction plan or job site, prior to initial start-up. Assessing the risks and dangers ahead of time is one of the best ways to keep people safe while working. Continue reading the article below to learn more.

Evaluating Arc Flash Hazards

A protective device coordination study is to ensure that there are no code issues and that the equipment is protected from over-current problems leading to outages. A short circuit study is conducted to make sure that the equipment is rated for the installation. This is to help ensure that overcurrent protection devices such as fuses and electromechanical breakers are safe to use on the job. 

Workplace Hazards In Electrical Systems

All electrical devices should be evaluated no less than every 5 years. During an arc flash study, the electrical systems are inspected for both physical and coded errors. These errors can lead to a potentially devastating or life-threatening accident and therefore should be taken seriously. 

Overcurrent protective devices must be able to withstand the current flowing through them or they will take on damage and are designed to stop over currents from damaging systems and causing blackouts. 

Educating Workers For Safety 

Arc flash labels are designed to warn workers of the hazardous conditions associated with the electrical equipment that they are working with. They should be easy to read, in plain view, and contain important safety information. They warn of the specific risks associated with that equipment and the recommended PPE to keep workers safe. 

The information on each label needs to be updated every 5 years due to current standards. It is individualized to the particular equipment and directly dependent on a comprehensive report of the equipment and facility itself. 

Keeping People Safe

In short, this means that the equipment is inspected for physical problems and code errors. Over-current protectors are evaluated and inspected to make sure that they can withstand the expected currents without taking on damage. 

All of this information is made readily available in a detailed report, as well as in short form with PPE recommendation on a convenient to read sticker attached to the particular device. Labels will explain: the arc flash boundary, how much energy and heat can be expected at what range, and the different arc and shock hazards. This is all to ensure the safety of everyone working on the job site and within close proximity to dangerous elements.