Arc Flash Hazard Analysis and Study

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Arc Flash Hazard Analysis and Study

Hazards associated with electrical systems pose a significant risk and are responsible for 5-10 injuries/fatalities in the United States every day, according to research conducted by Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN). Due to the prevalence of worker injuries caused by Arc Flash hazards, the NFPA established the consensus standard; NFPA 70E: Standard For Electrical Safety In The Workplace™. This Consensus standard was developed at the request of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1976 and has since developed into the industry consensus standard for electrical safety, hazard analysis, and signage.

Arc Flash, Arc Blast and the Hazard Analysis (Arc Flash Analysis)

An Arc Flash incident creates an electrical explosion known as a flashover. This happens when an electrical system component, due to working on live parts, malfunction, improper usage as well as many other issues and reasons. It has been documented by many sources, most notably the NFPA, that the subsequent release of thermal energy from this event can reach 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the Hazards associated with an Arc Flash event are not just limited to the rapid release of thermal energy. A more encompassing term for the hazard posed to workers with an Arc Flash Event is known as an Arc Blast. An arc Blast, as defined by the NFPA, is the release of mechanical, acoustical, thermal, and optical energy from an electrical arc. Both events are extremely hazardous and pose a significant risk to the health and safety of your workers.

Mid States Technical Services is committed to electrical safety in the workplace and is pleased to offer Arc Flash Hazard Analysis services for any electrical system in any industry. A proper Hazard Analysis that conforms to the 2015 NFPA 70 E Standard, will identify:

  • Arc Flash Hazards and the available incident energy at your equipment
  • Arc Flash Boundary
  • Limited Approach Boundary
  • Restricted Approach Boundary
  • Arc Rating & Proper Protective Equipment (PPE) Rating

The information gained from a proper analysis will be the foundation for proper labeling of the electrical equipment in your workplace. Due to the complexity of each individual electrical system, it is important that you hire experienced and qualified Electrical Specialists that are competent in identifying and working with electrical equipment. A poorly executed analysis can lead to erroneous safety information, improper labeling, as well as improper Personal Protective equipment usage.

Risk Reduction - Awareness and Personal Protective Equipment

The Arc Flash Hazard Analysis is the foundation for electrical safety awareness in the workplace. A proper analysis will yield an accurate recommendation of related Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and ensure your worker’s protective ensemble provides adequate protection for conducting energized work on individual electrical systems equipment. An improperly performed Arc Flash Hazard Analysis may lead to inadequate or excessive PPE. Inaccurate PPE recommendations can contribute to additional hazards, such as lack of protection or loss of dexterity. Having electrical equipment that is properly labeled, formatted and printed with the appropriate safety information promotes safety awareness in the workplace, as required by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). The proper administration of Dura-label products will ensure that your labels stand the test of time in any environment and remain legible throughout their term of service.

Our Process – Components of MSTS’s Arc Flash Hazard Analysis (Arc Flash Study)

Performing an Arc Flash Hazard Analysis entails determining incident energy levels and flash protection boundary distances based on results of your short-circuit analysis and coordination studies. This is for the purpose of injury prevention and the determination of safe work practices, arc flash boundary and the appropriate levels of personal protective equipment (PPE). Most projects, regardless of size, typically involve these steps:

  1. Client provides a recent electrical One-Line Diagram of facility
  2. When applicable, we will identify system operating modes/scenarios
  3. A field verification will be performed to collect the required data
  4. Analysis of collective data will be performed utilizing SKM PowerTools
  5. Print labels
  6. Apply safety labels at facility
  7. MSTS Final Report will contain the following:
    • Executive Summary
    • Arc Flash Spreadsheet
    • Documentation of Input Data
    • List of Assumptions, if Assumptions are used
    • Revised 1-line Diagram of Facility
    • Description of Modes/Scenarios used, if applicable
    • Setting change recommendations for Arc-Flash mitigation of existing over-current devices or installation of new over-current devices.

Why MSTS? Latest Technologies and Methods in Our Arc Flash Services

MSTS’ team of electrical specialists uses the latest tools in technology while performing the Arc Flash Analysis, thus enabling us to facilitate data collection with precision and promptness. While performing Arc Flash studies, field data is immediately transmitted electronically to our home office for record preservation, analysis, consultation and feedback by professional engineering staff. This quick communication relay allows our office and field teams to work faster and more effectively. It allows us to rapidly advance from site to site, saving your company time and money. Site data is processed using the best software technology in the industry, SKM PowerTools Software Suite with evaluation and reports generated for you by our Consulting Team.

Ancillary Services – Power Systems Surveys and Drafting Services

In conjunction with an Arc Flash Analysis, MSTS offers Drafting services and Power Systems Surveys. MSTS consulting staff will execute a complete electrical walk down guide of your entire facility and produce a One-Line Diagram package that presents details needed for your in house engineering and strategic planning. Additionally, a Power Systems Survey can be performed with an Arc Flash Analysis at a reduced cost to your company. Data generated from these services will be delivered to you in an organized and consolidated electronic format.

Mid States Technical Services is proud of our highly trained specialty consulting staff. From planning and data gathering, analysis and labeling, our staff is trained to provide you with the quality of work your company deserves. Mid States goal is to work hard to develop our service strategy in order to quickly deliver to you a correct and complete project at an accurate and reasonable cost that you can plan on. Contact MSTS today to discuss your Arc Flash Safety Initiative.