Arc Flash Risk Assessment


What is arc flash ? Arc Flash is the night mare for most of the safety and electrical maintenance engineers in their facility. Osha insists all the plants to perform Arc Flash Risk assessments and implement the mitigation techniques to stay safe as per NFPA 70-E standards.

what is Arc flash risk assessment? is the primary question in every safety professional mind. Understanding Arc flash hazard risk category charts and Arc flash limited approach boundaries and incident energy analysis and its related Arc flash boundary tables looks little technical subject but in practical its more of safety and easiest way of avoiding disasters.

What OSHA and NFPA 70E Says? Arc flash assessment needs a systematic approach of identifying the risks and its magnitude and methods of eliminating the risks or mitigating the Arc flash risks. Arc flash evaluation also demands the compliance of NFPA-70E and IEEE 1584 as per OSHA regulations to provide proper Arc flash protection levels. Arc flash study needs to be performed for every facility to assess the potential Arc flash incident energy incase of any short circuit in the live system. Arc flash hazard levels identified during the Arc flash risk assessment shall be documented properly and made available to the working personnel as and when required.

Arc flash hazard calculations are a scientific approach in identifying the are Arc flash risks and electrical hazards in the system. Incident energy analysis method and PPE table method are the two methods suggested by NFPA 70-E to perform Arc flash risk assessments. Arc flash classifications mainly depends on the incident energy available at particular bus on node in the system. Electrical coordination study plays a critical role in incident energy analysis method in determining the Arc flash boundaries. Arc flash temperature or the equivalent incident energy to be determined by the electrical engineering consultant to identify and mitigate the Arc flash risks in the system. Arc flash categories will determine the personal protection equipment PPE to be used by the working personnel in the plant. Arc flash levels determined shall be perused to bring the energy levels down by the electrical engineer performing Arc flash risk assessments. Arc flash risk categories have been classified depending on the energy levels and the respective PPE has to be recommended by the electrical

engineering consultant who is assigned to perform Arc flash risk assessment for the facility as per Arc flash category table mentioned in NFPA 70E standards. Arc flash rating to be marked on the Arc flash hazard warning labels along with Arc flash protection boundary (Arc flash distance) details as per the Arc flash boundary chart.

How VB Engineering will help you? We at VB Engineering provide as expertise consultancy for all your Arc flash analysis requirements. The Arc flash analysis study is the basic requirement of the organizations follow OSHA and people who give importance to the safety of the working personnel. The Arc flash risk assessment carried by our expertise electrical experts will ensure your compliance with international standards of OSHA, NFPA 70E, IEEE 1584 and NEC 2014. We take care of bot below and above 480 volt Arc flash including DC Arc flash risk assessment where it shall be considered upto the substation Arc flash.

Our Arc flash working methodology involves both pre and post Arc flash survey which needs to be conducted to ensure the recommendations given during the Arc flash risk assessment or implemented. The core activity involves in data collection from the plant, modeling it in a network analysis tool. Perform short circuit calculation to identify the magnitude of short-circuit current at each and every node. Arc flash energy or incident energy calculation will be performed considering the available amount of short circuit and the electrical coordination provided for the protection of the system. Identification of respective Arc flash approach boundaries like Arc flash limited approach boundary, Restricted approach boundary and Arc flash hazard boundary will be labeled as per the Arc flash hazard risk category chart depending their Arc flash zones.

Incident energy shall be calculated for Arc flash working distance for each and every bus or node. Arc Flash Risk analysis checklist will be used in ensuring there are no gaps in identification of the Arc flash risks present in the system.Arc flash labels will be prepared as per the NFPA 70-E 2015 standards. Arc flash stickers will be prepared and pasted on the respective panels to enable the working personnel to understand the Arc flash risk in the system and wear the appropriate PPE to avoid any Arc flash hazards further. Detailed Arc flash training will be conducted to the working personnel and staff to ensure the Arc flash awareness in the team.

480 volt Arc flash is not a subject ot be neglected. It is general tendency for people to ignore 480 volt Arc flash while doing arc flash study and people don’t prepare the relevant Arc Flash Warning Labels for 480 volt Arc flash. As per standards and the arc flash safety is considered arc flash study shall be conducted for 480 volt Arc flash also and corresponding arc flash warning labels shall be printed and pasted and the necessary boundary marking shall be done to ensure the safety of working personnel.

Action Points

You can reach our team and have an Arc flash study example to understand better about short circuit coordination and Arc flash studies. Arc flash analysis cost will be basically estimated depending on the size of the plant. Arc flash study cost also depends on the complexity of the network and the data availability.

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