What You Need to Know About Arc Flash Studies
The law (both provincial and federal) basically states that all employers are responsible for identifying the hazards that workers (employees and contractors) could be exposed to on there site. Performing an arc flash hazard analysis on electrical equipment (208V or greater) is critical to ensure the health and safety for the workers that are required to interact with (maintain or repair) electrical equipment. This basically means that the employer is responsible for identifying both shock and arc flash hazards in order to stay compliant and protect individuals that work on or near energized electrical equipment. Keeping equipment properly maintained as per manufacturers instructions and having an up-to-date arc flash hazard analysis will ensure that companies are in full compliance with best practices and the most up to date industry standards.
The main reason for performing an arc flash hazard analysis is to allow a worker to adequately select the proper level of PPE when interacting with a particular piece of equipment. This will ensure that if something were to go wrong, such as an arc flash, the worker is properly protected and will walk away without serious injuries.
If Safeguard is hired to perform an arc flash hazard analysis, the first thing we do is identify all the electrical equipment that may pose an arc flash hazard. The next step is to collect all the required data and hand it off to an electrical engineer for analysis. Our Engineers use e-Tap software, in accordance with IEEE 1584 (Guide to Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations) and CSA-Z462 (Workplace Electrical Safety) when preparing the study. When the study is complete, labels are made for each piece of equipment with important information (such as incident energy level, and arc flash boundary distance) that will allow a trained worker to properly identify the level of PPE required to interact with a particular piece of electrical equipment.