Frequently Asked Questions

Arc Flash Study

What are my responsibilities under the Standards for Electrical Safety in the Workplace regarding Arc Flash?
What is an Arc Flash Study/Analysis and what does it provide?
What is the process to Arc Flash compliance?
Are there any other elements to consider and help reduce the Arc Flash Hazard?
Am I compliant if I have conducted worker training and have purchased personal protective equipment (PPE)?
What is an Arcing Fault?
What causes an Electrical Arc?
What is a Flash Hazard?
What is my risk to being exposed to an Arc Flash?
What can happen if I am exposed to Arc Flash?

Arc Flash Study

Q. What are my responsibilities under the Standards for Electrical Safety in the Workplace regarding Arc Flash?

Arc Flash Hazards has been addressed legislatively at both Provincial and Federal levels and the Code Standards CSA Z462 and NFPA 70E are in place. The Company is responsible for:

Q. What is an Arc Flash Study/Analysis and what does it provide?

An Arc Flash Study/Analysis is an engineering study that determines the amount of current that could flow at any point in an electrical system and the timing required for the nearest circuit protective device to operate to clear a fault. This information allows Shock and Flash Protection Boundaries, Incident Energy Levels and Risk Hazard Categories to be determined. This provides workers the information required to select the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to perform work on energized equipment.

Q. What is the process to Arc Flash compliance?

Compliance to the regulation for Arc Flash is a process and consists of the following elements:

Q. Are there any other elements to consider and help reduce the Arc Flash Hazard?

An Arc Flash Study/Analysis determines the information required to make the selection of appropriate PPE however, you may wish to consider other elements to reduce Incident Energy/Risk Category Levels and Exposure to Hazards. These may include:

Q. Am I compliant if I have conducted worker training and have purchased personal protective equipment (PPE)?

An in addition to the Training and PPE the Federal and Provincial Government have mandated, via legislation, companies to perform an Arc Flash Study/Analysis on Electrical Power Distribution.

(See above Q. What are my responsibilities under the Standards for Electrical Safety in the Workplace regarding Arc Flash?)

Q. What is an Arcing Fault?

An arcing fault is the flow of current through the air between phase conductors or phase conductors and neutral or ground. An arcing fault can release tremendous amounts of concentrated radiant energy at the point of the arcing in a small fraction of a second resulting in extremely high temperatures, a tremendous pressure blast, and shrapnel hurling at high velocity.

Q. What causes an Electrical Arc?

Arcs can be initiated by a variety of causes, such as when:

Q. What is a Flash Hazard?

A flash hazard is defined as a dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc.

Q. What is my risk to being exposed to an Arc Flash?

The exposure to arc flash depends on the following:

Q. What can happen if I am exposed to Arc Flash?

Exposure to an arc flash frequently results in a variety of serious injuries and in some cases even death. Workers have been injured even though they were ten feet or more away from the arc centre. Worker injuries can include damage to hearing, eyesight, and severe burns that could require years of skin grafting and rehabilitation.

In addition, Equipment can be destroyed causing extensive downtime and requiring expensive replacement or repair. The cost of treatment for the injured worker can be significant and litigation fees, insurance increases, fines and accident investigation costs can also occur. This does not include work in progress loss or job layoffs as a result of the interruption to manufacturing. These accumulative costs can be considerable.

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