An arc flash is a sudden explosion caused by an electrical system fault that greatly compromises employee safety. It may not seem like an immediate concern, but approximately five to ten arc flashes occur every day in the United States. In addition, 6% of all fatal occupational injuries are caused from exposure to an arc flash. Ignoring the risk of an arc flash could cause injury or even death to your employees and result in multi-million dollar lawsuits against your facility.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) General Duty Clause:
“Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act requires an employer to furnish to its employees: employment and a place of employment, which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to its employees…”
OSHA is using the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E as a national consensus standard and is intended for use by employers, employees and OSHA. OSHA expects employers and employees to comply with the provisions of NFPA 70E. Being unaware is not an excuse OSHA will accept.
ARC FLASH COMPLIANCE
In order to fulfill the regulations, OSHA requires employers to be in Arc Flash Compliance. Arc Flash Compliance is an assessment conducted to determine the level of arc flash hazards and includes the following:
- Train and qualify employees in NFPA 70E Compliance
- Perform an Arc Flash Hazard Analysis
- Provide the necessary Arc Flash warning labels
- Generate, update and post a one-line diagram
- Provide employees with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Perform preventative maintenance on all equipment per NFPA 70B
Gettle personnel will collect the necessary data from your existing facility, produce a one-line diagram of the system, gather the necessary fault data from your utility company and perform a power system analysis. This computer-aided modeling is conducted by an in-house Registered Professional Engineer and includes a short-circuit and coordination study. Upon completion of the studies, Gettle will provide the required warning label. These labels will:
- Identify the Arc Flash risk level
- Identify the safety boundary
- List the required level of PPE
Gettle will provide a written report for the analysis including any recommendations for reducing the arc flash hazards.
Contact Gettle today to learn more about how an arc flash analysis and training will help your company comply with the necessary electrical codes and OSHA requirements.