Step 2: Conduct an Electrical System Study to Determine the Present Degree of Arc Flash Hazards

This is an electrical system engineering study that is overseen by professional engineers familiar with the power distribution and control equipment and the calculation methods required. The methodology for conducting an arc flash analysis is outlined in IEEE 1584® Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations. 2012 NFPA 70E, Section 130.5 states an arc flash hazard analysis shall determine the arc flash boundary, the incident energy at the working distance, and the personal protective equipment that people shall use within the arc flash boundary.

All of the calculations for the study are based upon the data collected on site. As such, accurate and complete data gathering is a critical step which will determine the validity of the analysis results.

As worker safety is paramount, personnel collecting the data should be NFPA 70E trained since the Arc Flash study has not yet been completed.

An arc flash hazard analysis must be updated when a major renovation or modification takes place. At a minimum, it should be reviewed every five years as changes in the electrical distribution system could affect the results of the arc flash hazard analysis.

Apply Warning Labels to Equipment
2012 NFPA 70E, Section 130.5(C) requires that equipment that is likely to be examined, adjusted, serviced or maintained while energized shall be field-marked with a label containing all of the following information:

1. At least one of the following:

  • Available incident energy and corresponding working distance
  • Minimum arc rating of clothing
  • Required level of PPE
  • Highest Hazard/Risk Category (HRC) for the equipment

2. Nominal system voltage

3. Arc flash boundary