Arc Flash & Electrical Safety News

Blog Author Steve Hudgik

Monday, January 15, 2007

Putting Arc-Flash Calculations into Perspective

"The number of arc flash incidents in the United States is greater than many engineers realize since most accidents don't make the daily news. Chicago-based Capelli-Schellpfeffer, Inc. reports that five to 10 arc-flash injuries that result in hospitalization occur every day."

This is the opening paragraph of an article in Occupational Hazards magazine. The article takes a deeper look at the engineering and math behind arc flash safety, making the point that this information is critical to preventing arc flash injuries.

"Although OSHA doesn't directly state what to do about arc-flash hazards, OSHA 29 CFR 1910.132(d)(1) requires employers to evaluate the workplace for hazards. And based on these assessments, the employer must select and require the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for its employees."

The article discusses IEEE Std. 1584. This standard focuses on the direct cause of arc flash injuries, the radiated heat or incident energy produced by an arcing fault that falls on a given surface. The article covers various factors that effect the energy level in an arc flash incident, as calculated using the formulas given by IEEE Std. 1584.

The article concludes with practical advice for providing arc flash PPE and protection.

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