Arc Flash Hazard Analysis / Risk Assessment

  1. What are the steps involved in Arc Flash Analysis? A. Arc Flash Hazard Analysis or Risk Assessment is a study conducted by trained safety experts to analyze electric equipment and power systems in order to predict the amount of incident energy from an arc flash. According to IEEE std 1584, there are 9 steps involved in this Arc Flash Analysis, which we are going to discuss here. Step 1: Collect the system’s installation data: The largest effort in an arc-flash hazard study is collecting the data from the site. Start by reviewing the one-line diagrams and electric equipment, site, and layout arrangement with people who are familiar with the site. The diagrams have to be updated to show the current system configuration and orientation before the arc-flash study starts. The one-line diagrams must have all alternate feeds. If SLDs are not ready, prepare them.              Once the diagrams are completed in the basic electric system scheme, enter  the data needed for the short

Arc Flash Boundary Calculation

In facility and factories safety electrical risks play a major role. There is no place that doesn't have an electrical risk in the plants. But all the risks need to be identified and quantified to take appropriate safety measures in the system. Arc Flash Risk or Arc Blast is one such kind of risk which people experience in plants quite often. the below video demonstrates quickly how dangerous the arc flash accident can be.

In the above case, a very important factor is Arc Flash Boundary which is not supposed to be crossed by the people without arc flash personal protective equipment. 

 What is Arc Flash Boundary:

Arc Flash Boundary or the Flash Protection Boundary is the safe distance a person should maintain from the live electrical system. NFPA 70E clearly states that a person should not cross arc flash boundary without the respective arc flash PPE determined or calculated for that electrical system. People generally do not understand the grave risk in arc flash accidents and keep crossing the arc flash boundary without any safety measures. This keeps the persons at a bigger unknown risk of arc flash accidents which can happen as witnessed in the above video. This is the reason NFPA insists to conduct a professional arc flash risk assessment for the plants and calculate the arc flash boundary and mark it clearly and legibly and implement administrative protocols so as people don't cross this arc flash boundary without PPE.


Why should I calculate Arc Flash Boundary?

Ignorance can not be an excuse for safety. Arc Flash boundary will provide you the safe distance you need to maintain from the live circuit. This will help the person stay safe even in the case of an arc flash accident in the worst case. It is quite important for the people working around the electrical people to know the safe distance so that they don't enter the risk zones unless necessary with required PPE.

How to calculate Arc Flash Boundary:

A plant should conduct a professional Arc Flash Risk assessment and calculate the arc flash boundary. The procedures and methodologies are clearly laid out in NFPA 70E standards. The algorithms are available in IEEE 1584 standards for the calculation of incident energy and arc flash protection boundaries. These standards are regularly updated to keep the environments more safer with reference to real-time scenarios. Click here link to know in detail how to conduct arc flash risk assessment.

These safety systems are adopted by the installations in well-developed countries like the USA, UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Australia etc. The developing nations like India, Brazil, Malaysia etc are also adopting to ensure the safety of their citizens in the working environment.

Always Safety First


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