Blackmon, Blackmon Service, Arc Flash, Arc Flash Analysis, Arc Flash Charlotte, Thermal Imaging
ARC FLASH ANALYSIS

Keep your business running smoothly and safely with expert management from qualified professionals who are experienced in addressing the power requirements and reliability concerns of today's business.

 
Why are they needed?

The main goal of this study is to become compliant with OSHA standards, including 1910.132 and 1910.333, for electrical safety in workplace environments.  Failure to comply means that the workplace isn’t electrically safe and can lead to OSHA fines, accidents, and high legal costs.  We all know that workers dealing with risks such as asbestos, fall hazards, or dangerous machinery must be made aware of the risks by their employer, and furnished with proper training and PPE.  Electrical hazards are no different.  From 1992 to 2002, over 2000 U.S. workers per year, over five per day, were victims of serious arc-flash injuries.  Every 30 minutes of the work day, a worker suffers an electrical injury that requires time off for recovery.  According to a study by Mission Critical, the cost of average electrical accident is $750K. The National Safety Council estimates that a single work-related injury can cost businesses over $10M in fines, litigation, medical costs, lost business and equipment repair.

 

The study consists of (3) parts:

  1. Short–Circuit Study - to determine maximum 3-phase short-circuit values at points along the distribution system

  2. Protective Device Coordination Study - to determine if overcurrent devices are selectively coordinated

  3. Arc Flash Risk Assessment - to determine incident energy and arc-flash boundaries. 

Who needs them?
 

All non-dwelling electrical equipment such as switchboards, panelboards, industrial control panels, meter sockets, disconnects, and motor control centers that are likely to require examination adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized must be evaluated and labeled.

We were recently told by an owner’s representative, who didn’t have arc-flash labels on their equipment, that if an electrician doesn’t know what to wear when working on live equipment, then they shouldn’t be doing electrical work.  The days of that kind of cavalier attitude are over.  Without proper labeling and a safety plan in place, a worker is more likely to get hurt in that facility, and the doors are wide open for litigation.

This study aims to provide adequate knowledge to workers in the form of labels on the electrical equipment, showing the shock risk, the arc-flash boundary, and the amount of heat released at a given distance, measured in calories/cm², and referred to as incident energy.  These values can be most accurately determined by performing a detailed site survey by documenting wire sizes and lengths, circuit breaker and fuse information, etc., and modeling this information in engineering software.  IEEE 1584-2002 Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations is the standard upon which the study is based, and details the methods, calculations, and deliverables for the study.   NFPA 70E Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace was written by the National Fire Protection Association at the request of OSHA as a blueprint for electrical safety compliance, and this study uses these guidelines.  Per these guidelines, study updates are required to be performed every 5 years, or whenever significant changes are made in the system.

The labels must have 3 things:

  • Nominal System Voltage

  • Arc Flash Boundary

  • At least one of the following:

    • Available Incident Energy and the corresponding working distance, or the PPE Category in NFPA 70E 2018 Table 130.7 C(15)(a) or Table 130.7 C(15)(b)

    • Minimum rating of clothing

    • Site-specific level of PPE

Why Blackmon Service?
 

We self-perform all aspects of the study, from the data gathering to the software modeling, to the engineering review, to the label application and report review with the customer.  The same technicians who perform our electrical maintenance testing also perform the arc-flash data gathering.  We feel that this adds real value to the study, because they are not simply opening electrical panel covers to record wire sizes, breaker information, etc., but are actively inspecting the equipment for issues including bad connections, incorrect cable, breaker, or fuse sizes, conductors against sharp edges, missing KO plugs, debris in the panels, etc.  Taking the time with a practiced eye to look for problems allows maintenance teams to detect issues and plan for repairs, instead of react to outages or damaged equipment.  When we’re done, every relevant piece or equipment in the facility has been examined by a trained technician.

Blackmon Service regularly performs Arc-Flash Assessments, and we’re always glad to answer questions and provide guidance.  Our studies help make sure that your facility meets the OSHA and NFPA 70E requirements.

Training
 

An Arc-Flash Safety Training Class is available at your site for up to 20 participants, with lunch included.  We can provide an initial training session, and a refresher class to re-train existing employees or provide first-time training for any new hires not present during the initial training.  Typical class time is around three to four hours. 

 

Topics covered include:

  • What is arc-flash and arc-blast, and what are the consequences

  • Reading and understanding arc-flash labels

  • Proper selection, fit, maintenance, and disposal of arc-flash PPE

  • NFPA 70 guidelines for utilizing Energized Work Permits

  • Defining “Qualified Person”

  • Lock-out Tag-out (LOTO)

  • Understanding arc-flash working distances and boundaries

  • Understanding shock hazard boundaries

  • Selecting proper metering equipment

  • Creating an electrically-safe working condition

  • Minimizing human error – planning and risk assessment

For more information about how Arc Flash Analysis & Arc Flash Safety can help you to ensure safety, security and reliability within your work environment, please contact Josh Shields 704-364-9009

Copyright © 2017 Blackmon Service, Inc. All rights reserved.

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