Arc Flash is a short circuit through air from one exposed live conductor to another conductor or to ground.
Most electrical injuries occur because of arc flash and not from electrical shock. It’s estimated that five to ten arc flash explosions happen in the US each day. The costs are staggering both in terms of physical injury and loss of life, but also include costs associated with downtime, lost revenue, loss of product, equipment damage and OSHA citations and fines.
The NFPA 70E states “A Flash Hazard Analysis shall be done before a person approaches any exposed electrical conductor or circuit part that has not been placed in an electrically safe work condition”.
2018 NFPA 70E requirements for safe work practices to protect personnel by reducing exposure to major electrical hazards. Originally developed at OSHA’s request, NFPA 70E helps companies and employees avoid workplace injuries and fatalities due to shock, electrocution, arc flash, and arc blast, and assists in complying with OSHA 1910 Subpart S and OSHA 1926 Subpart K.
Arc Flash Label Compliance
OSHA 1910.132 (d)(1) The employer shall assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). If such hazards are present, or likely to be present, the employer shall: take all appropriate actions as described in 1910.132 – General requirements.
Arc Flash and Shock Hazard Labels
Label information should include equipment’s flash protection boundary, incident energy level and the required PPE necessary to safely work on the equipment