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Most Important Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Arc flash Study – What you need to Know!

Last updated: Sep 29, 2020

Are you having confusion regarding Arc Flash Study? Don't know how and when to carry it out? Or you just need a brief answer to all your queries?

We have seen many people who are confused regarding arc flash study and they have many questions to ask but not able to find it collectively. Considering that, we have compiled this blog and present all the important questions in it.

Go ahead and read this blog to know about this important power systems study.


What is an Arc Flash Study OR Arc Flash Hazard Analysis?

An Arc Flash hazard is the danger of excessive heat exposure and serious burn injury due to arching faults in electrical power systems. Electric arcs produce intense heat, sound blast and pressure waves. They have extremely high temperatures, radiate intense heat, can ignite cloths and cause severe burns that can be fatal.

These arc flashovers occur due to dust on the conductor surface, condensation of vapor, corrosion of equipment parts and even accidental contact with live conductors.

Arc Flash Study

Hello there! On a related topic, we previously wrote a blog about Short Circuit Study – Most Frequently Asked Questions in 2019!. If this peaks your interest, check it out and let us know what you think


Why do we need Arc Flash Study OR Who Needs Arc Flash Analysis?

Each year, more than 10,000 burn injuries occur due to arc flashes, 3,000 of which are severe cases and 500 of which result in a fatality. An Arc Flash hazard is the danger of excessive heat exposure and serious burn injury due to arcing faults in electrical power systems. The need for continuous power is expected from a utility company and demanded by the customers.

Electrocution remains the fourth (4th) highest cause of industrial fatalities. There is a need to perform electrical and maintenance work on exposed live parts of electrical equipment. It is for this reason that an Arc Flash hazard is critical for the protection of all working personnel within the facility.


You can find more reasons about why do we need Arc Flash hazard by CLICK HERE

How long is going to take Arc Flash Study?

Usually, over the life of a facility, you may require a complete Arc Flash study every 5 years as recommended by the latest standard of NFPA 70E 2018 and OSHA requirements for the electrical safety of every employee in the field.

However, there is no particular requirement to just perform the Arc flash hazard analysis for every 5 years. If you have installed a new system or may be enhanced your facility protection system, then you can perform the Arc flash hazard analysis in less than 5 years.


What are Arc Flash Calculation Engineering Analysis Methods?

The newly revised edition of IEEE 1584-2018 standard is approved on 27th September 2018 after conducting of 2000+ tests.

It provides mathematical incident energy model for electrical designers, professionals, managers and facility operators and working personnel’s in determining the arc-flash hazard boundary and the incident energy to which workers could be exposed during their work on or near electrical equipment in any facility.


To learn IEEE 1584-2018 – In Depth Arc Flash Calculations Using Mathcad Express & Etap 19.0 Click Here

What are Arc flash labels and why we need them?

Arc flash labels recognize potential risk associated with operating switchboards, panel boards, motor control centers, industrial control, meter socket and considerably more. They point out particular equipment hazard information and indicate what steps should be taken to stay safe when an arc flash hazards occur. These labels provide the information, right where and when it's required. The most common element of arc flash labels are:

  • Danger or warning header
  • Incident energy level
  • Min Arc Rating
  • Arc flash boundary
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Shock Hazard Boundary (Limited Approach and Restricted approach)
  • Shock risk info when cover is removed

In 2002 the NEC 110.16 presented the idea of labeling equipment for an arc flash.


To avoid workplace injuries and fatalities, AllumiaX provides a final printout of the report and large weatherproof vinyl arc flash stickers. Our large inventory of Arc Flash Warning labels meets the latest NEC and NFPA 70E® 2018 safety requirements.

Our Arc Flash Labels are laminated for durability and protect your message against weather, abrasion, and chemicals.

  1. Labels adhere easily to clean, flat or curved surfaces.
  2. Labels conform to the 2014-2017 National Electric Code regulations and IEEE 1584-2018 standards for arc flash safety.

What is the methodology for electric Arc Flash Hazard Assessment?


  1. Compute: Calculating arc flash parameters of your facility
  2. Conform: Complying to the standards and rules set by IEEE, NEC, OSHA and more
  3. Control: Controlling the severity of damages and eliminating risks
  4. Care: Prioritizing the safety and security of your workforce


Why an arc flash happens and what are Arc flash risk associated?

There are a lot of reasons about why an Arc Flash happens, but most of them are human error. The most common cause of arc faults is PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) failure. Improper tools, improper electrical equipment, corrosion of equipment, improper installation and work techniques, lack of electrical safety training, loose connections, insufficient mechanical dimensioning, equipment malfunction, contamination or degradation of insulation, Static electricity or high voltage cables are just some of the events that can lead to a devastating arc flash.

The risk associated to arc flash hazards can be burning human skin, damaging vision or hearing, lungs injury and impair breathing, damage electrical equipment and many more. Downtime is another big. These blasts commonly happen without any warning and damage electrical equipment and lead to extreme damage or death of worker present inside the boundary of arc flash.

This is something, which we cannot explain here in detail. But we have written an extensive and detailed blog on this topic which you can check on the given link.


Click Here: [2019 Statistics] Arc Flash Explosions Occur Every Day – Arc Flash Accidents

What are Arc Flash Codes, Standards, and Regulations?

Arc flash study is based on the progressive requirements found in Several codes or standards and regulatory bodies.

OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under the United States Department of Labor. The DOL manages and upholds more than 180 government laws and responsible for worker safety and health assurance.

The OSHA Act of 1979 was passed by a bipartisan Congress to assure so far as possible employees work in a safe and healthful working environment by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

OSHA figures out which standards apply to your working environment and expects you to follow these norms and requirements. All employees and their employers under Federal Government authority are secured by OSHA. OSHA offers a broad Web website at osha.gov that incorporates segments dedicated to training, state programs, small businesses, construction, as well as interactive e-tools to support managers and workers.

OSHA is a regulatory body in the United States of America. It is responsible to regulate the standards including the Arc flash standards and also assure that standards work properly and makes the guidelines that are totally aligned with the OSHA body. You can learn more about OSHA on its official website.


NFPA 70E 2018: Important Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace

NFPA 70E 2018 is a latest standard of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) i.e. a nonprofit organization that helps employers meet OSHA standards for electrical safety. It defines work practices that protect workers from electrical hazards and also specifies safe work practices for employees who may not be directly working on electrical equipment, however who are performing work that may open them to electrical dangers.

The standards focus on protection that allow employees to be productive within their job functions and refuses work in such closeness to any piece of energized electrical power circuit that the worker could contact throughout their work, except if the employee is ensured against electric hazard by de-energizing and establishing the circuit, or guarding it successfully by protection or different methods.

The Standard continues to evolve to address risk assessment and introduces human factors, such as human error, as part of that assessment. NFPA 70E emphasizes the need to utilize the hierarchy of hazard controls, by moving it from an informational note into the content of the Standard. It is valuable during electrical safety-related work practices, electrical system updation, and others issues related to employee safety.

IEEE 1584: IEEE Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) published the IEEE 1584 “Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations”. It contains a detailed model that determine arc fault current, flash protection boundaries, and incident thermal energy as well as how to apply and properly analyze this model by simplifying the calculation for the simplest to the most complex systems.

This guide provides techniques for designers and facility operators to apply in determining the arc flash hazard distance and the incident energy to which employees could be exposed during their work on or near electrical equipment.

The reason for the guide is to empower qualified person(s) to break down power system to calculate the incident thermal energy to which employees could be uncovered during working environment.

Contractual workers and facility owners can utilize this data to help give insurance to employees as per the necessities of applicable standards of electrical work environment.

This is something, which we cannot explain here in detail. But we have written an extensive and detailed blog on this topic which you can check on the given link. https://allumiax.com/ieee-1584-2018-published-2018-ieee-guide-for-performing-arc-flash-hazard-calculations-2

NFPA 70: National Electric Code (NEC)

The National Electrical Code (NEC), or NFPA 70, is a benchmark for facilitating the safe installation of electrical wiring, equipment and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards. It sets the foundation for electrical safety in residential, commercial, and industrial occupancies by aiming is to maximize public safety, emergency preparation, and electrical worker protection.

The NEC cover definitions and rules for installations, circuits and circuit protection, methods and materials for wiring and general-purpose and deal with special occupancies, equipment and conditions. Also define additional requirements for communications systems.

The NEC purposed the safety of persons and property from electrical hazards from the installation of electrical equipment’s and it should be utilized by trained individuals. Recommended Practices of NFPA 70E reflect the changing that industry needs by evolving technologies, supported by innovative work, and useful experience.

NESC: ANSI C2 National Electrical Safety Code

NESC is a US standard for the safety of electric power when installing, operating, and maintaining and correspond utility systems including power substations, power and communication overhead lines, and power and communication underground lines.

More essentially, it incorporates general updates and basic modifications that directly contact the power utility industry.

This is updated every five years to keep the code update with the latest changes in the industry and technology, and adopted by law by most of states and Public Service Commissions over the US. NESC is a performance code viewed as the legitimate source on great electrical designing practice.

Why is PPE Important and When selecting and using PPE?

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is important because it protect or shield workers body from electrical hazards when on a worksite by reducing exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries, illnesses or infection.

It includes items i.e. safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, hard hats, high-visibility clothing, safety glasses and shoes, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury or infection. It also includes respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

PPE is considered as a last defensive structure between the workers and a danger. PPE always needed when there is a hazard but try to control safety risk and hazards at first place. The limitation of PPE is it doesn't wipe out the risk at the source and may result in workers being presented to the danger if the Personal Protective Equipment fails.

We had previously written a blog about an overview of four different Arc Flash PPE Categories. It will help you to grasp the information available in this blog easily.


Click here: NFPA 70E 2018 – An Overview of 4 Different Arc Flash PPE Categories

Are Arc Flash Studies Affordable?

The cost of an Arc flash study depends upon the variety of factors; some are listed below:

  • What is the type of facility (Commercial building, Industrial or manufacturing, Power Plant, Concrete Plant)?
  • What is the Project Priority (emergency, urgent, Normal, Low)?
  • Is It being an existing facility or new construction?
  • How much amount of electrical equipment required?
  • Is On-Site training required or not?
  • Is On-Site Data collection required or not?

And many more.

Many believe that arc flash study is very costly but AllumiaX, LLC will help you to achieve a true arc flash study at reasonable cost. The arc flash studies are done by our experts who provide arc flash studies using the latest software ETAP.

We specialize in achieving compliance without excessive data and reports. These assessments are based on NFPA 70E 2018, IEEE 1584 2018 and the OSHA 1910.269 requirements depending upon the application.

Customized Auto Quote tool allows you to control the cost of the services you need without paying for those you don't need. Our Auto quote tool automatically determine the cost based on the facility information including the feeders, buses, switchgears and protective devices which requires Arc flash labels.


What are Arc Flash Study Outcomes & Recommendations?

Arc flash studies are performed as per the latest industrial standards including IEEE, NEC, ANSI & NFPA and a regulatory body (OSHA).

Study outcomes and recommendations are expected to improve your facility in the following areas:

  • Recommended PPE levels for working personnel are expected to provide increased protection against arc flashover
  • A safe work environment is ensured in compliance with the OSHA & NEC requirements
  • Safety and protection of the electrical system can be expected to increase
  • Complete documentation of the energy levels at all electrical points in the system
  • Arc flash labels will provide the necessary safety information for maintenance work
  • Increased reliability of the electrical distribution system


What are Arc Flash Study Deliverables?

The proven expertise of our team of certified professional engineers will assist in the evaluation of your system and deliver state-of-the-art recommendations and arc flash solutions for your power system’s protection.

We work closely with our clients in collecting the data, modeling the system, identifying the hazards, simulating the incident energy levels & providing solutions in compliance with the latest industrial standards including IEEE, NEC, ANSI & NFPA and a regulatory body (OSHA).

AllumiaX,LLC provides an independent and third-party engineering support by presenting comprehensive deliverable reports backed by industry standards and best practices, analysis work based on industry-leading software (ETAP), and proven results based on accurate modelling and calculations. The reports are expected to include the following deliverables:

  • A comprehensive model of the facility in modern power systems software
  • Evaluation of the system for normal and emergency scenarios
  • Identification of the hazardous areas in the system
  • Calculations of the incident energy levels for each electrical point within the facility
  • PPE Recommendations for the safety of the working personnel
  • Arc flash labels including the safety critical information for each bus
  • General recommendations for the overall reliability of the network
  • Tabulated results of the study in compliance with OSHA, NEC, IEEE ,ANSI & NFPA standards


What Arc Flash Services AllumiaX offers?

We provide a Price Quote for your project within A Day!


AllumiaX offer the following arc flash services:

  • Comprehensive Study
  • Self-Explanatory Time Current Curves (TCC)
  • Compliant with Latest Standards
  • Cost effective Pricing
  • Advanced and in-depth Short Circuit Study
  • Clean Single Line Drawings (SLD)
  • Perform Thorough Protective Device Coordination
  • Step By Step Guidance
  • Comprehensive Arc Flash Training
  • Arc flash Labels
  • Time to time report Submission

To read the detail: CLICK HERE


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