At the very top of the list for accidents and malfunctions that no one wants in the workplace are unexpected explosions. A specific kind of explosion that can pose a serious hazard to large electrical systems is an arc flash. These dangerous occurrences can release energy and cause serious harm or even death to any personnel unlucky enough to be within proximity, not to mention destroying valuable industrial equipment. Even more terrifying is that arc flashes almost always happen when someone is in proximity to the panel. The electrical design experts at Aura Engineering can keep your team and equipment safe by helping your business avoid such costly disasters. 

What Causes an Arc Flash?

Most typically, arc flash hazards are created when exposed electrical conductors or circuit parts are inadvertently touched with tools or foreign objects. The danger often occurs when workers are not aware of the potential for an arc flash. Any industrial company or organization with large electric or mechanical systems on site must educate personnel on how arc flashes happen and keep all equipment in good, working order to avoid this potential hazard. There are a number of strict regulations on how to mitigate this risk.

arc flash
The intense heat created by arc flashes can reach temperature up to 35,000°F. That’s hotter then the sun!

NFPA 70 (National Electric Code) Article 110.16 requires that equipment such as a switchboard, switchgear, panelboards, motor control centers, and control panels that are likely to require examination, adjustment, servicing, or maintenance while energized must be marked and labeled to warn qualified persons of potential electric arc flash hazards. NFPA 70E (Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace) establishes the guidelines for developing the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. Aura helps our clients stay safely in compliance with all applicable codes by performing a comprehensive Arc Flash Hazard Analysis. 

What is an Arc Flash Hazard Analysis?

An Arc Flash Hazard Analysis from Aura Engineering is a study of the electrical equipment which determines the arc flash boundary, incident energy at the working distance, and the personal protective equipment that must be used. Your facility’s Arc Flash Hazard Analysis must be updated any time a major modification or renovation takes place and reviewed periodically, not to exceed five years to account for any changes in the electrical distribution system. 

An Electrical worker wearing arc-flash protection. The tool in his hand is used to draw out a large circuit breaker.

Every Arc Flash Hazard Analysis Must Include: 

  • A detailed site walk-down: Our experienced engineers and arc flash consultants can perform detailed documentation of breakers, feeders, and electrical distribution gear. 
  • Analysis software: We will use EASYPOWER software to develop the Arc Flash Hazard documentation. 
  • Electrical coordination analysis: Our team will check and coordinate site protective devices to ensure you can provide a safe working environment for your staff.
  • Short circuit analysis: Aura Engineering will evaluate whether your equipment is properly rated to withstand potential arc flash currents.
  • Arc flash analysis report: We will provide a complete study modeled to give you a big-picture view of the safety of your facility.
  • Arc flash labels: We will produce safety labels to help all users understand any and all risk involved using your equipment.

Is your facility compliant with NFPA 70 and NFPA 70E? If it’s not, the result could potentially be far worse than a hefty fine. Arc flashes can pose a deadly threat to your employees, but with proper safety precautions, the risks can be significantly minimized. If you’re ready to be certain that you’re providing a safe working condition for your employees, contact Aura Engineering today about an Arc Flash Hazard Analysis. Our electrical systems experts will provide you with a free consultation on your needs and a custom quote for the analysis. Together, we’ll ensure the safety and security of your team and your equipment.