Understanding Arc Flash

Arc Flash LabelArc flash is a sudden explosion caused by an electrical system fault that greatly compromises employee safety. During an arc flash event, temperatures can reach as high as 35,000°F, and a dangerous level of energy is released through a powerful explosion. Approximately five to ten arc flashes occur every day in the United States, up to 6% of all fatal occupational injuries are caused from exposure to an arc flash. It’s important to ensure precautions are not overlooked and the appropriate steps are taken to safeguard your electrical system and reduce potential risks. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all employers to access all hazards involved in the workplace, and arc flash hazards are included in this. Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act requires an employer to furnish to its employees: employment and a place of employment, which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to its employees Gettle’s experienced team of arc flash hazard experts are available to help your business identify the arc flash hazards at your facility, determine the appropriate Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE). We work with companies of all sizes to collect the necessary data from your existing facility, produce a one-line diagram of the system, gather the necessary fault data from your utility company and perform a power system analysis. This computer-aided modeling is conducted by an in-house Registered Professional Engineer and includes a short-circuit and coordination study. Upon completion of the studies, Gettle will provide NFPA 70E approved warning labels for the various pieces of electrical equipment. These labels will allow the proper selection of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) by providing the following.
  • Incident energy level and corresponding working distance
  • Arc flash hazard boundary
Gettle will also provide a written report summarizing the results of the analysis including any recommendations for reducing the arc flash incident energy levels. Contact Gettle today to learn more about how an arc flash analysis will help your company protect your employees and comply with the necessary electrical codes and OSHA requirements.