Arc Flash

What is arc flash?

Arc flash is what happens when a short-circuit is made in an electrical power distribution system and electrical current makes a jump through the air. This arcing is similar to lightning and poses a hazard to electrical workers that is often not considered. For more detailed information see the ‘What is arc flash (Click here)’ page.

Why should I worry about it? Isn’t this a concern for the United States only?
Arc flash risk exists anywhere people are working near energised equipment, and sometimes it is simply unavoidable to be working near a live conductor. In Europe there’s currently no legal obligation to consider it, but current standards are perfectly suited to include arc flash hazard in a work safety program.

Should I just buy arc rated PPE without doing any study work?
No, buying PPE to protect personnel without carrying out an arc flash energy study is not the solution to solve the arc flash hazard issue. The arc energy study/assessment determines energy levels around the network and determines what arc flash rated PPE should be worn to protect against second degree burns.

How to prevent an arc flash and is there anything I can do about it?
Yes! The hazard can be calculated, reduced and mitigated. Once calculated there are plenty of measures that can be taken to either reduce or entirely remove the hazard. The remaining hazard can be mitigated through PPE.

The Solution

Our aim is to make your distribution system as safe as possible, EPS specialises in arc flash safety for:

  • Manufacturing plants
  • Offshore oil & gas platforms and FPSO’s
  • Wind turbines (onshore and offshore)
  • Industrial plants (Petrochemical, chemical, process and power generation)
  • Biomass plants

From support in the early planning stages to training of your personnel, a full range of services is available to help you increase work safety and save time.

EPS is a One Stop Shop for all arc flash studies offering the complete arc flash assessment package which can involve one or more of the following:

  • Arc flash calculations (calculating the arc flash energy levels around your network)
  • Arc flash energy mitigation (reducing the energy levels on your network)
  • Switchgear risk assessments (useful for technicians carrying out various switchgear activities, what PPE to wear and when)
  • Arc flash awareness training (onsite or online)
  • Arc flash labels
  • We also supply arc flash PPE which comply with all standards (not all PPE complies with all arc flash standards, be careful!)

The package is based on a hierarchy of risk control measures based on the following principles:

  • Predict – Calculate the arc flash incident energy severity
  • Prevent – Eliminate or remove the hazard at source
  • Protect – Provide protection to personnel in the form of PPE
  • Publish – Signage and training

The four principles bullet pointed above are based on the DuPont ™ Arc-Guide which uses IEEE 1584 Guide for Performing Arc Flash Hazard Calculations 2015.

These four methods ensure compliance with the European Council Directive 89/391/EEC EU Health and Safety Directive. This approach complies with both U.S. and European legislation.

We’ll support you and add value as follows:

  1. Identify the arc flash hazard potential (calculate the arc flash energy)
  2. Provide solutions to remove the hazard by design or procedures (Arc flash detection, protection adjustments, changes to operational procedures)
  3. Undertake a risk assessment for each switchboard / MCC based on HSE Guidelines (Task based)
  4. Guidance and support on which PPE manufacturer to choose and PPE selection
  5. Arc flash awareness and training for technicians
Arc Flash Services

The four categories shown below describe every step of the process of managing arc flash hazard. For each of them, Select one of the items to learn more