Is your arc flash study up to date?
That’s a tough one! Once you review the regulations, you realize there is never a simple answer. If you can answer this question right now, congratulations! You are way ahead of the game! Hats off to you and your facility. If you can’t answer this question, this article is here to help. You should start by:
- Check your arc flash labels for a completion date
- Look back at old one-line drawings.
- Use your team as a resource and speak to those who have been there longer than you.
If you have exhausted all your efforts and still don’t know, it’s probably time for an update.
Why is it so important to know when your last arc flash study was performed?
To put it simply, an arc flash study/analysis does not last forever. Your equipment ages, standards change, and technology advances. Therefore, our consensus standards (NFPA 70E & IEEE) agree that your arc flash study should be updated regularly, and our governing authority (OSHA) enforces this practice.
NFPA 70E Article 130.5 (G)
“The incident energy analysis shall be updated when changes occur in the electrical distribution system that could affect the analysis results. The incident energy analysis shall also be reviewed for accuracy at intervals not to exceed five (5) years.”
This is one of the reasons EPSCO includes updates in some of our arc flash packages. If your facility changes equipment often or re-arranges manufacturing lines within the five (5) years after an initial study, there is no need to start from scratch with a new study.
Can you be penalized?
YES! You are likely reading this as a safety manager, with your team’s safety at the top of your mind. However, safety alone can be a challenging motivator for management.
Arc flash studies often come with a large price tag. The cost associated with your study will be kept down by updating it regularly, as most engineering firms will not have to start from scratch every time.
The real cost of an arc flash incident is far greater than the cost of your study– Click HERE for a document outlining fines associated with incidents, real reports, and a high-level perspective of how an incident can impact your community.
Ready to get on track today?
Schedule a quick call. We can answer some questions and help you get your facility on track.
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