How do I know if I need an arc flash study? - EPSCO

Creating an electrically safe workspace is a top priority EPSCO shares with anyone who manages a facility. OSHA regulations require that any workplace with electrical hazards must have protocols to protect employees and contractors.

There are two methods you can use.

Let’s look at what they are, their differences, and how to determine when you need an arc flash study. The TWO (2) safeguards you can use to protect your team are the PPE Category Method and the Incident Energy Method:

The PPE Category Method is also known as the “tables” method because the equipment is not labeled with PPE information, and workers need to reference tables in the NFPA 70E to calculate the hazard level and appropriate PPE to wear for the equipment and task at hand. The PPE Category Method tends to cut into productivity because workers must perform hazard calculations themselves before starting the job. Plus, many overcalculate and wear too much PPE for the job, which can impede movements and slow progress.

The Incident Energy Method produces electrical hazard calculations specific to each piece of equipment at your facility. An Arc Flash Study is performed to collect the data and calculate incident energy levels, and then labels are created and placed on the equipment so that workers will know exactly what PPE they should be wearing as soon as they start the job. While some investment is required to complete an initial Arc Flash Study, the overall cost-benefit is usually substantial regarding resources, time, and safety.


EPSCO has developed a site safety audit to help you figure out when you need an arc flash study. Our site safety audit rates your workplace in three major categories – People, Productivity, and Property.


We look at the people to determine if everyone is up to date on their safety training and understands the hazards associated with the equipment they’re working on. We ensure proper PPE is readily available for your workers and that documented safety procedures are in place. We inspect the property to make sure work areas are properly maintained, clearances are established for working and storage, panels are marked, and we determine the hazard level of exposed live parts. We determine if the equipment is in peak condition or could be enhanced with other devices to maximize productivity.


With extensive experience at facilities across the country, our team at EPSCO knows just how valuable a quality Arc Flash Study can be. EPSCO arc flash analysis is thorough, efficient, and designed to keep everyone on your team productive and on top of their safety game.


Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to get notified when we publish a new article!