Performing a comprehensive arc flash study is one of the best ways to prevent electrical accidents in the workplace. Once your facility complies with NFPA 70E standards, you’ll need to keep your arc flash results current whenever equipment updates or on the 5-year renewal cycle as required by code.
Maintaining arc flash compliance can be much easier if you plan for it along with your initial study.
Working with a dedicated electrical safety firm will make integrating updates to your system more seamless and help keep your facility compliant. A comprehensive arc flash study is all about the data. Once data is collected after the initial study, schematics are created, incident energy calculations are performed, and the entire electrical system is modeled using electrical engineering software. Equipment is rated and labeled for PPE, so your team knows what gear they’ll need for performing energized work.
Here at EPSCO, we retain data and models of our clients’ electrical systems. If there are updates to the system, our engineers plug the new data into the current schematics, which is much more efficient and economical than performing a new study from scratch. Some firms that don’t specialize in safety don’t keep customers’ data on file, making the update process a more expensive and time-consuming proposition.
When performing an initial arc flash study, you should find out whether the company doing the work will keep your data on file for making updates and maintaining arc flash compliance in the future. Electrical system data is complicated for non-engineers to interpret, and specialty engineering software is necessary. Most facilities leave the data in the hands of the company that completed their arc flash study.
Keeping a relationship with the company that conducted your original arc flash study is important because if you change companies, the engineer who led the original study must sign off on releasing any data or exchanging information. Consent from an engineer can be difficult to acquire.
To maintain arc flash compliance, you should update your arc flash study any time you:
- add a new piece of equipment
- remodel your facility
- move equipment around
If your equipment needs, or facility, remain unchanged, then you only need to renew your study every five (5) years to stay compliant with the regulations issued in the NFPA 70E.
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Arc flash safety experts at EPSCO perform a full system analysis of every piece of equipment at your facility. We can help you achieve compliance in an efficient, sustainable, and friendly way to your budget. Connect with us HERE.