An electrical explosion, and subsequent arc flash and arc blast, can happen in any facility. There are many causes for this type of event, including power irregularities, equipment faults, corroded parts, or even a lightning strike. We’ve recently written about understanding arc flash hazards, as well as National Electric Code changes put in place in 2017 to help reduce arc flashes.
Prevention is key, but it is also important to be prepared with documentation and processes for when they do occur. Many customers turn to French Gerleman to facilitate services from our partners to help them assess their specific situation, recommend ways they can reduce their risk, and put proper procedures in place to remain compliant with workplace safety regulations.
What is an Arc Flash Hazard Analysis?
The process begins with a full engineered study of your existing electrical system, cataloguing all the equipment and their components, and analyzing their power use against how the power is feeding into your facility. Our arc flash hazard analysis partners will provide a complete report to identify which panels are feeding which machines, analyze the current state of your machines, perform calculations to properly identify the appropriate load levels per panel, and provide recommendations that will help enhance safety when machinery is being serviced.
Your Arc Flash Hazard Analysis includes:
- A one-line diagram illustrating where all your equipment, power sources, and electrical connectivity points are located.
- A full documentation of all power available in the facility. This will help identify whether you have adequate power, and when sources will need to be added to accommodate your growing equipment needs.
- Arc flash documentation for each panel which shows the risk of working on a live panel. This documentation is a formula provided by a French Gerleman engineering partner.
- Recommendations on proper personal protective equipment (PPE) workers will need to wear when servicing equipment based on an incident heat energy calculation for the working distance for the task to be performed.
- Guidelines for boundaries regarding clear area around machinery when it’s being serviced. No one is allowed inside the boundaries without PPE.
- Labeling for the various panels, and appropriate application of the labels.
The French Gerleman Difference
There are many consultants and engineering firms that offer Arc Flash Hazard Analysis services. Our partners take a hands-on approach to help ensure you get the most comprehensive set of standards and practices for your facility.
- Data collection is the most labor-intensive part of the process. It’s what serves as the baseline for everything moving forward. Some firms ask customers to collect and record the data on their own. However, many people don’t have the knowledge or experience to do this properly, and the risk of mistake is quite high. Because our partners do this on a regular basis, they ensure that we’re starting with data that’s as accurate and complete as possible.
- Our partners run all the calculations to help you implement good safety practices for working with energized machines.
- Safety measures can only be effective if your team is properly trained on how to properly implement them. Our partners provide training for groups, and for new individuals as they are hired. Sessions can be held at your facility or in our French Gerleman training centers.
Do you have a complete arc flash analysis and safety documentation that you can count on for your daily operations – or when an electrical explosion strikes? Your French Gerleman Account Manager can provide additional information on the process, or you can contact us online to learn how to get started.