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Home > Videos >Arc Flash the Easy Way - Part 1
Arc Flash The Easy Way - Part 1, Regulations and Industry Standards

We kick of the first of a 4-part series on how to meet NFPA compliance and control costs with a discussion of safety related to arc flash hazards and the evolution of regulator standards in the 15 years since their introduction.

See the full transcript of the webinar below.

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Full Transcript of the Video

Jim Chastain: Welcome everyone to the EasyPower four-part series on implementing an NFPA compliant arch flash solution at your facility. We repeat this series once a quarter and include the latest information as it pertains to the subject from the various sources. At the end of the session I will display a list of reference material on this topic so you may incorporate that information as you see fit in the needs of your organization. Just to give fair warning the bottom line focuses to provide options which will permit your company to save time and money as you complete this process. And spoiler alert, some portion of that message involves tools that EasyPower can provide. Well we usually start each session with a poll question. We do appreciate your feedback because it helps us anticipate or guide the discussion. Here's what the poll questions are gonna look like today.

And if you would please (00:01:00) help us with some feedback. Again, this is non-binding and not, there's no obligation involved. But we do appreciate the feedback in terms of providing information and even the way we present the material. So, thank you very much for participating. And here's what the audience said their concerns were. And here's the second question. And again, these are frankly, the common positions that a lot of people have to deal with as they're entering this decision point. And what we hope to effect is to give you more reference material and some better information to be able to make those choices. Here's where the audience stands on this subject. So, it looks like we're in the right audience, talking to the right audience.

Again, thank you for participating (00:02:00) and your support of EasyPower. And let's just into the material and see where this takes us. Now just for those of you that have had some exposure to EasyPower in the past, this is a four-part series. And next week we will be discussing data collection. The week after that will be a demonstration of the tools and how they are utilized to complete the analysis and generate the reports and labels. And then the fourth section is focus on the required follow up and organizations required by the different regulations. So, today's agenda is primarily an exposure to the basics. Some discussion about the cost and safety hazards involved.

Then a discussion about the trade offs and involvement between, or discussion between the hazard (00:03:00) itself and the risk and how each of those pertain in terms of liability or responsibility. A little bit of a discussion about the cost of non-compliance, some time spent explaining how the different organizations and the government and the governing bodies interact with each other. And then ultimately I want to focus on improving the return that your company will get as an investment in the process of compliance. This is a video that's on our website. And I like to start with it. I've actually found this case study on the OSHA website. It was at a meat packing plant in Wisconsin back in 2003. The situation was that it was time for an annual cleaning of the substations that fed the plant.

So, the utility system had been switched over, the power supply had been switched over to the stand (00:04:00) by generators for the site. So that the substations could be cleaned. And at the completion of the work they tried to switch back over to utility power and the switch wouldn't release. So, this particular, in this case the security camera caught this image as the instrument tech and the supervisors were trying to figure out what the problem was. All three men went to the hospital with third degree burns covering most of their body. Fortunately they all survived. And, it gives us a lot of room to think or pause to think about what was involved. I'd like to use an example here on a freeze frame on this particular frame because it gives us a lot of information about the subject of arc flash itself.

And if you (00:05:00) kind of bear with me for a second. What you see here is this round white area that obviously encompasses all three workers. This is actually the fireball that's been generated by the arc flash. And this is what exposes all three gentlemen to body encompassing heat that caused most of the damage. Well at the center of this particular ball, which I estimate to be about eight feet in diameter, is the plasma ball from the arc itself. And for ratios this large or this dimension we're probably talking about an arc, an arc plasma ball that's probably no more than three to four inches in diameter. The significance is it can actually bridge protective devices that we may be counting on to protect the workers in a situation similar to this.

And so, it gives us pause in terms of calculating the hazards (00:06:00) involved. Couple other areas to look at, you notice there's kind of a faded area on this left. That's because the door was partially closed as one of the gentleman was apparently leaning against it the same on the right side. You can also see this area of extra white if you will, additional white area above the round dimension. This is actually reflected energy from the back of the cabinet. And one of the things you'll see when we get into discussing the way the tools work, is that as we do data collection we need to understand whether or not the arc on the bus that we're talking about is in an enclosed cabinet such as this because there's an amplified effect of the energy or whether it's an open area free from any radiating walls or reflecting walls. So, the other thing I want to point is the time involved.

So, as we run (00:07:00) this you can notice on the time code here that the event itself lasts much longer than, less than one second. And it takes much less than two seconds frankly for the people to be blown free of the area. And this is something that comes into play as we're discussing protective, personal protective equipment. And then finally you can see five seconds after the blast one of the gentlemen is still pulling molting, smoldering clothing off his person, because one he did not have protective, the proper protective equipment. And secondarily the, clothing he had on apparently was synthetic because much of it melted during the heat blast. So, all of these end up being details that we take into account as we're calculating the incident energy. So, what is arc flash?

It's a flashover of electric current through ionized (00:08:00) air in electrical equipment from one exposed live conductor to another. Obviously, it's inadvertent 'cause we don't want to intentionally generate an arc in most of these applications. It's accompanied by the high temperature, high temperatures and the explosive release of energy, burning materials and/or molten metal. Now you might say, "Jim, every time I plug in the wall "wort on my laptop, "I see a spark jump from the terminals "to the 110 receptacles in my office here. "So how is this different from what we're talking about "here in the case of arc flash?" Well the biggest difference is the term explosive release of energy. In every since of the bomb, in every sense of the word, an arc flash event is a bomb.

And it's that release of energy and instantaneous method or mode and the high temperature involved that makes it such a hazard to personnel (00:09:00) and equipment. So how does an arc flash accident occur? Well it can be relatively slow as in a situation where we have insulating material that are failing over time. Like insulation or other pieces of our distribution system. And we could have a slowly developing arc that at some point in time bridges a carbon gap this is, or conducted as created. And once it has done that it will create an arc flash. Again, that's usually a relatively long period of time. Any type of contamination, water in the equipment, anything to reduce the air gap between bare conductors, could be a mitigating factor, something that could instigate an arcing flash. An accidental event, human action, dropping a tool, shorting test probes.

(00:10:00) Anything that can create an instantaneous or immediate short between live conductors could initiate the arc. And then even over voltage. In some cases, lightning strikes. Anything that interferes with the status quo as far as the normal operation of the equipment can generate, or instigate an arcing flash. So, the reasons to address arc flash hazards first and foremost is the need to protect the workers from potential harm and prevent loss of life. Now because it's been recognized as a safety hazard in a work place, it comes under the auspices of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which has the ability to assess fines when violations are detected.

And unfortunately, most frequently they will become involved after an event where someone has gone (00:11:00) to the hospital. So again, as a reason to address arc flash, preventing the loss of the organization through the loss of manpower, loss of equipment, the litigation that potentially could evolve. And the repercussions in terms of higher insurance costs. And the realization by the work force that for some reason or another the work place is not as safe as it should be should all be factors that come into the decision process. On the converse side, by addressing the arc flash hazards we will increase the up time and reduce the accident frequency. And this potentially even could improve our insurance rates. Any source that you want to locate on the web will give you varying numbers of what an actually cost has been or could be from an arc flash accident.

And these range anywhere from (00:12:00) many hundreds of thousands of dollars in terms of a fine from OSHA through the extremely costly medical procedures that it takes to rehabilitate someone that's been injured or heaven forbid someone that's killed in an accident. And then the legal ramifications which can again rise into the tens of, or millions of dollars as far as the total event. So again, it's been recognized as a personal safety hazard. And those hazards include burns to the person's body, hearing damage because when we have an explosion like this a sonic boom has been created and frequently people report their ears ringing for many hours, if not days after the event. And in some cases, this could be permanent damage.

Laceration from flying debris, eye and face (00:13:00) injuries. And then because of the potential toxic fumes of this material being vaporized, even respiratory damage. The website ISHN has compiled statistics. Each year 30,000 arc flash incidents occur, 7,000 burn injuries, over 2,000 hospitalizations per year just from the arc flash, 400 fatalities per year, excuse me, and this is the one that kind of just blows me away. Is 80% of the electrical worker fatalities are due to burns, not shock. And the reason that jumps out at me is because it's electrical workers, the qualified workers that should know what these hazards are and should be most invested in their own safety. And yet we do see some resistance by people that have been in the industry for an extended period of time.

Sometimes 20 and 30 years resisting (00:14:00) the need to really consider what the arc flash hazard is all about. So, who's responsible for safety? Well the employer is responsible for developing and enforcing procedures that comply with the industry regulations. And these include OSHA requirements which will detail safety programs and NFPA 70E, company safety policies and procedures. And one thing that's frequently missing is safety training and retraining for personnel, qualified workers and standard operators. Again, all of these will be listed as our quality program or compliance program as we get into more of the details on this. The employee themselves is responsible for implementing the employer safety procedures. And the owner shall coordinate an update and document hazards and safety procedures continuously, regardless of the involvement of third parties, such as consultants or contractors. This is something that kind of comes up frequently when others, third party individuals involved in maintenance or electrical subcontracts.

(00:15:00) So again the employer must develop and enforce safety related work practices to prevent electric shock and other injuries resulting from either direct or indirect electrical contacts. The employer's also responsible for compliance with the industry standards and government regulations. And these work practices could include energized electrical work, pre-work job briefings, personal protective equipment, insulated tools, written safety program, qualified person training. And then ultimately arc flash hazard labeling.

Now that's easy to put this on one slide, but in fact there's kind of these overlying standards from different regulatory (00:16:00) bodies, and that's one of things we hope to try to illuminate as we're going through this four-part series. Again, another video that's available on the internet. I have not found the case study on this event. I have talked to people who had much more intimate knowledge of the situation than I do. But, it's chilling in several regards. One of which the amount of energy that's released in this event, and how ill prepared the personnel are to deal with the arc flash hazard. And again, there's other elements of this event that will come into play as we get more into calculations in the third session. Something to note is that even three and four seconds after the initiation of the arc there's still molten material thrown across the passageway.

(00:17:00) And as you can see this equipment has some sort of arc diversion channels in it. So, a majority of the energy, and this is estimated by some to be something like a 20 calorie event. You can see how much energy's being expelled to the rear of the cabinet. And unfortunately PPE, that the personnel have on is nowhere near that level of protection. So real briefly I want to make a note that there's a difference between the hazard involved and the risk involved. The hazard identification is one component of risk assessment. The risk assessment involves a determination of the likelihood of the occurrence of an incident resulting from a hazard that could cause injury or damage to health. Now an arc flash safety hazard is frankly due to the physical constraints or the physical energy within the system.

And as soon as you open up a piece (00:18:00) of equipment or expose live conductors that hazard which existed behind closed doors is a threat to personnel as soon as we opened up the doors. And that includes, and the way we measure or calculate that hazard, it's a function of the electrical energy in the system, the distance that personnel are from the bus or the potential source of an arc and then the time duration of the arc itself. Now the risk of a worse case event happening at any given time will end up being a combination of several other variables. And among those will be how frequently or how well maintained the equipment is and how long since we've exercised the equipment or the switching devices, in this case breakers or disconnects.

What other activity there may be in the area that may or may not (00:19:00) be under our control or interfere with the work that we're doing. A case in point might be if I'm working on an open piece of switch gear and someone drives a fork truck behind on the other side, the backside of the MCC that causes vibration and one of the tools that I temporary laid on top of the panel fall down into the bus here that I'm working on. That frankly is not an uncommon situation. And so, the lack of control of the activity in the area is another thing that should be part of the decision process in managing the risk of any particular event happening. And then finally unknowns, and in this case I would include human nature. Worked with an electrician in Riverside who was doing data collection for an arc flash study at a bakery.

As he had set up his equipment he was also doing (00:20:00) thermal imaging of all the different pieces of switch gear and equipment as he was collecting data. So, he had on his PPE, he had set up his equipment, he had taken the cover off the panel. And as he was starting to approach to take the data, collect the data, he heard a loud buzzing from the top of the cabinet. So, he took a couple steps back and the buzzing stopped. So, he kind of thought for second and said, "Well, I guess things are not, "not out of the ordinary." So he started to approach the cabinet once again and the buzzing started. So he took two steps back, decided something was wrong, so he took off his helmet and his face gear and was about to step away and go to another level to find out what was the problem. And at that point in time a fireball escaped from the panel and showered molten copper all over his equipment and ruined about $8,000 worth of gear.

(00:21:00) Fortunately, the electrician wasn't hurt other than his nerves being shook up. The problem was on the second floor of the bakery an operator was trying to start a large conveyor motor and the breaker tripped and so without investigating as to why the trip occurred I guess the comment was, "Well that happens sometimes." He pressed the starter button again, tripped again and the third time he pressed it the resulting arc flash was due to a ground fault that apparently was centralized in this ground bushing of the panel that the electrician was about to take data in. And so again this falls into the category of the risk of an event happening was mitigated or exacerbated by personnel not being properly trained on how to anticipate malfunctions in equipment.

So, arc flash risk factors include the risk (00:22:00) of exposure to the flash itself depending upon a number of, this list that may include other elements as well. But the number of times a worker works on exposed or live equipment, again if the equipment's been properly installed, properly maintained and properly operated and their covers are secure and are all closed, then there's very little, much less risk of an arcing event because of malfunction of the equipment. As soon as we open up that gear, open up the doors or the panel cover and expose personnel to that live equipment we are greatly increasing the risk of an arcing event happening. Likewise, the complexity of the task performed, whether or not you need to use force or strain to again, in a situation that can potentially release and fall into the equipment.

These are all things that need to be considered (00:23:00) as we're talking about job descriptions, job training and hot work permit. The training of the individual. His mental and physical agility, whether it's the end of his shift or the beginning of a shift, whether or not he has a helper, a safety technician and how well coordinated they are with each other's activity. The tools used, whether they are insulated or not and then finally the condition of the equipment. All these need to be taken into account. I did mention earlier but this series of presentations is a four-part series we will repeat in the first quarter of 2018. And at that time it will be much, much more I guess, there will be a lot of new information based upon the latest release of NFPA 70E, because the 2018 version will be out.

And this is (00:24:00) an area that a lot of changes has taken place. So those of you that are maybe coming at this presentation for the first time or even a second time I'd invite you back first part of the year, because there will be a lot of new information at that time. Now the genesis of arc flash safety started back in the, in the early 1980s. Forever there'd been a concern about the large number of explosions that potentially happened. But it was never really understood what might be the cause of them until an engineer by the name of Ralph Lee published an article in a IEEE Transaction, about the effects of arc flash and how they could be related to the energy in the system.

And as a result of that IEEE was basically (00:25:00) assigned the task of developing a model and try to do the correlation between systems energy and systems conditions and what happened or what was occurring in terms of a arc flash hazard. So as a result, four different organizations or four different bodies of rules have evolved. The first is the OSHA code of federal regulations that includes specifics on worker safety. The second in an NFPA 70, which is the national electric code. The third is NFPA 70E which is a standard for electrical safety in the workplace. And then the result of the involvement of IEEE is referred to as the 1584, which is considered the standard guide or model for calculating arc flash for low voltage systems.

Now just a real quick (00:26:00) background on some of these organizations. IEEE is an international technical group of professional engineers. And obviously they have if you will, ownership or position of responsibility in making sure that what can be derived in terms of free search and analysis is promulgated to the rest of the industry. NFPA is a non-profit organization which developed safety standards, started back in the late 1800s where they had primary concern over fire safety. And today I think they publish over 100 different standards ranging from sprinkler systems to all measures of hazards in the industry. But were specifically focused on the electrical side of things. OSHA, again the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

They are (00:27:00) the government's arm for enforcement of worker safety. And then the NEC which is another standard from NFPA. In this case it's just NFPA 70. And it's very similar and in some respects, co-partnered with the CSA, which is the Canadian Standard Association, very similar organizations. So, the question frequently rises, does an NFPA 70E apply to me. And the questions come from employers, employees, contractors and building owners.

Well it turns out in an overall in a broad sense of the word, OSHA covers this ground and what they refer to as the General Duty Clause which says, each employer shall furnish to each of his employee’s employment and a safe (00:28:00) place of employment which is free from recognized hazards, that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees. And then each employer shall comply with the Occupational Safety Act. So, it's this General Duty Clause that's referred to by several of the organizations. And they refer to the standards which includes NIOSH, ANSI, ASTM, ASME, the NEC, National Electric Code, the NFPA standards that we refer to. And there's ED462 if you're in the Canadian provinces. OSHA specifically specifies, I guess I've got a seven-point plan here that includes details for organizational safety, not just electrical safety.

But within (00:29:00) the safety plans for the company a significant part of that will be hazards involved in electrical energy. And so that includes documentation, calculations or analysis, training, appropriate tools for safe working based upon the hazards recognized. The warning labels that we'll be talking about at some point. Provision for PPE workers when they have to be exposed to these hazards, verification suits inspections that not only the hazards are being dealt with, but individuals employees are in complying with the established safe work practices.

But more important than compliance I believe that an employer should be wanting to enforce and follow the NFPA 70E compliance restrictions primarily to protect the safety (00:30:00) of the workers. Because that can be observed. And the more involved the work force is in the safety side of the world, the better that regulation can be enforced and the hazards can be dealt with. So, if you're using a third party for all electrical work, who's responsible for NFPA compliance? I've literally had the comment come back when the question was asked, is your company compliant? Well that's we hire an electrical contractor to make sure that we are. Well frankly if it's not included in the contractual agreement it's something that you may want to be introspective about because there could be some liability there.

Specifically NFPA 70E, at least in 2015, details that employer's much document meetings with contract employees in which information about known (00:31:00) hazards is communicated. This is also stipulated by specifically in OSHA regulations. And so, the bottom line is ignorance is not an excuse. And if you go through the OSHA case studies you can see the area, one of the areas, that they apply some of the strongest and most stringent penalties, is where there's evidence of willful disregard of industry regulations. It's not an area you want to get behind the curve on in my opinion. Ironically when there's, and this is the case in large organizations on campuses where we could have multiple contractors involved, there is compliance directive that details under the policy that the circumstances where more than one employer can be cited for a violation of an OSHA standard.

Or the employer may be held (00:32:00) responsible for a hazard, even though none of his own employees were exposed to it. So, it's food for thought. And if you're in a large organization or your in a large project, you may want to make sure some of those bridges are covered. Not to mix my metaphors too much. So again, the company safety policy should include details on, on arc flash and electrical safety. The question is does OSHA even apply to me? Well the bottom line is if you have more than one employee more than just the owner and if you have electrical equipment that runs at greater than 50 volts. And at any point of time during the operation requires maintenance, inspection, or adjustment that exposes hot conductors to personnel in the area, then this all applies to you and your company.

(00:33:00) And consequently, your safety program should include, not only the ability to recognize those hazards, but training and warning labels, procedures in maintenance. And then we'll cover some of the details when systems are less than a certain energy level. So the general goals of an arc flash safety program are primarily to educate all electrical employees on the potential danger, ability to recognize and avoid arc flash related elements, which could lead to accidents. And then ultimately reduce the exposure of personnel and parts of their body in the case of an accident actually have occurring. Now the prime directive of NFPA 70E is thou shalt not work on energized equipment.

And the bottom line and frequently we talk to companies and ask the question, (00:34:00) are you NFPA compliant? The response is, "Well we've got everything labeled, "so we must be." The bottom line is compliance doesn't mean just the label, it involves a lot of things. And by virtue of the first, the prime directive, and that is thou shalt not work on hot equipment, there should be, in every organization a robust, tag out, lock out procedure that should be part of every discussion when it comes time for electrical maintenance. Because it really requires an exception to the standard. And there are specific cases where we can take an exception to the standard. But just for the record the standard NFPA 70E position is thou shall not work on hot equipment. Now there's three exceptions to this no hot work policy.

One if the equipment (00:35:00) is less than 50 volts it's okay to work on the equipment. Two, if de-energizing the equipment causes greater risk to life, then provisions can be made to work on the equipment hot. And then three if the required job function per manufacturer's procedures cannot be performed while it's de-energized then that provides an exception to the prime directive and needs to be preceded by a hot work permit that includes several specific elements of discussion between the employees and management before the work is performed. Now all of this we'll be getting into more detail and specifically in the fourth episode of this lecture series.

But the bottom line is being able to recognize an arc flash hazard, recognize electric shock hazards and understand how to take the (00:36:00) proper steps to prevent an event, or even that could cause human injury. Now arc flash studies must be performed every five years at a minimum. Any significant change to the equipment invalidates the study and, or basically we have to update the study any time we make a change to the system that exposes safety risk and liability, different from what the previous study had indicated. Retraining of personnel however, needs to be performed at intervals not to exceed three years. And I think this highlights a trend if not the emphasis that NFPA 70E puts on proper training and procedures even over just the analysis of the system. Because this training has to be recorded in personnel records.

And should be renewed or retrained (00:37:00) if the employee is observed to not be following the procedures or if the equipment has changed, of if the employee's functionality or responsibility has changed the requires different equipment, is familiarity with. Now NFPA 70E is a fairly broad document that includes a lot of other information than just arc flash. Specifically, article 130 covers all hazards, working conditions and procedures regarding live electrical circuits. What we're focusing on is specifically the arc flash hazards themselves, which is the focus of 130.5. There are other articles in NFPA70E that include safety related maintenance, training and work practices.

And one of the first things you'll notice when we get to the 2018 version is all of these articles on the, these other areas have (00:38:00) actually been amplified and expanded, so. More and more additional emphasis is being placed on training, maintenance and procedures. One of the changes recently in NFPA 70E is referring to the arc flash risk assessment as opposed to the hazard analysis. Again, the emphasis or the recognition that the hazard exists, but the risk of it happening at any given time, includes a number of other factors that humans do have some ability to influence. So, part of the study is to determine if the hazard exists and then the appropriate safety work related practices, identifying the arc flash boundary.

And then as a last resort if hot work needs to be performed what PPE must be used to permit a (00:39:00) lowered hazard or a safety hazard that's limited to an acceptable level in terms of human exposure. Again, the arc flash risk assessment must be updated when a major modification or renovation takes place. It shall be reviewed periodically. Again, at intervals not to exceed five years and it needs to account for these changes that could affect the results of an arc flash. Now frequently people say, "Well nothing's changed just "recalculate the numbers and send me the labels." Well it turns out there are areas that may change without being documented and there's need to recognize that and account for them. We'll get into more of those details in the next week session on data collection. But anyway, there are areas that actually can change without management knowing about it or being documented accurately.

(00:40:00) And then third take into consideration the study, the arc flash risk assessment must take into consideration the design of over current protective devices opening time. And this would include the condition of maintenance to make sure the equipment worked properly when necessary. Now there have been a number of boundaries established since the advent of NFPA 70E, which included electroshock boundaries. One of those was eliminated in the 2015 version of NFPA 70E. And that was a prohibited approach boundary and there's no longer term such as bare hand work, because that was pretty common prior to 2015. And it's not a good idea. So there's still, in terms of electroshock boundaries, there's a limited approach boundary and a restricted approach boundary.

And as of the 20, excuse me, the 2002 version of NFPA 70E, (00:41:00) a new boundary was introduced described as the arc flash boundary. And it can actually fall anywhere within or outside of the existing boundaries. Now it's worth noting that if the equipment's been properly installed and the equipment's been maintained per manufacturer's instructions and the enclosure, the covers are secure and the doors are closed and secured, these boundaries do not exist. The hazard still exists behind those enclosures, but as long as things are being operated properly, there's a low risk of worse case event happening. And so consequently all this stuff comes into play and needs to be recognized as soon as we open up the cover to the equipment.

So by definition, as described in (00:42:00) article 130.5 the arc flash boundary shall be the distance at which the incident energy equals five jewels per square centimeter or for those of us with a deficiency in the metric system, 1.2 calories per square centimeter squared. And that's the point that's been determined according to the Stahl's curves as the point where there's a 50% chance of a second degree burn to exposed skin. And it's worth to note here if you're an employee we're not talking about absolute safety, absolute protection against injury. We're talking about okay we're looking to make sure you get you are protected to a point where the worse you're gonna be hurt is, you can recover from it. So you'll be able to recover no matter what as long as you follow the rules.

(00:43:00) That alone, that caveat alone would make me want to sit up and pay attention because I want to make sure these rules are being adhered to and if I have any vote in the matter I want to make sure they're being, any errors are gonna be towards the side of safety when my rear end's on the line. That's a point I like to make with old timers that have been in the industry that say, "Well I've worked on 480 volts for my whole career, "I know all about it. "I don't think we have a problem with arc flash." I think you may want to pay attention to the first 10 minutes of my presentation next week. Because the first example I'm gonna use the tools to explain is a conversation I had with an electrician from Oklahoma, where he and I both had our eyes opened because of this hazard, the safety hazard which is identified as arc flash.

(00:44:00) Now the arc flash boundary is a minimum approach by unqualified personnel. And by default anyone within the arc flash boundary. Which means every qualified personnel inside the boundary needs to have on correct PPE. So according to 130.5, documentation must specifically identify the arc flash risk assessment, the arc flash boundary and that is the, the distance from the electrified bus or the exposed bus where the incident energy will equal 1.2 calories per square centimeter. Now there's two ways to determine this. You can determine this by a look up table which is referred to as the PPE table.

And that's included in the, in NFPA 70E or the second way is to calculate incident energy and (00:45:00) at the point you'll know what PPE you need to wear. Pardon me if I don't get into too much detail on the PPE look up method because for a number of reasons. But at the very least it doesn't require the use of EasyPower. And we'll kind of touch on that later on. So again, EasyPower makes it relatively easy to calculate the incident energy. As I mentioned before the overriding questions in either of these cases, the equipment has to be properly installed and I need to be able to verify that. The equipment's properly maintained per manufacturer's instructions. If I can't verify that I can't use the tables nor can I count on the incident energy approach doing me any good. And as we approach the equipment there's no evidence of pending malfunction or equipment failure.

Again, that's where my electrician friend in Riverside really hit the nail on the head 'cause he recognized (00:46:00) something wasn't working and he decided to stop the procedure that he was following and research the situation. Now the incident energy analysis method which is what the EasyPower Tools will help me calculate, document, it shall be based on the working distance. So, the incident energy exposure level shall be based on the working distance from the employee's face and chest to the prospective arc source. And that usually is a bus, the bus in the piece of equipment where the task is to be performed. And arc rated clothing and other PPE shall be used by the employee based on the incident energy associated with his specific task.

What that means is if I have my arm or if I have to reach into the bus gear with my hand, it's gonna be closer than the working distance that we're calculating incident energy, (00:47:00) because my body and my face don't necessarily don't need to be involved in that manipulation. Recognizing that fact alone means I need to have additional PPE coverage for the part of my body that's inside of that area. I mean it stands to reason, but it's not the kind of thing where you just want to say, "Okay, I'm gonna go to a certain closet "and pick up a category PPE," and not give thought to how much energy's actually involved and where the boundary is being measured. And what part of my body is inside that boundary. So anyway, there's additional information in annex D that talks about the selection of arc rated clothing. And then a description in table H.3 of NFPA 70E, based upon the incident energy that we've measured and then what needs to be covered in terms of the body's exposure.

And EasyPower has (00:48:00) the ability to kind of help us with this task. I'm not gonna get into talking about the HRC except to say in the past, and in fact I just had this question yesterday. The question was, "Well doesn't your equipment "put the HRC category on the label?" As of 2015, HRC is no longer a valid term to be used, nor can it be used in terms of a look up table to predict or to pick a PPE level, once I've calculated in some energy. So this chart which was around since 20, excuse me, NFPA 2004 version, is not longer valid. And you'll see that it's no longer acceptable to put this on the label.

What we do is we use a table H.3 where as long as the incident energy has been determined and we (00:49:00) use this description, and this is a page straight out of NFPA 70E, this description of the PPE. And it's up to the worker, the electrician, the technician to verify that the rating on each piece of this, of the PPE meets the incident energy that's been calculated for whatever work he's gonna do. So if we have calculated a 2 calorie incident energy level for the work that we're gonna do, I need to make sure that the PPE I'm picking out of a closet has that rating. And I, I'm assuming that at some point in time we have a hot work permit generated that describes any additional PPE I need to have put on my person if I'm reaching inside of that boundary.

So again, the migration is towards more awareness, (00:50:00) more discussion, more understanding of what this hazard is, what mitigates the hazard, what exacerbates the hazard and how to protect personnel above and beyond just understanding what a category number is that is covering my head and shoulders. I don't mean to be flip about that, but it is important I think, an important step to better educate the workforce about the hazard. In the early days of NFPA 70E the arc flash was determined to be too complicated and too much of a liability. So there were kind of two schools of thought. Well one was well let's just because this only applies to anything that we're working on hot let's does decree it up for management that we have not hot work in this particular factory.

Well the fact remains that there's some pieces (00:51:00) of equipment that need to be examined, maintained or adjust during, while they're operating. And as soon as that is the case, there's gonna be exposure to electrical conductors. And for some reason the work seems to still be getting done even though we claimed that everything was being turned off before we operate it, before we inspect it or maintain it. And come to find out it was the off shifts that for some reason didn't seem to follow the decree. But the decree from management would have stopped everything from happening. So, it was a catch 22 that really wasn't working in the early days of NFPA. The other school of thought was let's just make everything label 100 cal, and so whatever work they have to do they put on a 100 cal suit which would resemble something like this down in the right hand corner.

The problem again there was, (00:52:00) anyone familiar with electricity, the technicians and the electricians would recognize that this, most of the tasks involved would be much less exposure than 100 calorie. And so, to go put on a bomb suit or an over, an over protective piece of gear would limit my visibility, limit my comfort, limit my agility and potentially make a relatively simple task more dangerous because I would not be able to manipulate the tools or the smaller pieces of the bus or conductors. And consequently, could make a relatively simple job more dangerous in the process. The bottom line is because of some of these extremes it actually made, trying to be more conservative made the situation less safe.

So that's why I think better education and better understanding (00:53:00) of where this is all headed is the right way to go. Again, another stipulation of 130.5 is the equipment labeling. And specifically, anything such as a switchboard, panel board, industrial control panels, meter closures and motor control centers and yes, disconnects, are likely to require examination and adjustment or servicing need to be field marked with a label containing the following. The nominal system voltage, the arc flash boundary and at least one of the following. Either the available incident energy and the corresponding working distance, or a look up, a PPE look up, or the table of the, the incident energy look up that I showed earlier, but not both.

In other words, you can have, if you've looked up in the PPE category table you cannot have calculated incident (00:54:00) energy for that bus. If you've calculated incident energy for the bus you cannot use the PPE look up table from 130.7. The bottom line is if I've calculated incident energy the operator needs to understand and be able to determine to pick out his PPE based upon what that incident energy is. Okay, so I probably beat that one into the ground. So consequently, here's what the labels look like. This is kind of a typical template from EasyPower Tools. There's an arc flash boundary in this case that's 10 inches. There's the energy and working distance, in this case it's a half a calorie at a working distance of 18 inches. And here's a reference to table H 3.0 and NFPA 70E that says, "Okay, it tells me what pieces of, what type of PPE I need to have.”

“And it needs to be rated to the (00:55:00).5 calorie mark." Also, the nominal voltage on the bus, the working distance for limited approach and restricted approach based upon that voltage. There's also a recommendation to have the date applied. And then the upstream protective device if we need to go de-energize the bus. All of which we'll get into more detail in when we talk about labeling, data and analysis and the paperwork in the last two sections of this series. So how did IEEE get involved with the process? The incident energy and the arc flash protection boundary can be calculated during arc flash risk assessment. These equations, this assessment uses a model we refer to as the IEEE 1584.

And they were developed by an IEEE committee that ran mini tests on a bunch of different types of equipment, different (00:56:00) conditions, different voltages. And what they've come up with is a model that works well for medium and high voltage arcs. It's most accurate in 240 to 15,000 volts. And it's valid for both at fault currents between 700 amps and 106,000 amps. Now it's more conservative on low voltage systems and we'll speak to that when we get to the tool discussion. First testing was done basically in this manner where we simulated a piece of switch gear by supplying the energy, the voltage and available current to thes tubes coming down into an enclosure.

Again, this is a, five-sided enclosure with one opening where the operator would be positioned. And the short, the little copper wire that you see in there initiated (00:57:00) the short. One of the complaints about the model was well, it's a 3-phase model. Why didn't you do a single-phase model? And the response was every time we tried to initiate a single-phase event it went to a full three phase event within 30 milliseconds. And so, there's a lot of reasons for that that we'll talk about more in the future. So, here's the typical test where they have an array of calorimeters set up on a fork truck that can be moved in and out as the tests are repeated. But the purpose here is to measure the radiated energy once we apply that system energy to these vertical, copper bus wires that we saw in the previous picture. And we initiate the short with that little piece of wire. So that's what's going on in this process. And this is somebody that enjoys their work. 'Cause he thought that was pretty cool. Now here's another example.

(00:58:00) And this is interesting because it's been done more recently. And it was done with high speed photography. And what you'll see here is a pulsating effect. And that's due to the fact that the current is crossing through zero, because this is an alternating current. And the arc is actually quenching and re-striking during that time. And because it's 60 cycles it's doing it about every 60 times a second. And you can only pick it up on a high-speed photography. So, what we'll be discussing here in the second, yeah the second and the third sessions is EasyPower's Arc Flash Module which is compliant to all of the industry standards.

And as I mentioned we'll be updating to 2018 when (00:59:00) that's released. Appreciate your time and attention. Next week we'll be covering data collection and how to generate one-line diagrams. Like I say for sure if you have anyone in your organization who doesn't think arc flash necessarily applies to them or you, I invite you to include them in our presentation next week. If you have 480-volt distribution system and your electro maintenance doesn't think that arc flash is that significant. By all means have them sit in on the first part of the presentation last week to watch my first example. Now those of you that may have noticed I have in the hand out section several documents that can be downloaded. Or you can go to the arc flash resource center on the EasyPower webpage and download this book which is the source material for all of these presentations.

(01:00:00) We will not be distributing a copy of the slides. So, the best source of information is the arc flash resource page. And you can get to that from Arc flash resource center and I encourage you to download the book if you haven't received it from this handout. Thank you again for attending. If you need additional information contact sales at We have a host of other information available. And I appreciate any questions that were submitted. Don't have time to get into them today. But we will respond to them via email. Have a good day.