Arc flash is a common phenomenon that needs to be safeguarded against in some working facilities. This is a kind of electrical explosion that occurs due to a low impedance connection. This connection could be with the ground or another voltage phase from an electric system.
There are various methods that can be employed to seek protection against arc flash. There are professional companies that offer solutions to working facilities that are at risk of suffering from this problem.
When such companies are contacted they send over their representatives for the purpose of site assessment and gathering electrical system data. Certain elements are absolutely essential to analyze. This includes the transformer data, the sizes of the conductors, fuse, circuit breaker data and the available capacity of electric utility. The company will then develop accurate one line diagrams based on its survey.
The second phase is known as engineering analysis. During this stage the data from the previous analysis is used. A short circuit analysis is required for coordination, arc flash and interrupting rating analysis. The total clearing time at given fault currents is determined during this phase. Parallel to this it is determined whether the protective devices have an adequate interrupting capacity for the available short circuit current. After the above mentioned aspects are determined the company will put forward its solutions to the existing problems.
A detailed report along with labeling will be prepared after the completion of phase 2. An electrically safe work practices program is initiated during this stage. Policies on developing an electrically safe work condition are also drawn up at this stage. Other aspects that must be initiated at this stage include the establishing of PPE requirements inside shock boundaries, determining the PPE clothing policy and developing an electrically energized work permit.
The most important aspect of safeguarding the workers from Arc Flash is to endow them with procure appropriate PPE. This includes flame resistant clothing that is developed based upon the hazards and risk at the facility. The workers are further endowed with voltage rated gloves and tools.
Appropriate warning labels are also put up in different places around the work place. Certain specified equipment is also labeled. This includes all incident energy, hazard categories and boundaries.
The most important phase of the entire Arc Flash product is the electrical safe work practices training. Experts suggest that the entire process should actually commence with training or at the least it should continue parallel to the other activities. A short refresher course should be conducted towards the end when the labeling has been put in place.
The training is basically designed to enable people to work on or near exposed energized equipment. Amongst the major topics discussed during the training procedure are electrical hazards, proper procedures and practices as well as PPE use and care. At the end of it all you will have a work force well versed in all the associated rules and regulations.