NFPA 70E Arc Flash Risk Assessment


Although the duty to provide electrical safety in the workplace can be traced to the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act, updates and continual revisions to OSHA, National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) and the 2015 Edition of the National Fire Protection Institute (NFPA) 70E represent the basis for requirement for Arc Flash Risk Assessment (formerly a Hazard Analysis) and protective clothing and equipment. Updated Incident Energy Levels should be determined based on any system revisions and 2015 NFPA 70E requirements.

Implementing this in a facility generally consists of the following tasks:

  • Arc Flash Risk Assessment Data Collection - Review existing data on the electrical distribution system, and survey existing electrical system to collect additional data required to perform a short circuit analysis and a device coordination review for the facility. Both are required to perform the Arc Flash Risk Assessment with the Incident Energy Analysis Method.
  • Arc Flash System Modeling - Utilize field-collected data to develop electrical system software models of the electrical distribution. Examine various operating scenarios of the electrical system to determine the worst case personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements.
  • Arc Flash System Analysis - Perform system analyses utilizing the Incident Energy Analysis Method, based on Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) 1584 “Guide for Performing Arc Flash Calculations” and NFPA 70E “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace®”.  Results will identify locations with high levels of incident energy. These are the areas which require PPE Category 1 and higher.
  • Arc Flash Hazard Labels - Provide appropriate labels based on the as-surveyed conditions for the switchboard, distribution panels, motor control centers, subpanels, disconnect switches, control panels and transformers.
  • Design for the installation of Arc Flash Mitigation Modifications recommended by the Arc Flash Analysis.
  • Training of personnel in arc flash awareness or personal protection equipment (PPE) necessary at each location accessed by the technicians or other qualified personnel as determined by the analysis.