Arc Flash Standards

What is an Arc Flash and why should I care?

An Arc Flash is a violent electrical explosion or discharge. It is caused by an Arc fault and produces extreme heat with up to 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This event causes grave danger to anyone standing close to such an Arc Flash. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) effectively shields the worker from the extreme radiation and heat of the arc flash. It is estimated there is an average 30,000 Arc Flash incidents every year. These incidents results in average annual totals of...


Posted By Comments: Comments OffPost Date: October 13, 2021

How do I select the appropriate Arc Flash PPE according to NFPA 70E or CSA Z462?

How do I select the appropriate Arc Flash PPE according to NFPA 70E or CSA Z462? According to NFPA 70E Standards for Electrical Safety in the Workplace there are two potential methods for determining arc flash PPE. The incident energy analysis method in accordance with table 130.5(G) The arc flash PPE category method in accordance with table 130.7(C)(15) Depending on which method is used the tables in NFPA 70E can help you identify what arc flash PPE is required.  Table 130.7(C)(15) has...


Posted By Comments: Comments OffPost Date: December 18, 2018

If NFPA 70E and CSA Z462 require a hood be worn when the incident energy level is above 12 cal/cm2 why does Oberon Company sell a 25 cal/cm2 hard cap and shield combo with a balaclava?

If NFPA 70E and CSA Z462 require a hood be worn when the incident energy level is above 12 cal/cm2 why does Oberon Company sell a 25 cal/cm2 hard cap and shield combo with a balaclava?   There are many standards involved when dealing with electrical safety in the workplace.  NFPA 70E and CSA Z462 both help to lay the groundwork for companies to create electrical safety programs that protect the welfare and safety of their workers.  While these standards are a...


Posted By Comments: Comments OffPost Date: December 18, 2018

What are the OSHA requirements for a glove inspection?

What are the OSHA requirements for a glove inspection? OSHA requires that "protective equipment be maintained in a safe, reliable condition." Gloves should be inspected for tears, holes, ozone cuts and other defects before each use. For more information, refer to the ASTM F1236-16 standard guide for the visual inspection of electrical protective rubber products.  Also, gloves should be inspected for any swelling, which is generally caused by chemical contamination (specifically petroleum products). Even the slightest swelling can be an issue. ...


Posted By Comments: Comments OffPost Date: June 12, 2018

Why do rubber electrical gloves have a date stamp on them?

Why do rubber electrical gloves have a date stamp on them? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.137(c)(2)(viii), all electrical gloves must be tested periodically and prior to being placed into service. All glove manufacturers incorporate some form of production code or date coding to indicate the date of initial testing. Rubber insulating gloves must be tested before first issue and every six months thereafter or upon indication that the insulating...


Posted By Comments: Comments OffPost Date: June 12, 2018

The equipment I am working on is not labeled, how do I select the right arc flash PPE based on voltage?

How do I select the right arc flash PPE based on voltage? Selecting appropriate arc flash PPE knowing only the voltage is impossible.  You must have the fault clearing time and the available fault current as well as the voltage.  If the equipment is in normal operating condition, you may be able to utilize the NFPA 70E 130.7 tables to select appropriate arc rated PPE.


Posted By Comments: Comments OffPost Date: June 8, 2018

I have been told that most electrical work I do falls within Arc Flash PPE Category 2, is that accurate?

I have been told that most electrical work I do falls within Arc Flash PPE Category 2, is that accurate? No, it is impossible to know what protection is necessary without first completing an arc flash risk assessment. While it is true that the majority of energized work does fall within Arc Flash PPE Category 2 or have thermal incident exposure values below 8 cal/cm2, you can’t assume anything. You must use either the Incident Energy Analysis Method or Arc Flash...


Posted By Comments: Comments OffPost Date: June 8, 2018

If we don’t do any high voltage work, what type of PPE do we need?

If we don’t do any high voltage work, what type of PPE do we need? Voltage does not determine the arc flash hazard. Knowing the voltage is only one piece of determining Arc Flash PPE. The electrode orientation, available fault current (amps), the working distance between the worker and the equipment, the clearing time of the circuit protection device, the spacing between conductors or from a conductor to ground, the number of phases, whether the conductors are in an enclosure, and...


Posted By Comments: Comments OffPost Date: June 8, 2018

What is ASTM F2178 – Standard for Arc Rated Eye or Face Protective Products?

What is ASTM F2178 - Standard for Arc Rated Eye or Face Protective Products? ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) developed this F2178 standard in order to evaluate the arc protective value of face and head protective devices. Prior to the issue of this standard in August 2002, there was no standard that addressed the evaluation of a finished product, just the component fabric of a garment (ASTM F1506). Every manufacturer of hoods and faceshields should conduct testing on the hoods and...


Posted By Comments: Comments OffPost Date: June 1, 2018

Do my arc flash garments need to be recertified?

Do my arc flash garments need to be recertified? Current standards, including ASTM F496, call for the periodic recertification of electrical insulating gloves. Arc flash PPE is manufactured to comply with ASTM F1506, which does not require a recertifying process. It is advisable for the user, before and after every use of an arc flash PPE product, whether it be a coat, pants, hood face shield, or accessory, to inspect the product for damages, including rips and tears, as well as any soiling, especially...


Posted By Comments: Comments OffPost Date: June 1, 2018