An arc flash occurs when electricity jumps between two points in an electrical circuit. You may see this when you flip a light switch in a dark room. On a small scale, arc flashes are harmless. However, when arc flashes occur on large electrical systems or on industrial electric machinery, arc flashes can be quite dangerous and even deadly.

Arc flash studies are performed to help keep the people who work and live in buildings safe. Below, we will take a closer look at what goes into an arc flash study and why these studies are important.

What does the study do?

An arc flash study determines the risk associated with working on an electrical circuit at the lowest electric output level. The study makes sure that the circuit is not only protected, but that it is labeled correctly for anyone who may perform maintenance on the electrical component. The study will determine a safe distance to stand away from the component as well as what personal protective equipment is required to service the electrical unit. This way, anyone in contact with the machine understands the risks associated and takes the proper precautions.

What comes after the arc flash study?

The purpose of the study is to determine if there is any potential risk. If there is, following the study, there should be a period of education. Ensuring your team that will be handling the electrical equipment is educated on the potential dangers is key to safety and success. All team members should understand the potential dangers of electrical shock or fire. Furthermore, following the recommendations of the study, the proper personal protective equipment should be readily available, and the team should be practiced in using the equipment. Lastly, efforts should be made to mitigate potential risk and exposure to identified hazards. This can be done through modified electrical wiring or through the use of remote controls.

Who should have an arc flash study performed?

An arc flash study is required to be in compliance with code and OSHA regulations. Any building owner or manager can request an arc flash study at his or her building. An arc flash study helps to keep the building employees safe and can mitigate dangerous accidents in the future. At Gausman & Moore, we regularly conduct arc flash studies for several different buildings types including government buildings. Our team of experts use SKM software to complete the arc flash studies. The information we are able to provide to building owners is paramount to safety.

If you are interested in having an arc flash study performed at your own building reach out to our experts today.