Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe workplaces for their employees and onsite contractors. In April 2014 OSHA added new rules covering electrical hazards and safety. OSHA specifically added new requirements to protect workers from electric arcs. Beginning in April 2014 all employers were required to label their electrical equipment so as to identify the incident energy potential, the proper NFPA PPE to be worn, and approach-distance requirements to better ensure that unprotected workers do not get dangerously close to energized equipment.
“What is an Arc Flash?” is often one of the first questions asked so let’s start there. An Arc Flash is a dangerous condition associated with an electrical explosion or the release of energy caused by an electrical arc. The flash causes an explosion with temperatures up to 35,000-degrees F, dangerous pressure and sound waves, thermal radiation, and shrapnel. This can cause serious damage to your personnel and facility, lengthy downtime, and expensive regulatory fines. An Arc Flash Risk Assessment is required by OSHA and can be used to determine:
The Arc Flash Risk Assessment performed by Thompson Specialty Services will be done in compliance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 70E) standards. Thompson will provide trained licensed electricians to collect the data from your facility. Upon completion of the Arc Flash Risk Assessment, Thompson Specialty Services will provide a professional report summarizing the findings of the assessment for each facility, installation of new equipment labels in compliance with NFPA 70E standards, an updated one-line diagram of the electrical system analyzed, and access to a secure on-line database for storage of your report and one-line drawings. In addition, Thompson offers training for employees conducted by a qualified OSHA trainer on the dangers of Arc Flash and the proper use of NFPA Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in compliance with OSHA. Lastly Thompson Specialty Services can also offer recommendations on how to mitigate significant electrical hazards identified during the study.