Emergency Power Services: The Importance of Arc Flash Analysis

An arc flash occurs due to low impedance between phase busbars or between a phase busbar and neutral or ground. Small flashes cause limited damage and are rebuffed by protective equipment, but large flashes can cause an emergency. Often referred to as "explosions" due to their ejection power, these flashes can kill workers and damage buildings. To prevent them, commercial and industrial facilities have arc flash analysis and training performed; services that identify potential flash hazards and train workers in electrically safe work practices, respectively.

The Reality of Arc Flashes

According to CapSchell - a Chicago based consulting firm that specializes in workplace safety - between five and ten arc explosions from electrical equipment occur in the U.S. each day. This statistic only includes explosions that send workers to burn units. Explosions that send them to normal hospitals occur more frequently. For workers, the risk factors of arc explosions are disfigurement, disability, and death. For companies, the risk factors are workers comp cases, cash settlements for disfigurement, wrongful death suits, and loss of assets.

Arc explosions can occur without warning, hence the need for experts to analyze facilities and train workers in electrically safe work practices. If your facility needs arc flash analysis and its workers need safety training, Prime Power has the expertise in emergency power services to meet your needs.

The Causes of Arc Flashes

Knowing the causes of arc flashes is critical to preventing them. In some cases, a rodent or large insect causes an explosion by interrupting the distance between bus bar components. In other cases, a work tool interrupts the distance between the components. This usually occurs when a worker forgets to de-energize the equipment. In other cases still, explosions are caused by improper maintenance, poor electrical system design, or out of date equipment.

With these things in mind, facilities should make a checklist of issues that could cause arc flashes, particularly:

• the presence of rodents
• the skill level of workers who service electrical equipment
• the safety training of workers who service electrical equipment
• the types of preventive maintenance that electrical equipment receives
• whether it meets the latest arc flash requirements or is considered legacy equipment

Prime Power can assist in identifying and resolving these issues by performing arc flash analysis and training.

Prime Power has the Expertise You Need

For almost 30 years, Prime Power has provided unparalleled power services to entities in the commercial and industrial sectors. We have considerable expertise and experience in:

• arc flash analysis and training
• load bank testing
• breaker testing
• healthcare utility management
• modernizations and retrofits
• new installations
• infrared scanning
• scheduled maintenance

We also provide generator rentals.

If your facility has not undergone arc flash analysis in the last five years, or it recently installed new electrical equipment, it should receive analysis as soon as possible. At Prime Power, our analysis studies comply with the 2009 National Fire protection Association (NFPA) 70E regulations, National Electric Code (NEC) requirements, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards 29-CFR.

For arc flash analysis and training or emergency power generation services call us today.