An arc flash is one of the most disastrous and least understood electrical hazards in the workplace. Arc flashes are usually caused by inadvertent contact between an energized conductor with another energized conductor or a grounded surface and can produce a plasma fireball as hot as 35,000 degrees Fahrenheit — hotter than the surface of the sun.
At this temperature, metal parts are vaporized and rapidly expand creating explosive pressure and sound waves in fractions of a second that may cause devastating injuries and equipment damage.
An arc flash study is an evaluation of a facility’s electrical distribution system to determine these electrical hazards and risks. OHSA/OSHA, NFPA and IEEE all address the employers’ requirements for worker safety, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), equipment labeling, and training necessary to keep workers safe in an arc flash incident.