We have a wealth of experience in the management and risk assessment of Arc Flash in businesses throughout the UK and Europe. Find out more about the danger of arc flash in your business and how we can help to minimise and manage the risk below.
It’s generally accepted that in the wider subject of electrical injury in the workplace the likelihood of arc flash is minimal, however, damage to property and personnel, should arc flash occur tends to be far greater than with other electrical injuries in the workplace. There are a host of factors from the surrounding environment to equipment suitability and age that play a part in the likelihood of an arc flash event.
In many cases our clients often believe their arc flash risk is bigger at high voltage HV (above 1000Vac). However, we’ve found, in our experience of carrying out arc flash studies the risk is higher at low voltage. See our article by Paul Hopton, Principle Electrical Consultant at Electrical Safety UK for a full case study on this analysis.
All too often we find that electrical workers and even management do not fully understand the nature of the arc flash hazard and the seriousness of the injuries that can be sustained. Experienced personnel are frequently involved in these types of accidents. Competent electrical workers should be trained in the decision-making process necessary to determine the degree and extent of the hazard, and the PPE and job planning necessary to perform the task safely. Electrical Safety UK offer a range of services to assist in business wide understanding and training of relevant staff. However large or small your requirement for training and understanding we can assist with a range of services including practical arc flash risk assessment and arc flash awareness.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 provide legislative guidance to employers and places a legal obligation on them to ensure the safety of electrical devices in their workplace. Regulatory statements found within this legislation, and other related regulations, and their direct relation to the hazard of arc flash can be found below:
Regulation 2 Interpretation:
“injury” means death or personal injury from electric shock, electric burn, electrical explosion or arcing, or from fire or explosion initiated by electrical energy,….”
Relevance to the risk of Arc Flash: Arc flash type injuries are identified and included in the EaWR
Regulation 4 – Systems, work activities and protective equipment:
“Every work activity, including operation, use and maintenance of a system and work near a system, shall be carried out in such a manner as not to give rise, so far as is reasonably practicable, to danger.”
Relevance to the risk of Arc Flash: There is a requirement to work safely, in other words to prevent personnel experiencing the injuries identified in Regulation 2 above.
Regulation 16 – Persons to be competent to prevent danger and injury:
“No person shall be engaged in any work activity where technical knowledge or experience is necessary to prevent danger or, where appropriate, injury, unless he possesses such knowledge or experience, or is under such degree of supervision as may be appropriate having regard to the nature of the work.”
Relevance to the risk of Arc Flash: There is a requirement to ensure that personnel have sufficient knowledge and experience to prevent danger or injury, that includes knowledge and awareness of arc flash hazard and how to control the risks associated with it.
Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
“…requires a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk to be undertaken and the regulations then go on to establish a hierarchy of control through Schedule 1.”
Relevance to the risk of Arc Flash: Arc flash is a known hazard and there is a requirement under these regulations to risk assess known hazards. That risk assessment, requires the consequence of the hazard to be assessed and the likelihood of the hazard being realised to be assessed. The consequence of the hazard cannot properly be assessed unless the severity of the hazard has been assessed. The severity of the hazard cannot be assessed until the incident energy has been determined. Current practice requires an arc flash study to be completed to determine incident energy levels on the equipment concerned.
Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992 – Regulation 6 Assessment of personal protective equipment:
“Before choosing any personal protective equipment which by virtue of regulation 4 he is required to ensure is provided, an employer or relevant self employed person shall ensure that an assessment is made to determine whether the personal protective equipment he intends to provide will be suitable.”
Relevance to the risk of Arc Flash: If you are considering providing your employees with arc flash PPE then you are required to determine if it is suitable. This assessment should include the potential severity of the arc flash hazard, which is determined by calculating the incident energy for the equipment concerned.
ESUK provides an unrivalled multi-faceted HOLISTIC APPROACH for the management of the arc
flash hazard and risk reduction activities.
Do you have a requirement to carry out an Arc Flash Risk Assessment / Study but not sure where to begin or how much to budget? ESUK’s Principal Electrical Consultant will attend your site Free of Charge to deliver an initial consultation meeting and Arc Flash Awareness Presentation to your nominated site personnel.
During this visit we will tour the facility, review any relevant documentation and conduct a Pre- Assessment Survey – a basic circuit count of the Electrical Distribution Network; in order for us to prepare an accurate fixed price proposal for an Arc Flash Study based on the qualifying assets on site. A report and proposal for next steps will be provided as evidence to present to the relevant persons within your organisation.