To Ensure Arc Flash Safety, Know the Condition of Your Circuit Breakers

Arc flashes, or arc faults, occur when electricity leaves an intended path and travels from one conductor to another or to ground. The results can be catastrophic. An electric arc can reach 35,000°F, causing injuries or fatalities to nearby personnel. The severity of an arc flash event is directly related to the available incident energy and the duration of the event.

In a recent EC&M article, Denise Green, Midwest regional sales manager and national breaker specialist for Group CBS, shared her expertise on how to accurately identify and reduce arc flash incident risks in the field.

The article outlines how causes of arc flash events, such as using uninsulated tools or damaged equipment, are often preventable with regular maintenance, inspections, and testing. It’s important that qualified personnel be trained to use all information available to assess risk when racking or switching a circuit breaker. Arc flash labels must be reviewed for each device and personnel should take revisions to standards, such as the IEEE 1584 revisions to calculating arc flash energy, into account for pretask hazard risk assessment. In 2023, the NFPA 70B recognized these practices — which are now a requirement instead of a recommendation — as essential components to electrical workplace safety.

Read the full article here.