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Arc Flash and NFPA-70E Misconceptions


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In this slideshare Creative Safety Supply debunks some dangerous myths and misconceptions regarding how one should handle Arc Flash Analysis as well as some of the updates to NFPA-70E.

While some of these semi-truths are very nearly correct, they could be off by just enough to get you killed or heavily injured.

Take a few moments to check out our review of some of the most popular misconceptions surrounding how to handle possible Arc Flash equipment or danger areas.

Should you wish to find out more about Arc Flash dangers as well as training and analytic software that will help you to keep yourself or your employees safe, visit us at, or call us at 866-777-1360.

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Arc Flash and NFPA-70E Misconceptions

  1. 1. The leaders in visual safety. Arc Flash Ten Common Arc Flash Misconceptions & NFPA-70E
  2. 2. Arc Flash & NFPA-70E An Arc Flash can be… Temperatures reaching 35,000 degrees can be devastating! That's four times hotter than the sun's surface!!!
  3. 3. Multiple reasons for Arc Flashes Human Error (most common) Negligent preventive maintenance Improper electrical equipment/system design Arc Flash & NFPA-70E So why all the confusion?
  4. 4. 10 Arc Flash & NFPA-70E And now - The Top Ten Misconceptions But first, BE WARNED: Don't fall into any ugly fallacies and misconceptions on arc flash – play it safe! Your life just might depend on it.
  5. 5. - Not so fast! There’s a reason for the concern: According to OSHA, an electrical worker is the third most dangerous profession 1 to 3 die every day from an arc flash incidents Estimated 5 to 10 arc flash explosions happen in the U.S. every day Arc Flash & NFPA-70E 1. “Arc Flashes are so rare, why all the hype?”
  6. 6. Arc Flash & NFPA-70E - Not quite, there is more to it! Reduce live work by de-energizing a circuit first! This puts the job in an electrically safe condition before the work is even started This is the best standard to go by 2. “NFPA-70E is the standard governing arc flash.”
  7. 7. Work permits are required for anyone working with energized equipment over 50 volts PPE and labeling are not enough Employers are directly responsible for issuing permits 3. “It’s all AFH labeled so I'm compliant with NFPA-70E” - False! Here’s why... Arc Flash & NFPA-70E
  8. 8. - Not necessarily! Current limiting fuses only help mitigate if the fault current is high enough They don't address the duration component of arc flash Arc Flash & NFPA-70E 4. “I can reduce most AFH with current-limiting fuses”
  9. 9. Arc Flash & NFPA-70E The majority of arc flash injuries occur from human error. Therefore, the only way to avoid danger is through regular analysis of equipment, work practices, and safety training. 5. “I can do regular infrared scans instead of arc flash analysis'” – Not!
  10. 10. Arc Flash & NFPA-70E The point of analysis is to reduce hazards! Addressing them with just PPE is not enough 6. “Panel labeling is sufficient enough for arc flash analysis.” No - That’s Dangerous! Arc Flash Analysis Software is available at:
  11. 11. MCC is the final access point of power for motor loads However, that doesn't mean other loads don't possess a possible AFH or threat Arc Flash & NFPA-70E 7. Beyond the Motor Control Center (MCC), it isn't necessary to check equipment for AFH
  12. 12. Arc Flash & NFPA-70E IEEE 1584 states, "Equipment below 240 V need not be considered unless it involves at least one 125 kVA or larger low-impedance transformer in its immediate power supply.” But, here is the catch... 8. If equipment is under 240 volts, I don't need to access it through a transformer rated below 125 kVA
  13. 13. Arc Flash & NFPA-70E This only refers to incident energy calculations Employers are responsible for assessing all equipment operating at 50 volts and higher Low voltage does not mean there is no threat of danger, fire, or electrocution 8. (continued)
  14. 14. The probability is really low, but... Once you start to insert or remove draw-out circuit breakers, bus plugs and MCC buckets the risk goes up. This can create a hazard where a once perceived hazard-free zone existed - Proceed with Caution! Arc Flash & NFPA-70E 10. If there's no exposed, energized conductors, or circuit parts, then there's no AFH - Close but no cigar
  15. 15. We have you covered. Creative Safety Supply works with companies both large and small to help them with their Arc Flash Labeling, Software and Signage needs. We also carry a host of PDCA, Lean, 5S, 6S Kaizen, Kanban and Continuous Improvement products. Arc Flash & NFPA-70E
  16. 16. 1-866-777-1360 call us toll-free: or visit us online at: The leaders in visual safety