All Gallatin businesses using equipment at over 208 volts are at risk for electric arc explosions or flashes and need Arc Flash Studies. These arc flashes are releases of incident energy that do not follow the intended operation path and are far more powerful than a spark from a household outlet. Electrical engineers with Industrial Maintenance Solutions (IMS) train extensively to perform arc flash studies to ensure a safe environment.
Gallatin businesses must meet specific requirements to operate within state and federal requirements. Each facility needs an initial study on the power system configuration and every machine that uses electricity. Owners then need to have an updated study made every five years. Other requirements include:
- Modifications to the configuration, i.e., upgrades.
- Changes in the equipment that make up the distribution system. This includes replacing items such as conveyor belts or hoists.
- Changes in protective settings. This includes changing items or moving them to a new location in the facility.
One last requirement is a switch in the utility company or power source within the existing company. This requirement is beyond the business owner’s control, but they should still monitor to ensure a safe environment for their employees.
Incident Energy Risk Threat
The threat of an arc flash depends on the level of incident energy. Each item of electrical equipment has its unique level. However, the same types can have different levels if they draw power from a different location, even in the same facility. A low-risk level is 1.2cal/cm2 of electrical energy. If an employee stands too close to an arc flash, they can still suffer second-degree burns over exposed skin. Higher incident energy levels can result in loss of eyesight and even death.
Such a release of energy is why every item needs its study and then a label that provides the risk threat information to everyone who needs to see it. This label is required by OSHA Standard 1910.269(1)(8)(ii) and includes both the level of incident energy at risk for release and the date of the study.
If you have any questions about Arc Flash Studies or other services for your Gallatin operation, contact IMS at (800) 790-9496. You can also leave contact information for our Administrative Office at https://www.imsnation.com/contact.html. If you want to see our current updates and offers, visit us here.