Arc Flash Hazards

CDI can support required Arc Flash safety programs by surveying equipment on site, performing required calculations nationally and producing new Arc Flash coordination reports and labels, to update the hazard calculation classification per the site conditions and latest code requirements.


NFPA 70E 130.5(2) states — “An arc flash risk assessment shall be updated when a major modification or renovation takes place. It shall be reviewed periodically at intervals not to exceed 5 years to account for changes in the electrical distribution system that could affect the results of the arc flash risk assessment.”

The 2018 update includes the following changes:

• Emphasis on training
• Distinctions between employer and employee responsibilities
• Greater focus on hazard elimination
• Job safety plan documentation with risk assessments

Training Requirements

Retraining should still occur every 3 years, and the 2018 update indicates that employees must be retrained if their job duties change, or when procedures are not being followed (as observed by annual inspections or supervision).

Training should include:

• Specific hazards associated with electrical energy
• Special precautionary techniques and safety related work practices
• PPE, insulating and shielding materials, insulated tools and test equipment

OSHA standards concering arc flash hazards

  • 29 CFR 1910.132(d)(1)—Requires employers to perform a PPE hazard assessment to determine necessary PPE.
  • 29 CFR 1910.332(b)(1)—Requires employees must be trained in and familiar with the safety-related work practices required by 1910.331 through 1910.335 that pertain to their respective job assignments.
  • 29 CFR 1910.333(b)(2)(iv)(B)—Requires a qualified person to use test equipment to test circuit elements and electrical parts of equipment to which employees will be exposed to verify that the circuit elements and equipment parts are de-energized.
  •  29 CFR 1910.335(a)(1)(i)—Employees working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards must be provided with, and must use, electrical protective equipment that is appropriate for the specific parts of the body to be protected and for the work to be performed.
  • 9 CFR 1910.335(a)(1)(iv)—Requires employees to wear nonconductive head protection wherever there is a danger of head injury from electric shock or burns due to contact with exposed energized parts.
  • 29 CFR 1910.335(a)(1)(v)—Employees must wear protective equipment for the eyes or face wherever there is the danger of injury to the eyes or face from electric arcs or flashes or from flying objects resulting from electrical explosion.
  • 29 CFR 1910.335(a)(2)—Employees must use insulated tools or handling equipment if the tools or handling equipment might make contact with such conductors or circuit parts.
  • 29 CFR 1910.269(l)(6)(iii)—Requires employers to ensure that each employee working at electric power generation, transmission, and distribution facilities who is exposed to the hazards of flames or electric arcs does not wear clothing that could increase the extent of injury to such a hazard.
  • 29 CFR 1926.28(a)—The employer must require that employees wear appropriate PPE during construction work.

The most effective and foolproof way to eliminate the risk of electrical shock or arc flash is to simply de-energize the equipment. But, in some cases just not possible. Essentially, OSHA and NFPA requirements should be followed to develop and implement an effective electrical safety program—and ultimately save lives.

Label Changes:
2018 NFPA 70E Example:

Label Changes:
2018 NFPA 70E Example: