Arc Flash Risk Management

Arc flash incidents can cause serious harm to electrical workers and damage valuable equipment on site. Health and safety legislation imposes numerous duties on employers and the self-employed (contractors) in relation to Arc Flash and electrical safety – certain legal requirements need to be met to ensure compliance in the work place.

Premium Power has been helping clients manage the risks associated with arc flash since 2001. We have a staff of highly trained engineers who have experience in conducting Arc Flash hazard analysis, Arc Flash studies, Arc Flash mitigation solutions and specialised arc flash training. We work with all size facilities across many industries to reduce the severity and likelihood of an arc flash incident and maintain Arc Flash safety.

Our Expertise

Premium Power have a staff of highly trained engineers who have experience in identifying arc flash hazards and risks in industrial and utility environments. Using proven software tools, Premium Power engineers calculate the prospective arc incident energy levels along electrical networks. Armed with this data, our engineers assess the risks and identify the preventative and protective measures necessary to protect workers and electrical infrastructure and processes. We provide arc flash training to ensure electrical workers can comply with arc flash guidelines.


What is Arc Flash?

An Arc Flash is an explosive release of energy caused by an electrical short circuit between 2 energised conductors or an energised conductor and earth. The sudden discharge of electrical energy causes a brilliant explosion of light and sound. The temperatures inside an Arc Flash incident can reach 19,000°C (sun’s surface temperature is 6000°C) causing conductors especially copper to vapourise[1]. The explosion causes shrapnel and vapourised conductors to escape the blast site at 1600km/hr. This amount of energy is sufficient to cause severe injury to anyone within the blast radius. The injuries can range from burns, blindness, hearing loss, impact injury, psychological trauma and even death. Critically, most Arc Flash incidents happen when the electrical system is being worked on and “live” and thus Arc Flash presents a serious risk to the employees.

The incident energy in an arc flash incident does not necessarily depend on the system voltage because the lower the voltage, the more current there can be in the system and the higher current levels create the high amounts of energy that is dissipated in an arc flash incident in an electrical system.

Understanding Thermal Performance Value (ATPV) in the defence against a Arc Flash incident.

The ATPV is measured in cal/cm2, and it’s defined as the maximum incident heat energy that a fabric can absorb and lessen the injury to a 2nd degree burn. If the worker is exposed to a potential incident heat energy level of less than 4.0 cal/cm2, the proper ATPV clothing system is 4 cal/cm2. –

What Arc Hazards does ATPV clothing not protect?

  • Arc’s blinding flash
  • Sound levels that rupture the ear drums
  • Molten metal burns
  • Flying parts
  • Blast pressure wave that causes worker injuries

Read Everything you need to know about Arc Flash

Arc Flash and the Law

Health and safety legislation in Ireland and the UK imposes numerous duties on employers and the self-employed (contractors) in relation to Arc Flash and electrical safety in general. Employers must ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of employees and any other persons who may be affected by their undertakings (Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005 in ROI, The Health and Safety at Work Etc. Act 1974/N.I Order 1978 in UK). Notably, this general duty extends to the provision and maintenance of safe plant and systems of work, and also the provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary. Arc Flash and other hazards associated with electricity at work must be managed in this context.

More specifically, employers must make a suitable and adequate assessment of the risks to health and safety, and those include Arc Flash and other risks involving electricity, and to put in place the necessary preventive and protective measures (2005 Act in ROI, Safety at Work Regulations 1999/N.I. 2000 in UK).

Persons engaged in any work activity involving electricity, must be competent to prevent danger (Safety, Health & Welfare at Work General Application Regs. 2007 Part 3 in ROI, Electricity at Work Regs. 1989/N.I.1991 in UK). That means, not only to have appropriate technical knowledge, but also understanding of the hazards, risks and work precautions to be observed.

Read Are your electrical safety procedures legally compliant?

To find out more about the arc flash training Premium Provide see Arc Flash Training

What is an Arc Flash study

An arc flash study is a standards based (IEEE 1584) of a clients electrical network.  The purpose of the study is to identify the maximum incident energy and arc flash boundary at every point of the network. Understanding the magnitude of the hazard is a key starting point in when preparing control measures to protect workers.

Our experience and expertise with arc flash studies and related works is widely recognized in the UK, Ireland and internationally and we are used across multiple industries.

How to reduce the risks of an arc flash incident occurring?

We use the arc flash study as a starting point to identify the locations, feeding arrangements and operator tasks that are at most risk of injury from a potential arc flash incident occurring.

We then work with clients to reduce the severity and likelihood of such an incident.

This can include engineering controls such as protection settings adjustments or use of hardware such as using arc flash relays.

Contact us for a complete risk assessment of your site and how you can manage and mitigate against arc flash incidents.

Download our Arc Flash Brochure

arc flash brochure

Watch our Arc Flash Video


Arc Flash Assessment

We survey and model your electrical network, and calculate prospective arc energy levels.

Arc Flash Mitigation

We recommend measures to reduce arc flash risks.

Arc Flash Protection

We guide you on the equipment, PPE and labelling required.

Arc Flash Training
CPD accredited, Engineers Ireland approved. Can be provided according to your facility’s bespoke needs.

Other parts of the Arc Flash hazard analysis service include

  • Advisory on Arc Flash Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Network Modelling – Using advanced modelling tools for electrical networks, we supply wide range of information about the clients electrical network
  • Load Flow Study – The great importance of power flow or load-flow studies is in the planning the future expansion of power systems as well as in determining the best operation of existing systems.
  • Short Circuit Calculations – It’s important to protect personnel and equipment by calculating short-circuit currents during system upgrade and design.
  • Protection Coordination – allows the protection settings to be graded throughout the plant in such a way that disruption and interruption of production equipment and systems is minimised in the event of a short circuit or earth fault taking place.
The 4 P Approach for managing arc flash risks

The 4 P Approach for managing arc flash risks

Source: DuPontTM

"Arc flash calculations have become a standard requirement of modern electrical systems and needs to be risk assessed and mitigated against. A comprehensive study includes load flow and short circuit analysis as well as a full review of the existing protection system on site. Our studies allow for optimum investment by providing modelling of the entire power system"
Alan O'Kelly, Senior Engineer

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