Just the Facts on Arc Flash

Did you know an arc flash occurs when contact is made across live wires in a power panel or control box? This usually happens when a tool is dropped or some conductive material makes contact with two or more energized wires.

  • An arc flash can generate heat 4 times hotter than the sun.
  • The pressure wave can throw a 170 lb. man 100 ft.
  • 5 – 10 people are sent to special burn units everyday due to Arc Flash events.

Electrical protective clothing must have an Arc Rated (AR) rating instead of a Flame Resistant (FR).

  • FR clothing is designed to protect against ignition, but does not account for the violent force of an arc flash event.
  • AR clothing is designed to have resistive abilities to arc flash events.
  • An Arc Flash Suit is a complete arc-rated clothing and equipment system that covers the entire body, except for the hands and feet.
  • The electrical rubber gloves are the hand protection and non-conductive foot wear for the feet.

Organizations need to have their electrical and control panels evaluated for the Hazard Category based on the voltage contained within. Electrical and control panels are designed to contain the force of an arc flash, so only when opened does personnel need protection.  The hazard category determines the level of protection needed.  You need to know the Hazard Category to know what level of protection is needed.

HRC Cal/cm²
0 Minimum of 1.2
1 Minimum of 4
2 Minimum of 8
3 Minimum of 25
4 Minimum of 40

Comments are closed.