Tackling OSHA’s Top 10 Citations: Q & A: Arc Flash Studies

Tackling OSHA’s Top 10 Citations: Q & A: Arc Flash Studies

Jill James

Jill James

Chief Safety Officer

Jill James brings an unrivaled perspective on risk, regulation and liability. With 14 years of experience as a Senior OSHA Safety Investigator with the State of Minnesota, and nearly a decade in the private sector as a safety program manager, Jill is a passionate advocate for training ROI.

Q: “When do you need to have an arc flash study conducted? Any tips on starting the process?”

A: There is no specific guideline, with the exception of NEC standards: the evaluation of electrical exposure risk, based on particular tasks and scope of work, is a requirement for injury prevention, and the burden rests with the employer.

If only ‘qualified workers’ are tasked with work on electrical systems, is an arc flash analysis necessary?

Yes.

In theory and practice, ‘qualified workers’ have received training on hazard recognition and abatement, and would be familiar with proper protocol.

The issue is with determination of calorie exposure deciding appropriate levels of PPE, and also at what distance an arc flash may extend.

These are two key questions that even ‘qualified workers’ must answer.