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Protecting Against Electrical Arc Flash

What is an Electrical Arc Flash?

Unforeseen events in electrical environments, such as equipment failure, accidental dropping of tools, a power surge, or human error, can create arc-flash incidents. An arc flash typically lasts less than one second, but it can leave devastating results. It is an explosive blast of flame, debris, sound, and force resulting from —substantial electrical current passing through ionized air. An arc flash can propel molten metals, such as copper, at exceptionally high velocity, with radiant heat levels exceeding 35,000°F.

Electric and cable utility employees are exposed to the potential of arc flash every day. Likewise, maintenance staffs or anyone who works with electricity in manufacturing facilities will have regular or occasional exposure to arc flash risk. Meeting the NFPA 70E and CSA Z462 standards will greatly reduce arc flash burn injury risks.

NFPA 70E was originally developed by the NFPA to meet the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) requirements to address electrical hazards in the workplace. It is now an industry standard, which many companies use as their guideline for electrical safety.

Who needs NFPA 70E/CSA Z462 Required Protection?*

Anyone who installs, maintains, or repairs energized/electrical systems could be at risk for arc flash exposure. This means anyone who is an electrician or who performs maintenance work in virtually every industry needs to look at gear that provides the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). 

*CSA Z462 is based on the NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the workplace.

Getting NFPA 70E/CSA Z462 Compliant

The path to compliance with NFPA 70E and CSA Z462 has well defined steps, including:

  • Selecting a method to assess arc flash hazards
  • Identifying the level of risk in every area of your facility
  • Labeling the level of hazard
  • Marking boundaries
  • Training employees
  • Determining the protection level of flame resistant clothing and PPE for your specific levels of risk

Once you have conducted a worksite assessment and determined the level of risk, G&K will work with you to develop safety solutions to fit your unique needs.