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 Post subject: Arc Flash Requirements for EU countries
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:56 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:07 am
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We are a US-based company and are currently conducting Arc-Flash analysis studies (using IEEE 1584 methodology). We have some facilities in the EU which we are struggling with how to handle, in specific labeling and PPE requirements per NFPA 70E do you require them to meet those requirements? Curious how others are handling.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:22 am 
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Location: Charlotte, NC
I'll just bet that Mr. Mike Frain can help you with this!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:09 am 
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I just sent off an email to Mike. He and I worked together at a conference in London this past February. Yes U.S. companies are pushing for compliance with U.S. standards such as 70E in their overseas operations. I know the U.K. uses Electricity at Work Regulations (EAWR) and is driven by the Health Safety Excecuitve (HSE) which is their version of OSHA.

I had the opportunity to talk with and share the stage with a member of HSE and their view is there should be not live work - period. They have quite a safety driven culture. Some companies are performing the arc flash calculation studies and are using labels like we do in the U.S.

For now I believe they are using similar PPE standards. i.e ATPV / Arc ratings. However I'm not sure it will stay that way. I met with a few of the people from the committee in Seville, Spain that are developing the proposed EU Standard for "arc in a box" PPE test methods. They seem to be headed in a different direction than U.S. methods - we'll see where that goes.

I'm sure Mike will be adding to this - he has been involved with quite a few projects in the U.K. and Europe and will be a good source of additional info.

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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:25 am 
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Hi, the requirements will depend upon your own global safety standard but will also need to follow EU law as interpreted by each member state. In the UK that will mean following a model of Electrical Safety Management which will incorporate the general principles of prevention as laid out in the Management of Health and Safety Regulations, ACOP and guidance notes. For instance your global standard may say “facilities must follow NFPA70E-Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace unless the local health and safety regulations are more stringentâ€. That will open a real can of worms and we could have a lengthy philosophical discussion about which is the most stringent; either the European risk assessment approach or a more prescriptive US approach.

Just a word on compatibility of approach between the US and UK. Jim (Phillips) commented after his recent visit to Europe that the approaches as far as electrical safety is concerned are not that different and I totally agree. There is a perception in Europe that NFPA 70E means PPE and labelling but I’ve yet to come across a US company in Europe who adopt a PPE first attitude to risk prevention. We know that PPE is a last resort when considering risk control measures but the American hierarchy of controls (ANSI Z10) puts Warning labels and PPE at number 4 and 6 respectively behind elimination, substitution and engineering controls.

There are specific regulations that you need to consider in Europe when it comes to labelling and PPE. If we look at labelling first.

The EC Safety Signs Directive (92/58/EEC) is the relevant legislation on the provision and use of safety signs at work. The purpose of the Directive is to encourage the standardisation of safety signs throughout the member states of the European Union so that safety signs, wherever they are seen, have the same meaning. If you are designing labels you ought to consider the requirements of this legislation as warning and prohibition signs will need to be in accordance with this directive. Warning signs must be yellow (or amber), they must be triangular and the yellow must take up at least 50% of the sign. I personally don’t see anything wrong in adopting the warning symbol, triangle and description then printing out the NFPA 70E data underneath.

The Personal Protective Equipment Directive (89/686/EEC) is the relevant legislation on the provision and use of PPE. This is where I suspect you may be having the greatest difficulty. PPE must be CE marked and there is some ongoing debate about the type of test methods that can be used. Specifically, the validity of open arc methods of testing in order to obtain an arc thermal performance value (ATPV) are being questioned in Europe. Jim contributed most vigorously to the debate when he was in Europe in favour of retaining the open arc methods. The only other method is the box test method which will not give an ATPV. In the meantime my view is that PPE based on ATPV from an IEEE1584 study is perfectly valid.

There is a thread from Elaina Harvey from DuPont Personal Protection on this forum which describes the various test methods and is a source of lots of guidance and help in the selection of PPE in Europe.
http://www.arcflashforum.com/showthread.php?t=184


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 7:03 am 

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Mike, quite clearly the arc in a box test (IEC 61482-1-2) does not give an ATPV for garments so tested, merely a pass / fail at fault currents of either 4KA (class 1) or 7KA (class 2) {not to be confused with the categories defined in NFPA 70E} it therefore seems evident that if the IE calculation result is to be of value with regard to PPE selection, the open arc test method (IEC 61482-1-1) should have been used, as this is the only one which will result in and ATPV rating for the garment


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 7:27 am 
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Chris,

I agree completely. Mike and I both met with 2 members of IEC 61482-1-2 in February in Seville, Spain and I tried to point that issue out. I believe Mike feels the same way. It seems the proposed box test will be inconsistent with what seems to be the industry best practice right now which is:

PPE ATPV/Arc Rating > Calculated incident energy

I was quite puzzled by the use of 4 kA and 7 kA and pointed out the potential compatibility problems in using this method with incident energy calculations.

Thanks for your input!

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 12:48 am 

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Jim,

That would seem to make three of us now (yourself, Mike and me) against the rest of the world, I really cannot understand for the life of me why anyone would speak against the ATPV route for PPE - unless that is of course that they have already chosen to test and mark their kit to arc in a box as this is quicker, cheaper and easier - or am I being cynical?

I am also working with Elaina from DuPont who also believe that ATPV ratings for PPE are essential.

In fact if you look closely at the marketplace even those manufaturers who CE mark to IEC 61482-1-2 claim an ATPV value (but only from a fabric not a garment test). Watch this space and thanks for your support.

Chris Ross, http://www.arcflashprotection.co.uk


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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 7:24 am 
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Chris,

What I recall from our February meeting was the proposed IEC 61482-1-2 box text method has been in the works for quite some time (I think I recall hearing 5 or 6 years). It was mentioned that the proposed method was designed to more closely represent real world conditions of equipment - which at the time probably made sense to someone.

I first began to dig into IEC 61482-1-2 about a year ago at a meeting in Toronto. When I heard about the methods being suggested, I was quite surprised by the 4 kA and 7 kA criteria since the incident energy from an arc flash and from the IEEE 1584 calculations are based on cal/cm2 not short circuit amps. On the drive home I was thinking how the box test method will not be compatible with present arc flash study methods that are used globally.

With that said, I'm sure the committee began going down the path of good intentions when they began the standard since the IEEE 1584 incident energy calculation methods were not as well known back then.

Now it appears the "IEC 61482-1-2 train" continues to roll down what is now the wrong track and is moving with so much inertia, it is difficult to change direction. What might have seemed like a good idea at the time - 5 or 6 years ago is not in step with how it all works in the industry today.

Thanks for your posts on the forum Chris. I know Mike and Elaina are both very much in the loop on all of this and I believe all four of us (you included) share the same view.

If anyone else has more information to add about IEC 61482-1-2, it would be greatly appreciated.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:21 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:46 am
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Location: Dorset, UK
DuPont Electric Arc Risk Assessment Forum, Nov 23rd 2010, London

DuPont cordially invites you to its first European Electric Arc Risk Assessment Forum, to be held on Tuesday November 23rd, 2010 near Watford, London (starting at 09:30 finishing around 15:30 hrs)

Electric arc is one of the most deadly and least understood hazards of electricity, and is prevalent in most industrial situations. The outcome of an arc flash can be disastrous and whilst local legislation requires businesses to perform risk assessments for all work activities, this is often overlooked because most people are unsure how to assess and manage this hazard effectively.To help companies better assess these risks, DuPont convenes a thought-provoking workshop which will examine the European approach to electric arc hazards and provide an understanding of the legal standards and frameworks.

As part of this session, attendees will also be able to view and experience a new electric arc flash risk assessment guide developed by DuPont. The guide, based on extensive research with independent experts will provide users with the tools to evaluate the arc flash hazards at their facilities and the knowledge on how to both reduce the severity and consequences of an arc flash.

Speakers and expert panel members include:
. Dr. Malcolm Booth, Aston University (Pioneers in the new Electrical Power Engineering Degrees)
. Mrs. Catherine Irwin, EMEA Electrical Safety and Technology Competency Leader, DuPont
. Mr. Ken Morton, Head of Power Systems and Ignition Hazard, UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
. Mr. Mike Frain, Managing Director, Electrical Safety
. Jim Phillips P.E.
. Dr. Helmut Eichinger, EMEA Technical Manager, DuPont

This event is aimed at anyone whose responsibility involves the protection of workers from the arc flash hazard - for example electrical engineers, electrical designers, contractors and non site based electrical workers and safety managers or procurement officers.

To register please email [email protected]

Further details are also available on

http://www.arcseminars.dupont.com


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:25 am 

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Invite To: DuPont Electric Arc Risk Assessment Forum, Nov 23rd 2010, London

DuPont cordially invites you to its first European Electric Arc Risk Assessment Forum, to be held on Tuesday November 23rd, 2010 near Watford, London (starting at 09:30 finishing around 15:30 hrs)

Electric arc is one of the most deadly and least understood hazards of electricity, and is prevalent in most industrial situations. The outcome of an arc flash can be disastrous and whilst local legislation requires businesses to perform risk assessments for all work activities, this is often overlooked because most people are unsure how to assess and manage this hazard effectively.To help companies better assess these risks, DuPont convenes a thought-provoking workshop which will examine the European approach to electric arc hazards and provide an understanding of the legal standards and frameworks.

As part of this session, attendees will also be able to view and experience a new electric arc flash risk assessment guide developed by DuPont. The guide, based on extensive research with independent experts will provide users with the tools to evaluate the arc flash hazards at their facilities and the knowledge on how to both reduce the severity and consequences of an arc flash.

Speakers and expert panel members include:
. Dr. Malcolm Booth, Aston University (Pioneers in the new Electrical Power Engineering Degrees)
. Mrs. Catherine Irwin, EMEA Electrical Safety and Technology Competency Leader, DuPont
. Mr. Ken Morton, Head of Power Systems and Ignition Hazard, UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
. Mr. Mike Frain, Managing Director, Electrical Safety
. Jim Phillips P.E.
. Dr. Helmut Eichinger, EMEA Technical Manager, DuPont

This event is aimed at anyone whose responsibility involves the protection of workers from the arc flash hazard - for example electrical engineers, electrical designers, contractors and non site based electrical workers and safety managers or procurement officers.

To register please email [email protected]

Further details are also available on

http://www.arcseminars.dupont.com


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:19 am 

Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:41 am
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Arc Flash Studies & Advise in Europe

Eaton Electric provides Arc Flash Hazard analysis & consult in US and Europe.
Capabilities specifically taillored to European regulations and practises are visible here:
http://www.eaton.com/EatonCom/ProductsServices/Holec/Services/Eatons-ElectricalServicesSystems/Design/ArcFlashAnalysis/index.htm


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