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 Post subject: Arc Flash liability when a property is sold
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2023 10:22 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:01 pm
Posts: 4
I conducted Arc Flash studies on several buildings that are being sold. The new owners plan to renovate all of them and I know two of the buildings are getting new services. I am sure the changes being made will affect the incident energy throughout the buildings. Yet my strong suspicion is that my Arc Flash labels will most likely remain. I am debating if I should send a letter to the new owner informing them that the labels will no longer be valid, and that the study will need to be updated. Has anyone had a similar experience?
Note that in this case, I am involved in the sale on the present owner's behalf. But certainly many buildings are sold and/or renovated without the AF consultant even knowing about it. So I have even less of a clue about how to address that situation.

I thank you in advance for any feedback.
Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash liability when a property is sold
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2023 8:20 am 
Sparks Level

Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:35 pm
Posts: 167
Rich,
I'd send them a letter. In the letter state your concerns and also quote the language in NFPA 70E about changes to the electrical system. In the letter I'd offer your help. If I were you, I'd send the letter with some kind of proof of delivery. Have evidence you've advised them of this (possible) hazard and it shows your concern for safety as well as your willingness to help. Doing that should afford you some protection. I'm not a lawyer so I can't speak to the liability end of this, but I do know that if there was some problem and you were hauled into a lawsuit, this will give you some evidence that you warned them. If this is a big deal, you may want to contact Jim Phillips or the NFPA 70E group to get their input.
Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash liability when a property is sold
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2023 9:24 am 
Sparks Level

Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:38 am
Posts: 61
Location: Westminster, MD
I don't think the sale of the property negates the arc flash labels so you're still liable for the incident energy listed. But if the system has changed, then you're off the hook.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash liability when a property is sold
PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2023 6:44 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:17 am
Posts: 38
The requirements of NFPA 70E presumably apply to this correct? If so, even if the new owner is not aware of the requirements laid out in NFPA 70E for keeping things up to date, it still doesn't absolve them of the responsibility they have to their workers and contract employees.

All that said, you're doing them a favor by educating them on what was provided by the previous owner and how to use the information. It's a significant thing!


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash liability when a property is sold
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2023 11:36 am 

Joined: Thu May 11, 2023 11:29 am
Posts: 1
I ran an engineering company that specilized in performing short circuit studies, coordination studies and arc flash studies. In everyone of my reports, I always included a disclaimer that basically said, any changes to the electrical system makes this report and any labels null and void.

I think contacting the new owner is a smart thing to do but regardless of the communication, if there is an arc flash incident, you will get contacted by an attorney as everyone wants to sue at the first chance they get. Make sure you put a date on your arc flash stickers and add a disclaimer to your study.

DR


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash liability when a property is sold
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2023 8:10 am 
Sparks Level

Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 5:00 pm
Posts: 141
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
As a P.Eng. or PE you are responsible for the engineering and report you issued and dated. The technical content of that report is valid as submitted.

I review a lot of reports for my clients related to Electrical Safety Program development and implementation.

When I do talk to the responsible engineer I advise them to include a Disclaimers Section in the report and this is where you would state the information as presented is valid at the date presented and there is not responsibility for the information if the power system changes.

You are liable for the information presented on the equipment labels installed based on the date of issue of your report.


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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash liability when a property is sold
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2023 6:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2023 6:49 pm
Posts: 1
Helo Rich, it is essential to address the potential risks associated with outdated Arc Flash labels for safety and compliance. You could try writing a letter to the new owners to let them know that the labels may no longer be valid, and to suggest updating the Arc Flash research is a proactive and responsible approach. You are making them aware of the situation and they can take the necessary steps to prioritize safety during the renovation. While I don't have specific data on similar experiences, taking this action demonstrates your commitment to safety and helps new owners make informed decisions about your court's electrical system. their houses

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 Post subject: Re: Arc Flash liability when a property is sold
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2023 1:15 pm 
Arc Level

Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:35 am
Posts: 570
Location: Wisconsin
I performed arc flash studies for 15 years, never once did I feel the need to follow up on a change in ownership of a prior company. We had sales people try to get orders for study updates but as the PE of record I didn't give my old studies a second thought.


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