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 Post subject: New to Arc Flash Requirements
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:24 am
Posts: 9
I am an Electrical Control Technician and our company will be implementing Ach Flash program. Frequently I will work inside a machine power/control panel, which will have anything from 480VAC 3PH down to 24VDC, online. This is all apart of the troubleshooting process especially when we have our PC connected to the PLC.

How will this new company safety policy have an impact on our ability to maintain the troubleshooting methods that we are using?

I support any safety policy that will safeguard the worker from potential hazardous conditions. At the same time we must have the ability to troubleshooting on live equipment.

Great forum...

rmonroe


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:49 pm
Posts: 480
Location: New England
Welcome to the world of Arc Flash.

Arc Flash regulations only apply to voltages of 50 volts or greater. So if you are working on a 24VDC system, there are no Arc Flash regs.

Arc Flash is all about knowing what PPE to use to prevent injury from shock and burns.

You only need Arc Flash PPE when working on energized equipment. But we all have to troubleshoot while energized. What you will find is that you will need a lot of training to know what to use and when, but once trained, the PPE becomes either no inconvenience or only a minor inconvenience.

So things to try to get implemented if possible:
NFPA70E allows for a 'standing permit' for live work for routine work by trained persons. Have your company document its policy of a standing permit so you don't have to deal with an individual permit everytime you check voltage. Highlite when an individual permit is needed, for example: 1) touching hand or tool to an energized bus greater than 250V; 2) inserting or removing motor buckets; 3) All work greater than 601 volts. I just made these up but you get the idea.

You will also need to wear FR rated clothing throughout the day, otherwise you will have to don FR each time, and maybe remove your street clothes if they are not LEvel -1 or 0 (all cotton).

If at all possible try to have an 'analysis' method to calculate Incident Energy levels and not use the PPE Matrix if at all possible. Usually the calculated method produces lower PPE requirements.

Contact me here or offline if you have any specific questions.
gary


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:24 am
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Thanks Gary for the feedback.

We will be receiving training from our cooperate Safety Engineer in the next few weeks. I just wanted to get an idea on what to expect.

rmonroe


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:10 pm
Posts: 248
Location: NW USA
If you are working only on the PLC, and not disturbing the 480V (or 120V) field, some folk interpret that full PPE is not neccessarily required. This method of thinking is supported by NFPA table 130.7(C)(9)(a) which assigns anywhere from risk category 1 to 3 based on how involved with 480V power the work is, even though the calculated exposure would be the same for all work instances. IEEE 1584 does not provide such weighting for different types of work being performed.

Gary B


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