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 Post subject: PPE Required for Arc Flash Study Data Collection
PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:48 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:43 pm
Posts: 1
I am wondering how often data collection for arc flash studies is performed on energized equipment, and what PPE is required in those situations? We work primarily in the O&G industry and shutdowns are not very popular. In order to have accurate data collection panels have to be opened. What PPE do you require that personnel to wear? The arc flash rating is unknown, but is just opening a panel considered to be "entering" that piece of equipment? I don't think there is any doubt that de-energizing equipment is the safest option, but not practical. Any feedback is appreciated.

LC, EIT.


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 Post subject: Re: PPE Required for Arc Flash Study Data Collection
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 5:25 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:00 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Idaho
Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries. Which one is crossed. Being you are doing an assessment, then you have to use the tables in the NFPA 70E as you do not have a label to go by. Your nominal phase to phase voltage will determine the limited and restricted approach boundaries. Being you are probably removing bolted covers, then you need Arc Flash PPE to perform your data collection. Table 130.7 will let you know what PPE you need depending on the equipment you are collecting data on. The owner who bought the equipment may have all the specs on the breakers and fusing, so that data may be used as well, but field verification is always a positive for accurate results of data collection. Most Arc Flash accidents happen because someone thought they were safe in performing their task.


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 Post subject: Re: PPE Required for Arc Flash Study Data Collection
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:26 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:00 pm
Posts: 198
Location: Maple Valley, WA.
It is the chicken or the egg situation. What do you do first? You can not determine the short circuit current and AF energy until you have collected the data and run the calculations.

The good news is that the majority of locations in a facility have 8 cal/cm2 or less. That is why many safety professionals recommend wearing 8 cal/cm2 shirt and pants. The data collector should also be wearing Arc Rated Face shield, hearing protection, balaclava hood, and rubber insulated gloves. See NFPA 70E for a complete list of PPE. For those areas where the arc flash energy is higher, (i.e. main services, transformer secondaries), then consider wearing 40 (or higher) cal/cm2 arc flash suit and hood.

But as you pointed out, denergizing the equipment is the safest method of collecting the data.

_________________
Robert Fuhr, P.E.; P.Eng.
PowerStudies


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 Post subject: Re: PPE Required for Arc Flash Study Data Collection
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:35 pm
Posts: 154
First, assuming you are not collecting data on anything higher than 480 volts, your voltage boundaries are all the same. 12 and 42 inches. Assume very high arc flash values at any service. Assuming low energy is not wise so I'd have the troops wear at least 40 calorie protection. And I would insure no one else was allowed into the same space. At panels fed by step down transformers of 45 KVA and larger (480 to 208) I'd have your people wear at least 12 calorie clothing. But before doing any of this, if the facility has good one line drawings, get those and get the data put into your program. That could eliminate some of the field work.

Good luck,


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 Post subject: Re: PPE Required for Arc Flash Study Data Collection
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:40 am
Posts: 5
70E Article 130.2 says all energized parts must be put in electrically safe work condition before any working within the limited approach boundary. You are doing work by removing the bolted covers and you are within the limited approach boundary. Therefore you must shut the equipment off. OSHA is very clear that shutdowns causing loss of production and money is not "infeasible" in their letters of interpretation.


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 Post subject: Re: PPE Required for Arc Flash Study Data Collection
PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:06 am
Posts: 35
JimTMich wrote:
70E Article 130.2 says all energized parts must be put in electrically safe work condition before any working within the limited approach boundary. You are doing work by removing the bolted covers and you are within the limited approach boundary. Therefore you must shut the equipment off. OSHA is very clear that shutdowns causing loss of production and money is not "infeasible" in their letters of interpretation.


I will play devils advocate: OSHA has the troubleshooting exception and 70E is clear on the definition of working on. Working on is intentionally coming in contact with energized conductors or circuit parts with hands, tools etc. Pulling a panel cover off doesn't fall into that category. I will say that 130.2(2) could be used as an argument against that but again, by your interpretation, if I need to troubleshoot a circuit with a volt meter, I would have to shut it down to do so which isn't the case.


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