Risk Assessment for Arc Flash

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NFPA 70E describes a basic risk assessment as having four parts:

1. Identifying a hazard (a potential source of injury)
2. Estimating the potential severity of the injury that could result
3. Estimating the likelihood of that injury
4. Determining if protective measures are required

The first step recognizes a potential hazard. The second and third steps estimate the risk presented by that hazard, combining the severity and likelihood of an injury. The fourth step responds to that risk to prevent or minimize actual injury. This general process can be applied to any type of hazard.

Article 130.5 of NFPA 70E describes additional requirements for assessing arc flash hazards. If an arc flash hazard exists, the arc flash risk assessment must determine safe work practices, identify the arc flash boundary, and decide on the PPE to be used by workers within that boundary. This assessment must be updated any time the facility is signifcantly modifed or renovated, and must be reviewed at least once every fve years. These assessment processes and their results must be documented as part of your facility’s electrical safety program.