RTM offers arc flash studies and analysis, but we often find that people don’t understand what that is or why it is important.
An arc flash is a technical name for an electrical explosion. An arc flash study determines how large, in the worst case scenario, this explosion could be and how likely such an explosion is based on the electrical components of your building.
When installing new or making modifications to a building’s electrical infrastructure, OSHA requires companies to have an arc flash study performed to provide a safe work environment. There are two reasons for this: one is that many old buildings simply are not designed to handle the quantity of electronics and other equipment we use today. Christopher Kneeland, Project Engineer at RTM, explained what this could mean for your building, “At best, the electrical system could fail and you lose data or damage equipment. At worst, it could explode, injuring people.”
The second reason is to provide recommendations on personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers. While OSHA states that employees should not be working on live panels, in some cases (for example, in a data center) that is not possible. Arc flash survey results, including PPE requirements, arc flash distances, and incident energy potential, should be labeled on the equipment so that workers who maintain it will be protected.
RTM provides turnkey arc flash studies, and can train engineers and electricians in your building to help ensure ongoing compliance. RTM’s electrical system study includes a report detailing results, updated electrical one line diagrams, recommendations, and a prioritized action plan.