Arc Flash Hazard Analysis vs Arc Flash Risk Assessment

Why, as of 2015, will the NFPA be referring to an Arc Flash Hazard Analysis as an Arc Flash Risk Assessment?

The reason why the NFPA has made this change is to help clarify that an electrical panel is not necessarily always a hazard. If the equipment is properly maintained and kept up to date the panel actually being a “hazard” or hazardous is very minimal but the “risk” for an Arc Flash Hazard is still there. Which is why proper precautions, such as the application of the appropriate voltage rated PPE, must still be taken.

The definition however is still basically the same but a bit more simplified…

NFPA 70E 2015 Article 130.5nfpa 70e 2015

An Arc Flash Risk Assessment shall be performed and shall:

(1) Determine if an arc flash hazard exists. If an arc flash hazard does exist, the risk assessment shall determine:

a. Appropriate safe-related work practices

b. The arc flash boundary

c. The PPE to be used within the arc flash boundary

(2) Be updated when a major modification or renovation takes place. It shall be reviewed periodically, at intervals not to exceed 5 years, to account for changes in the electrical distribution system that could effect the results of the arc flash risk assessment.

(3) Take into consideration the design of the overcurrent protective device and its opening time, including its condition of maintenance.

Also, as of 2015, it is required for the Arc Flash Risk Assessment results be documented. NFPA 70E 2015 130.5 (A)

Click here for an example of qualifying “Documentation”

 NFPA 70E 2012 Article 130.5NFPA 70E 2012

An arc flash hazard analysis shall determine the arc flash boundary, the incident energy at the working distance and the personal protective equipment that people within the arc flash boundary shall use.

The arc flash hazard analysis shall be updated when a major modification or renovation takes place. It shall be reviewed periodically, not to exceed 5 years, to account for changes in the electrical distribution system that could affect the results of the arc flash hazard analysis.

The arc flash hazard analysis shall take into consideration the design of the over current protective device and its opening time, including its condition of maintenance.