NFPA 70E states in Article 130.5 that an arc flash study needs to be reviewed / updated every five years or when there is a significant change in the electrical system. Significant changes made to the electrical equipment or components, can alter the arc flash hazards present.
Often, clients request updating the arc flash labeling and report from a previously performed arc flash assessment. Sounds easy? If the previous assessment is outdated (past the 5-year mark) and significant changes have been made to the electrical system, then it may not be an easy process. Many times, facilities have not properly documented changes, making an update to an assessment very difficult without essentially starting over. A new assessment requires opening and surveying every device to ensure everything is the same as it was originally. This may result in the cost for performing the update equal or near the cost of the original assessment.
Tips for avoiding this situation:
- Track and document all changes.
When we are negotiating an update to an arc flash assessment, the first thing we ask is, has there been changes? Typically the answer is “yes”, followed by “but we are not sure where”.
- Submit changes to our engineering department as they occur.
We can typically perform an update; exchanging the data, labels and report electronically for a small investment. It is more efficient and safer to perform updates as changes occur, rather than waiting 5-years and potentially having to start all over.
Contact us at www.seamgroup.com to get your arc flash assessment and labeling updated to the 2018 NFPA 70E requirements.