October 11, 2023
Complying with Arc Flash OSHA requirements
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) details how to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) regulation, 29 CFR 1910.333(a), through the NFPA 70E standard. Applying these electrical safety standards in the workplace protects workers who may be exposed to arc flash or other electrical hazards.
According to the NFPA 70E standard, there are six primary responsibilities that facilities must meet. These responsibilities include:
- Training for employees
- Written safety program in place that is actionable
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available for employees
Insulated toolsArc flash hazard degree calculationsProperly labeled equipment
Who is responsible for equipment labeling?
Arc flash labeling is the responsibility of the employer, not the manufacturer or installer of the equipment. Employees are responsible for complying with safety-related work practices and procedures provided by the employer.
What equipment requires an arc flash label?
According to NFPA 70E, labeling is required for any piece of electrical equipment that may need examination, adjustment, service or maintenance while energized. These labels communicate the electrical hazards an employee may be exposed to, including the potential for an arc flash incident.
Examples of where to put your arc flash labels to stay compliant
- Switchboards – Label where un-terminated wires or cables needing superior abrasion and chemical resistance exist.
- Panel Boards – Label where terminated or unterminated cables and wires that may be curved or become curved exist.
- Industrial Control Panels – Label where terminated cables or wires that may need additional abrasion or chemical resistance exist.
- Motor Control Centers – Label where large amounts of data needs to be communicated in a small area, such as fiber optic cables.
- Transformers – Label where large amounts of voltage exist, either on the ground or mounted up high in a facility.
- Disconnect Switches – Label where multi-conductor cables or bundled wires/cables exist.
Old Label Versions. The recent update allows labels applied prior to the effective date of this edition of the standard to be acceptable if they complied with the requirements for equipment labeling in the standard in effect at the time the labels were applied (unless changes in electrical distribution system render the label inaccurate).
Document and Review. Document the method of calculating and the data to support the information for the label and review for accuracy at intervals not to exceed 5 years. Where the review of the data identifies a change that renders the label inaccurate, the label shall be updated.
The owner of the electrical equipment shall be responsible for the documentation, installation and maintenance of the marked label.