by , on November 11, 2009

No.

This blogger is very knowledgeable but wrong in assuming the IEC standards cited prevent all arc flashes. Incident data in all countries indicate the contrary. While there are NO standards for work practices in most countries depending on IEC design standards may help prevent many injuries but they will not prevent all injuries.

See his knowledgeable blog with one wrong premise.

His premise is that because some IEC standards require arc resistant switchgear and designs in most equipment they suffice for arc flash safety. This is wrong on two counts.
1. The IEC standards are relatively new and ONLY equipment installed since those dates could reduce arc incidents.
2. Some of the IEC standard designs only work when the equipment door is closed. During troubleshooting these parts can be live and might not prevent a fault/arc flash.
3. The IEEE 1584 and NFPA 70E standards are NOT in place of IEC standards. They in fact recommend using these arc safe, arc reducing and arc resistant designs to reduce risk but if energy is present it can hurt.

I applaud my college in the Philippines but call him to look closely at the IEEE 1584 and NFPA 70E standards and see if they might offer value to an IEC environment as most of the world has begun to see. We are all in this together for electrical safety. Safety knows NO borders.

I am a member of IEC TC78 and fully support IEC standards.


Hugh Hoagland
About author:
Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arc's and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

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