by , on December 20, 2009

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In This Issue
Arc Test Dates
Sign up for ESW 2010
Articles Accidents & Videos
Firefighter’s & Electrical Hazards
IEEE Mega Projects
Fines by OSHA & OHSA on Electrical Hazards
Burn Up the Myth: Arc Flash & the Janitor
NEW Website, Twitter & Blog
Job Offer: Arc Flash Study Engineer
Know Your FR  Sponsor

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December 2009

Dear ArcLetter Member,

The ArcWear™ Electric Arc and Flash Fire Newsletter NOW from too.

It is a quick update on Flame Resistant Clothing issues and news from OSHA and standards committees. The newsletter is FREE, reaches over 15,000 people and will bring you up to date on the issues that surround flame resistant clothing for flash fire hazards and the electric arc. For previous newsletters or to sign up, visit or

ArcWear™ Arc Testing Dates
Need Arc Testing?

Jan. 18 – 22
Feb. 15 – 19
Mar. 15 – 19
ASTM F1959, ASTM F2178, ASTM F887 fall protection arc testing and mannequin testing at the Kinectrics Lab in
Toronto on the dates above.
Ship materials or clothing to:
Hugh Hoagland
13113 Eastpoint Park Blvd.
Suite E
Louisville, KY
PH: 502-314-7158
We must receive one week before the test date for sample preparation or make arrangements to ship to lab. New and non US/Canadian Customers must make payment before test date.  Testing is offered on a first come/first served basis with priority for consulting customers.  New policy: $100 per material for prep/washing and cutting panels and $150 for international report shipping. No guarantee is made of when testing will occur.

ESW 2010 Get Signed Up
IEEE ESW 2010Sign up today for the 2010 ESW Memphis, TN February 1-5, 2010
There are a few things I attend every year and one is the PCIC Electrical Safety Workshop.  You should too.  This is the best conference on the latest in electrical safety.  The papers are VERY practical and up-to-date.

Articles, Accidents & Video on Arc Flash

Here are some articles published recently on arc flash and electrical safety.

Incident Investigations

Firefighters and Electrical Hazards

Firefighters are a common theme in electrical incidents.  I have a few recent links on this subject.  Comment and give your thoughts on my blog.

Our class was developed by an electrical engineer, electrician and former fire chief, Al Havens.

Electrical Safety, Technical, and Mega Projects Workshop Calgary Canada Sign Ups Open
IEEE Mega Workshop Calgary 2010Sign up open for the 2010 Mega Projects Workshop

Calgary, AB Canada
March 29 – 31, 2010

The IEEE IAS ESTMP Workshop provides a forum for exchanging and advancing industry knowledge in the areas of electrical safety, engineering design, system reliability and the implementation and execution of Mega Projects. The Workshop focus will be to share innovative concepts, successes as well as lessons learned in the areas of:  1) advancing state of the art knowledge and best practices, 2) stimulating innovation in creating the next generation of technology and 3) design and implementation of Mega Projects.

Fines by OSHA on Electrical Hazards this Month
OSHA LogoMost citations this month include electrical hazards and LO/TO.

OSHA proposes $222,500 fine St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, oil refinery includes electrical hazards

Get the free the Audit paper from to help increase your compliance by 40%!

Burn Up the Myth: Arc Flash and the Janitor
Arc Flash Boundaries when Equipment isn’t being used?

Question: I am just completing a detailed Electrical Safety Audit at a Coal Fired Power Plant in WA State.

One of the equipment manufacturers completed an arc flash study and advised the client the at the arc flash boundary they should paint a yellow line around the switchgear and MCCs and that it was not safe to have anyone approach the electrical equipment when it is operating normally.

The client trusted this recommendation.

I advised the client that the electrical equipment when operating normally is safe to approach, for instance to have a janitor mop the floors in front of it.

I am writing to ask your opinion with respect to the fact that electrical equipment doesn’t normally arc flash and it is safe to approach for external inspection, reading panel meters, janitorial work, etc…?

Answer:  You wouldn’t believe how many have been told this.  I call it the I-bought-the-arc-flash-calculation-software-module-now-I’m-an-arc-flash-expert consultant syndrome. There is a proverb which says, “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.”
Two definitions from NFPA 70E-2009 clarify why the “expert” is wrong:
Arc Flash Hazard. A dangerous condition associated with the possible release of energy caused by an electric arc.

FPN No. 1: An arc flash hazard may exist when energized electrical conductors or circuit parts are exposed or when they are within equipment in a guarded or enclosed condition, provided a person is interacting with the equipment in such a manner that could cause an electric arc. Under normal operating conditions, enclosed energized equipment that has been properly installed and maintained is not likely to pose an arc flash hazard. [emphasis added].

Boundary, Arc Flash Protection. When an arc flash hazard exists, an approach limit at a distance from a prospective arc source within which a person could receive a second degree burn if an electrical arc flash were to occur.”

I had a power plant call me because their switchgear had to be operated from the next county (literally) because of the arc flash study’s findings.  This was a little different in that the study “expert” saying that operating the breaker causes big issues.  That “breaker” would NEVER be operated energized because it comes from the generator.

I know of a janitor arc flash incident BUT it isn’t normal equipment.  The janitor was cleaning near an arc flash marked boundary which had not been properly “guarded, isolated or insulated” (exposed bus in NFPA 70E terms).  The janitor put a metal broom handle into the bus and was killed by a clothing ignition.  This is why some level of electrical safety training (commonly called arc flash training) is needed in your normal safety training.  Build in a few slides on shock and arc flash.

NEW Website, Twitter and Blog
Need Up to Date Arc & Electrical Safety Info?

ArcWear and e-Hazard have teamed up to create a Twitter and Blog.  Most of the things you find in the newsletter come out on the blog first.  You can now even read them as they come out on the redesigned e-Hazard site.  Look at the bottom of the page.
Check out the redesign.
See the Twitter page nfpa70e. It is short but sweet.
The newsletter archives are at both and on the new ArcWear/e-Hazard blog.

Job Offer: Arc Flash Study Engineer
This is not from e-Hazard but might be of interest to someone in the crowd.

Professional Electrical Engineer

A full service electrical engineering and consulting firm is seeking an engineer with strong project management skills.
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
Must be a licensed Professional Engineer
Minimum of 10 years of progressively challenging experience in the field of electrical systems and design for commercial and industrial buildings, including work in coordination and short circuit studies.
Experience in NFPA 70E and Arc Flash Hazard Analysis
Experience with electrical software programs such as: SKM, Easy Power, EDSA and ASPEN is a plus.
Must be able to demonstrate the ability to take the lead on complex multi-faceted engineering projects
Ability to manage a team of electrical engineers

Must be will to travel up to 30%

Must be willing to relocate to the Cincinnati, OH area

If you have interest in this position, please send an updated resume – we will maintain your confidentiality.  If you do not have interest, but perhaps know of someone that might be a fit, we would appreciate any names and contact information.  Again, we will maintain your confidentiality from that perspective as well.  Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

Nicole Gaiser
5525 N. MacArthur Blvd.
Suite 400
Irving, Texas 75038
(972) 582-3535 – Direct Line
(214) 287-0844 – Cell
(972) 582-3418 – Fax

Our newsletter is sponsored by many companies around the world.  If you have ideas for articles or have questions, don’t hesitate to write.

Hugh Hoagland

13113 Eastpoint Park Blvd. Suite E
Louisville, KY 40223
PH: 502-314-7158
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Hugh Hoagland
About author:

Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

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