Arc Flash Protection: What Does Osha Require?

When it comes to addressing arc-flash hazards, it is important to consider the relevant OSHA standards that have been established for worker safety.

One of the key standards in this regard is NFPA 70E, a comprehensive national consensus standard that provides detailed guidelines on protecting workers from arc flashes. Employers must adopt NFPA 70E when their employees are engaged in work on electrical systems.

It is worth noting that while NFPA 70E does not directly meet OSHA requirements, compliance with OSHA standards is still mandatory. OSHA mandates that employers protect their employees from electrical hazards, including arc flash. OSHA issues citations based on the requirements outlined in NFPA 70E, which are incorporated into existing Agency Regulations.

OSHA Standards

Several OSHA standards are commonly cited in relation to arc flash hazards. These include:

  • 29 CFR 1910.132(d)(1): This standard requires employers to conduct a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) hazard assessment to determine the necessary protective equipment for their workers.
  • 29 CFR 1910.332(b)(1): This standard emphasizes the need for employers to familiarize and educate their employees on safety-related practices as outlined in 29 CFR 1910.331 to 1910.335.
  • 29 CFR 1910.333(b)(2)(iv)(B): According to this standard, qualified individuals must use test equipment to verify that circuit elements and electrical parts are de-energized before employees are exposed to them.
  • 29 CFR 1910.335(a)(1)(i): This standard requires employers to provide and ensure the use of appropriate electrical protective equipment for employees working in areas with potential electrical hazards. The equipment should be suitable for protecting specific parts of the body and the type of work being performed.
  • 29 CFR 1910.335(a)(1)(iv): Employees must wear nonconductive head protection in areas where there is a risk of head injury from electric shock or burns caused by contact with exposed energized parts.

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker/SMC. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of safety, producing the best arc guard in the industry. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.