Arc flash studies are only the first step in managing a facility's electrical safety. The primary goal of any arc flash study is to define a facility's current electrical safety condition - to show the "You Are Here" marker on the electrical safety map. The outcome of a basic arc flash study is a labeling scheme that ensures compliance with OSHA safety guidelines. But, there is much more to the story, and an arc flash study, to be truly effective, must deliver more than the basics of a facility's current status and some labels.
A comprehensive, turnkey arc flash study provides not only the basic requirements to attain OSHA compliance for arc flash hazard, but it also provides the training that facility maintenance personnel need to properly recognize and manage the hazard, as well as recommendations that can help to mitigate it.
One effective method that can substantially reduce the level of arc flash hazard is the use of arc flash relays - specialized trip devices that sense the beginnings of an arc flash event and react almost instantaneously to prevent escalation. An article recently published in the online version of Utility Products Magazine relates how one mid-west utility saw the safety value of the arc flash relay and took substantial steps away from the "You Are Here" marker toward a major improvement in their facilities' electrical safety.