Arc flash can cause several adverse effects, such as injury to employees as well as damage to electrical equipment. This article discusses some of the ways through which a commercial electrical contractor can help you to reduce the likelihood of arc flash events as well as the attendant negative consequences.

Conduct a Hazard Analysis

The commercial electrician can assess the level of arc flash risk faced by the different areas through which the power system passes. That assessment can then be used to post warning signs in the places with the highest risk. Such signs can help to alert employees to keep away from those zones in case they aren't in possession of the requisite personal protective equipment that can protect them when an arc flash event occurs. Such a precaution can avert the problems, such as fines imposed by regulators, which can result when staff is exposed to arc flash.

Reduce Fault Current

The commercial electrician can also install a system to reduce the magnitude of fault current that is available during arc flash events. For example, the electrician may install a high-resistance ground system to reduce the size of the current flowing through the grounding system during an arc flash. Less current flowing through the grounding system results in smaller arc flashes that aren't as destructive as large ones.

Institute Remote Operation Mechanisms

The commercial electrical contractor may also design a system that removes the need for personnel to get close to places where arc flash risks are highest. For instance, he or she can put in place software that allows your equipment to be inspected or monitored remotely. Equipment can also be cut off from the power supply remotely so that workers reach it when it is already de-energised. In this way, employees will hardly be exposed to arc flash.

Prevent Faults

Electricians can also take steps to prevent the defects that result in arc flash. For example, the electrician can monitor the insulation of equipment in order to fix any problems that can cause electricity to arc. He or she can also monitor the junctions or connections for any damage caused by vibrations or overheating. Prompt attention to those defects will avert arc flash.

Ask a commercial electrical contractor to review the electrical system in your commercial building so that you can know whether you have adequate measures to guard against arc flash. That contractor will then advise you about the additional steps that you need to take to avoid arc flash events at your facility.