Are arc flash labels required by OSHA?

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    • #18
      Mike Wilson

      Although there is no specific OSHA standard pertaining to arc flash labels, they’re required in a sort of roundabout way. Arc flash hazards are recognized as a threat to worker safety and per OSHA regulations, employers are required to address all known hazards in the workplace. The industry standard for protecting workers from arc flash hazards is known as NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. By complying with NFPA 70E, you are also complying with electrical safety standards from OSHA.

      Properly labeled equipment is one of six primary responsibilities facilities must meet to comply with the NFPA 70E standard. Employers are responsible for arc flash labeling and should not rely on the manufacturer or installer of the equipment to provide labels. According to NFPA 70E, an arc flash label should have seven distinct elements:

      • Danger or Warning header
      • “Incident Energy at”; corresponding working distance
      • Incident energy
      • Arc flash boundary
      • Personal protective equipment (PPE) category
      • Shock hazard approach boundaries
      • Voltage of the equipment

      How does your company institute other NFPA codes? Share below!

    • #36
      Tony Ferraro

      At this time Arc Flash labels are not required by OSHA, since OSHA has not deemed NFPA 70E into law. However, arc flash hazards are a real threat to workers’ safety. When arc flash labels are used, they must comply with the NFPA 70E standard and employers could be fined for failing to protect workers from arc flash dangers. Proper PPE and safety practices must be diligently utilized and followed to ensure the safety of workers around arc flashes. One thing that is important to remember is that it is the employers that are responsible for labeling such hazards and this responsibility is not that of the manufacturer which can be easily confused.

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