arc blast

Safety & Health March 2004

Arc Blast

What is an Arc Blast?

An Arc Blast is a dangerous condition associated with the explosive release of energy caused by an electrical arc due to either a phase to ground or phase to phase fault. Arc Blast can result from many factors, including dropped tools, accidental contact with electrical systems, build up of conductive dust, corrosion, and improper work procedures.

Why do I need to do an Arc Blast Hazard Analysis?

Per NFPA 70E-2004, Part II 2-1.3.3 Arc Blast Hazard Analysis states that a "Flash hazard analysis shall be done before a person approaches any exposed electrical conductor or circuit part that has not been placed in an electrically safe work condition." These Arc Blast Hazard Analysis calculations must be performed to determine the appropriate PPE required for personnel working near any exposed electrical conductor or circuit part. In order to determine the appropriate level of PPE required, the available fault current at the energized electrical equipment being serviced must be known for Arc Blast analysis.

NFPA 70E requires the following elements:

  • Arc blast Hazard Analysis on All Electrical Exposure Areas

  • PPE Determination based on potential energy exposure levels (cal/cm2)

  • Labeling of each electrical source for its specific Arc Blast Hazard

  • Delineating the Arc Blast Hazard Areas

  • Training of All Authorized Employees for Arc Blast

  • Other items as applicable


arc blast

(6 pages)

(2 pages)

(71 pages)

VIDEO- David Wallis (Federal OSHA) Comments on 70E Enforcement
    (Click link to view video.)




Contact The Hilgeman Group for assistance with your Arc Blast Safety Program.

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