Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 28

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Left. If an arc-flash risk assessment
has been performed, then the amount
of incident energy must be observed
before removing equipment covers.
Below. When doing any work on electrical
systems, proper personal-protection
equipment is essential.

typically refers to a standard that
has been accepted as recommended
practice such as NFPA 70B, "Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance." This standard
addresses such things as development
and implementation of an electrical
preventive-maintenance (EPM)
program, recommended intervals for
maintenance, testing and test methods,
reliability-centered maintenance
(RCM), and acceptance testing.
When having an arc-flash risk
assessment performed and not
addressing the maintenance component of an electrical safety program,
some assumptions must be made.
These include, but are not limited to,
equipment that is operating properly,
equipment that has been properly
maintained, and condition of maintenance, as well as opening times of
over-current protective devices.
NFPA 70E states that over-current

28 |

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

protective devices that have not
been properly maintained can
cause increased opening times, thus
increasing the incident energy in the
event of a fault in the electrical-distribution system. This creates a major
safety concern for personnel and their
interaction with energized electrical
equipment, as well as lost revenue
due to equipment failure. As a result,
careful consideration must be given to
the development and implementation
of an effective electrical-safety program
to maximize benefit and minimize
cost. The arc-flash risk assessment
can be a costly endeavor and the
results obtained can be misleading
or inaccurate because of improper or
inadequate maintenance.
Surprisingly, a high percentage of
facilities are not OSHA and NFPA
compliant and have little knowledge
of what it takes to be compliant in the
area of electrical safety. Furthermore,

some are doing very little in terms of
electrical-equipment maintenance and
are satisfied with having infrared scans
done on the electrical panels because
it has been recommended by their
insurance company. Infrared thermography is very effective at identifying
heat-related issues, but does not satisfy
the requirement to maintain electrical
equipment in accordance with
manufacturer instructions or industryconsensus standards.
Infrared technology generally
requires a direct line of sight to the
target area, which raises another safety
concern. Pursuant to the NFPA 70E
requirements, the level of risk must be
assessed before removing equipment
covers and exposing energized conductors and circuit parts. To properly
assess the risk, such things as available
fault current and opening times of
over-current protective devices must
be considered.
MAY 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology May 2017

Maintenance Technology May 2017 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 2
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 3
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 4
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 5
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 6
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Maintenance Technology May 2017 - Cover3
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