Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe workplaces for their employees, onsite contractors, visitors, etc. In April 2014, OSHA added a new standard with rules covering electrical hazards and safety, including requirements to protect workers from electric arcs. Beginning in April 2014, all facility owners were required to assess the workplace to identify and clearly mark (label) electrical equipment to identify the potential for electrical shock and arc flash hazards.
Since then, Thompson Solutions Group has worked with more than 300 unique customers to assess these hazards at thousands of locations. We make use of the EasyPower, etap and SKM software and bring a deep knowledge and understanding of the issue, allowing us to be your premier solution and allowing you and your team to focus on what you do best.
Arc Flash Incident Energy Analysis
For 30 years, Thompson Solution Group’s Electrical Safety team has provided arc flash studies for customers across the United States. While some customers have a single location, TSG has built many relationships with facility owners where arc flash analysis is performed for as many as 80 facilities. Our team has assessed sites consisting of only a single point as well as facilities
with multiple services, including low and medium voltages, and over 20,000 points of analysis!
TSG’s deliverables typically include application of electrical hazard labels (compliant with NFPA 70E, ANSI Z535, and OSHA) and a report conveying all aspects of the analysis, such as an explanation of the state of your electrical system, identification of deficiencies, and items recommended for mitigation. These items may include violations of NFPA 70 or the National Electrical Code (NEC), arc flash hazards greater than 8 calories/cm squared, mis-coordination, and overdutied equipment.
Rest assured that with TSG on board, we are committed to staying on top of the latest standards and ensuring that your facilities remain in compliance and all hazards are properly identified.
Recent updates to NFPA 70, 70B, and 70E identify requirements for having a short-circuit study
completed. Like the arc flash incident energy analysis, a short-circuit study shall be reviewed when significant changes to the power system occur or at intervals not to exceed 5 years. A short-circuit study assesses the withstand ratings and Short-Circuit Current Ratings (SCCR) of equipment throughout your power systems. Equipment found to be over dutied, or improperly rated, is a violation of the NEC.
Recent changes to the NFPA standards include the requirements for personnel to understand an equipment rating relative to the available fault current before interacting with said equipment.
Protective Device Coordination Study
As a facility owner, we all hope our systems run as designed, but unfortunately faults within our power systems are a reality. When a fault condition occurs, it is ideal for the immediate upstream device to clear the fault. When protective devices such as circuit breakers, fuses, and relays are not properly coordinated, the fault may be cleared by a device further upstream. The result is the unexpected loss of power to a greater portion of your facility. Let our team assess your power system and ensure your power systems are ideally coordinated.
Electrical Hazard Mitigation and Remediation
Our arc flash analysis and/or IR thermal inspection of your facility will provide a clear picture of the electrical hazards and items of concern related to your power system. Our Electrical Safety SME will work with your team to provide recommendations to remediate code violations and mitigate electrical hazards. Many options are typically available to lower the severity of arc flash hazards, correct mis-coordination, and remediate overdutied equipment. Our focus is on ensuring your compliance and partnering with you to achieve a safe work environment.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Once TSG’s Electrical Safety team has assessed your facility and identified the arc flash hazards, it is a great time to provide electrical safety training and update your electrical hazard PPE. TSG is an authorized distributor of Oberon. This offering covers electrical shock glove kits as well as a plethora of arc-rated garments and related accessories, ensuring the adequate protection of your personnel.
Infrared Thermal Imaging
Infrared Thermal Inspection
With thousands of infrared thermal inspections under our belt, Thompson Solutions Group’s team of experienced thermographers are ready to complete this “energized” portion of preventative maintenance on your electrical system. With the recent requirements set forth by the NFPA 70B standard, thermal inspection is now required on an annual basis for most facilities. For equipment located in harsher environments or which may be in poor condition, this inspection may be necessary bi-annually. Following the latest American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) International Standards – E193-99a, our team will assess your equipment and provide a concise explanation of identified issues as well as provide services to ensure the proper corrective actions are taken. Our trained professionals most often complete this service while verifying system data during the data collection process for arc flash or other forms of electrical analysis. The shared resource is a major value add, also reducing instances where personnel are opening energized equipment and exposed to hazards.
Electrical Preventative Maintenance
Electrical Maintenance Program
The NFPA 70E standard identifies the requirement for facility owners to have in place an Electrical Safety Program and to audit at intervals not to exceed 3 years. Let our team share their knowledge in assisting with the auditing of your ESP. This will ensure documentation and labeling from our arc flash analysis is accurately reflected in your Electrical Safety Program. If nothing is in place, don’t fret; with our experience, we know how to ask the right questions in order to author an Electrical Safety Program appropriate for your site.
Preventative maintenance of your electrical equipment is both a great idea and necessary. Manufacturers provide recommendations for routine maintenance to ensure equipment remains operational and safe. Additionally, national and international standards such as NFPA 70B and the ANSI MTS standard provide direction to perform these tasks. Effective January 2023, NFPA 70B transitioned to now be known as the Standard for Electrical Equipment Maintenance, introducing requirements for facilities to have in place an Electrical Maintenance Program (EMP) that delineates which tasks shall be performed on which equipment and at what interval. Contact our Electrical Safety team to learn more about the changes to NFPA 70B and establish a plan to get your facility up to speed.
While your system is energized and in use, Infrared Thermal Imaging inspection allows our team to understand the thermal characteristics of the components of your power system. Elevated temperatures may be a sign of loose terminations, undersized conductors, or even failing equipment. The 70B standard identifies this as an annual task for most power systems.
During a scheduled electrical outage, our team can perform preventative maintenance tasks to equipment throughout your power system. NFPA 70B and many equipment manufacturers identify a range of one to three years for tasks such as: visual inspection, cleaning, checking the torque on electrical connections, lubrication of parts, injection testing of breakers, etc.
Electrical Safety Training
Live, instructor-led training is available online using Microsoft Teams.
In-person training is available either at your facility or ours.
Recommended 10-Step Process
1. Site walkthrough
2. Onsite system data collection + infrared thermal inspection
3. System modeling and electrical analysis
4. Application of electrical hazard labels and report authoring
5. Review of report with your team
6. Mitigation of electrical hazards and remediation of NEC violations
7. Update company Electrical Safety Program and develop Electrical Maintenance Program
8. Perform de-energized preventative maintenance
9. Electrical safety training and provision of electrical hazard PPE
10. Maintaining Study: Accounting for equipment additions or removals, and 5-year review, ensuring all equipment is properly labeled.
Standard Number or Reference
National Electrical Code
Standard for Electrical Equipment Maintenance
Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
Standard Guide for Examining Electrical and Mechanical Equipment with Infrared Thermography
Product Safety Signs and Labels
Standard for Maintenance Testing Specifications
Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations
Guide for the Specification of Scope and Deliverable Requirements for an Arc-Flash Hazard Calculation Study in Accordance with IEEE Std 1584
Recommended Practice for Conducting Load-Flow Studies and Analysis of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems
Recommended Practice for Conducting Short-Circuit Studies and Analysis of Industrial and Commercial Power Systems
Standard for Safety Industrial Control Panels