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How to Read Arc Flash Labels

Arc flash labels/stickers are important safety labels that inform workers of electrical hazards and various precautions for working on live equipment. They are the result of Arc Flash Studies (see our Arc Flash page for facility requirements and if it is mandatory for you) and are attached to equipment such that they are easily visible for workers before beginning work.

Techtric Arc Flash Label
Typical Techtric Arc Flash Label


Boundaries and Hazards

At a bare minimum, Arc Flash Labels must provide a warning for workers, however good labels should provide more information that further inform and protect workers. As an example, our label above provides the following information from top to bottom:

  • Arc Flash Boundary: The maximum distance from an arc flash where someone would receive a second degree burn. Used as a guide for setting up barriers when the live equipment is being worked on.

  • Incident Energy: The measure of thermal energy of an arc fault at the given working distance. Used to determine appropriate PPE.

  • Working Distance: The assumed distance between the equipment and the worker, used for calculating the arc flash incident energy. Usually 18 inches.

  • Shock Hazard: Hazard associated with the equipment voltage level. Related to Glove Class.

  • Limited Approach Boundary: The minimum distance from the live conductors that should be maintained by people/workers not immediately working on the equipment. Used as a guide for setting up barriers when the live equipment is being worked on.

  • Restricted Approach Boundary: The distance from energized conductors in which a worker must wear insulated gloves.

  • Glove Class: Appropriate glove voltage rating class for this equipment. Based on equipment voltage.

  • Equipment Name: Name of equipment the label pertains to.

  • Feeding Device: Upstream protective device for the labelled equipment. Often a panel, circuit breaker, fused switch, or unfused switch.

  • Date Printed: Date label was created/printed. Usually close to the date the study was performed and useful for checking if the electrical system has been changed since the study.


How We Can Help

If your facility needs an Arc Flash, Short Circuit, and Coordination study done Techtric Engineering's experienced Electrical Engineers can walk through your facility and run several simulations and calculations to produce Arc Flash Labels and recommendations to improve coordination and reduce arc flash hazards.

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