The economic benefits of the arc flash study

by Nov 20, 2018Electrical Safety

The economics benefits of the arc flash study


A regular update of the incident energy study (arc flash) could prove economical in the long run


An incident energy (arc flash) study allows knowledge of the real incident energy level and the robustness of protective equipment: breakers and fuses. If an enterprise has never done an arc flash study, a first incident energy study could reveal several defects and prove to be very costly for the replacement of safety equipment. Indeed, replacement of breakers is quite expensive, especially if they need to resist high short-circuit currents. Also, if there are recent breakers that don’t have a sufficient breaking capacity, these will need to be replaced and will require additional costs. It is important to understand that these are long-term investments that will reduce the risk of electrical fires and will improve the safety of the electrical installation.


In the long term, a regular update of the incident energy study will allow selection of protective equipment, breakers or fuses, that are adequate for new apparatus. Also, incident energy level warning labels allow qualified persons to quickly know the PPE to be worn before any live work where there are risks for electrical arc flashes


In some plants, the incident energy level is low enough to use, at most, category 2 PPE at the output of the main breaker(s). Indeed, without a study of incident energy, it would not be possible to estimate this energy level and the qualified person would have to wear category 4 PPE for the live work to comply with the CSA Z462-18 standard. It is therefore more expensive to equip all qualified persons with category 2 and 4 PPE than to simply equip them with category 2 PPE knowing that they have a sufficient arc rating to provide the right protection.


For more details on incident energy studies, you can consult the blog on them :


Do not hesitate to contact us for more information!

Tell us about your needs and an expert will answer you!

Intervention Prévention Inc.

Intervention Prévention concentrates its operations in the field of work safety, offering specialized services following Standards CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety, CSA Z460 – Control of Hazardous Energy: Lock-out and Other Methods, and CSA Z432 – Safeguarding of Machinery.


137-2020 rue André-Labadie
Beloeil (Québec)
J3G 0W6