Arc Flash Calculation – Selecting Clothing & PPE To Protect Lives Against Arc Hazard

Published 20 Sep 2017

  • by Chris Dodds T&D - estimated reading time 8 minutes
Arc Flash Calculation

“30,000 Arc Flash Incidents per year”  Source: ISHN

We recently asked Hugh Hoagland (Managing Partner at ArcWear & to recommend the 3 most effective and reliable software packages for Calculating Arc Flash Risk & Hazard in accordance with NFPA 70E and IEEE 1584.ƒ1

e-Hazard USA are the industry leader in electrical safety training based on the latest NFPA 70E Standard providing arc flash testing, electrical safety and arc flash training for companies across the globe.

Hugh recommended the following Arc Flash Hazard, Risk Assessment, Clothing & PPE software packages: SKM, Easy Power and Kinetrics – we overview them and provide further information links to all 3 including free demonstration packages.

Arc flash clothing and PPE requirements are often panic rather than planned purchases – most often contractors are over-spending on arc flash protective clothing only to arrive on site to carry out work tasks requiring manual dexterity in cumbersome arc flash suits of armour. Hampered, overheating and under pressure to work safely in high voltage substations.

Arc Flash Protection Switchgear Substations

Electrical engineers must wear appropriate level of arc flash protection when working on low, medium or high voltage electrical switchgear, panels and equipment.

Consequently, it is rare for a specific site risk assessment or arc flash hazard calculation to have been carried out. Contractors therefore default to a “worst case” scenario with decision making clouded by the online plethora of inconsistent product recommendations often motivated more by commercial intent rather than the provision of worker safety.

We hope this information will enable better forward planning by contractors to minimise arc flash hazards by selecting the most appropriate level of protective clothing and utilising an arc flash sofware calculator.

As leading UK distributors of arc flash clothing, we are committed to supporting the observance and implementation of electrical safety and managing arc flash risk in hazardous and high voltage working environments.

Arc Flash Clothing Protection PPE

Arc Flash | Jackets | Coveralls | Trousers | Sweatshirts | Helmets | Gloves ProGARM

Arc flash can occur during live cable jointing, phasing in operations, racking in and out of switchgear, reclosing of electrical switchgear onto a fault, switchgear failure, excavating near live cables or accidental contact with live conductors during maintenance.

Arc Flash Calculators

1. SKM Systems AnalysisSKM Arc Flash Hazard Calculator

Arc Flash Hazard Calculator

ArcCalc calculates the incident energy and arc flash boundary for any point in a power system be it low, medium or high voltage.

Minimum and maximum arcing short circuit currents are calculated using broad tolerances to provide conservative results with estimated system data.

ArcCalc saves time by automatically determining trip times from the protective device settings. Incident energy, arc flash boundaries and Arc Flash PPE clothing are calculated following the NFPA 70E and IEEE 1584 standards. More information.

SKM Arc Flash Tutorial & Arc Flash Assessment


2. Easy PowerEasyPower - Arc Flash Hazard Calculator

Arc Flash Analysis Software

Easy Power arc flash software provides the most comprehensive productivity configuration for conducting arc flash analysis and ensuring full compliance with OSHA and NFPA 70E requirements.

Whether you’re designing electrical power systems, analyzing arc flash hazards, selecting suitable arc flash clothing or implementing an electrical safety program, this is software configuration can assist. More information – Download Free Demo.

EasyPower Arc Flash Analysis Intro : Automated Power System Design and Analysis


3. Kinetrics Kinetrics - Arc Flash Calculator

ARCPRO™ Arc Hazard Assessment, Clothing & PPE Selection

ARCPRO™ has become the industry’s most widely-used application for computing arc hazards and selecting protective clothing for single arc situations, particularly for High Voltage Transmission and Distribution applications not addressed by other methods.

Kinectrics ARCPRO™ calculates the thermal parameters of electrical arcs and is designed to provide users with data regarding heat exposure, total heat flux and heat energy on a surface at various distances from an electric arc.

The software is used to predict the potential arc hazard in a particular work environment and provide basis for specifying the appropriate level of PPE and clothing to protect against arc flash hazards. More information.


Arc Flash Incident (Property of CATU Electrical)

ƒ1 IEEE Std 1584-2002 (Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations) is a standard of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers that provides a method of calculating the incident energy of arc flash event – purchase copy of IEEE 1584.

Arc Flash PPE – The Last Line Of Defence

“PPE is the last item on the list when putting in place arc incident control measures. Your arc flash risk assessment should measure the severity of the hazard (incident energy levels) and then look how that incident energy can be minimised. You should then consider what activities you carry out that could expose you to any residual arc flash risk that may be controlled with PPE”, Paul Hopton (Principal Electrical Consultant at Electrical Safety UK Limited).

Can Arc Flash Clothing Save Cable Jointers Lives?


Arc Flash Learning & Resources

Arc Flash

Thorne and Derrick are proud to be distributors of ProGARM arc flash coveralls and protection.

We can help – should you require arc flash calculators or advice on the type of clothing and protection available please do not hesitate to contact us.

Arc Flash Trousers Category 2 10 Cal Hi Vis Orange Arc Flash Trousers Category 2 9 Cal Arc Flash Trousers Category 2 9.5 Cal Arc Flash Lineman Coverall Category 2 9.5 Cal
ProGARM 4690 Coverall ProGARM 4616 Trouser ProGARM 5816 Trouser ProGARM 7638 Trouser ProGARM 6458 Coverall
Arc Flash Trousers Category 2 9.5 Cal Hi Vis Yellow Arc Flash Coveralls Category 2 9.5 Cal Hi Vis Yellow Arc Flash Polo Shirt Category 1 Hi Vis Orange Arc Flash Coveralls Category 2 12 Cal Arc Flash Polo Shirt Category 1 Hi Vis Yellow
ProGARM 7418 Trouser ProGARM 7480 Coverall ProGARM 5290 Polo Shirt ProGARM 6444 Coverall ProGARM 5286 Polo Shirt

T&D Logo

Electrical Safety UK

ESUK is a specialist company concerned with the safe management of risk associated with all LV & HV electrical work activities. Having pioneered the European approach to Arc Flash Hazard assessment and management, ESUK have a proven track record in ensuring that clients comply with their local law in the most cost effective way.

THORNE & DERRICK are national distributors of LV, MV & HV Cable Installation, Duct Sealing, Jointing & Substation Electrical Safety Equipment – we service UK and global businesses involved in cable installations, cable jointing, substation, overhead line and electrical construction at LV, 11kV, 33kV and EHV.

Since 1985, T&D have established an international reputation based on SERVICE | INTEGRITY | TRUST.

Arc Flash Protection


Thorne & Derrick invite you to join LinkedIn’s largest LV-HV Electrical Discussion Group : Low & High Voltage Power, Cabling, Jointing & Electricals. Discussion subjects include cable installations, cable jointing, earthing and lightning protection, substation, overhead line and electrical construction at LV, 11kV, 33kV and EHV. Network, engage and promote your profile, company or products with over 10,000 influencers.

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Further Reading