Arc Flash Study: Is It A Legal Requirement?

Published 20 Sep 2019

Arc Flash Study

andrew linley

Andrew Linley, Compliance Director at Electrical Safety UK Limited

The following article about the need to carry out an Arc Flash Study has been produced by Andrew Linley, Compliance Director at Electrical Safety UK Limited. Special thanks for the permission to re-publish your article.

Andrew has vast experience in electrical installation, maintenance and the requirements and the practicalities of electrical inspection, testing and certification. At Electrical Safety UK Limited, they provide expert consultancy and advice for organisations across Europe concerned with the safe management of risk associated with all electrical work activities.

Is arc flash study a legal requirement?

The simple answer is yes…

An arc flash study needs to be carried out by an electrical safety expert, to determine hazards and risks in electrical systems. The need to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment, and to put measures in place to protect those who could be put at risk, is mandated by the following regulations:

  • Regulation 4(1) – the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  • Regulation 3(1) – the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Regulationsarc flash warning danger industry electrical

Regulation 4(1) of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 states ‘All systems shall at all times be of such construction as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, danger’.

Regulation 2(1) of the same regulations defines danger as meaning the risk of injury and ‘injury means the death or personal injury from electric shock, electric burn, electrical explosion or arcing, or from fire or explosion initiated by electrical energy, where any such death or injury is associated with the generation, provision, transmission, transformation, rectification, conversion, conduction, distribution, control, storage, measurement or use of electrical energy’.

Electricity poses arc flash hazards, and the risks posed are electric shock, burns, fires, arcing and explosion.

firefighters putting out electrical fire

We demonstrate the need for Arc Flash Study and Arc Flash Protection

Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states ‘every employer shall make suitable and sufficient assessment of (a) the risks to  the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work; and (b) the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking, for the purpose of identifying the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements of and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions and by Part II of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997’.

Conducting arc flash studies

It has been established that we need to conduct arc flash studies of the workplace to determine risks and hazards, but how exactly are they conducted?

The on-site evaluation results in fault current and coordination analysis, fault equipment labelling, recommendations for improvements and requirements for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). An arc flash study can be carried out by several organisations, including Electrical Safety Uk Ltd.

Further reading

IEEE 1584 Arc Flash Standard


Electrical Safety UK Ltd

Electrical Safety Management is our core business. We provide expert consultancy and advice for blue chip organisations across Europe concerned with the safe management of risk associated with all electrical work activities. ESUK provide a multi-faceted holistic approach including a full electrical safety management program, project management and policy documentation all bespoke to the client’s requirements including fully accredited and bespoke training courses and personnel assessment programmes.

Here at Electrical Safety UK, our team delivers a range of professional services to customers in a variety of market sectors. The team prides itself on the quality of the services it delivers to companies at the heart of manufacturing, engineering, energy, food production and education in the UK and Europe.

ESUK Services include:

1 Electrical Safety Management – Specialist consultancy and advice concerned with the safe management of risk associated with all electrical work activities. ESUK offer a multi-faceted approach including a full electrical safety management program, full project management and policy documentation bespoke to a client’s requirements.

2 Electrical System Studies – ESUK is the UK’s foremost exponent of Arc Flash Technology and carry out a wide range of power system studies, including Fault Level Analysis to IEC and ANSI standards, Protection Coordination, and complex Arc Flash Risk Assessments.

3 Training – ESUK offer both accredited and bespoke training courses including City & Guilds, IOSH, Safety Pass Alliance, Energy and Utility Skills. ESUK are also registered with the EEIAS and CIPD for recognition and accreditation of bespoke training courses.

Contact Details

Electrical Safety (UK) Limited
2 Genesis Business Park
Sheffield Road
Rotherham
S60 1DX
Tel: 0800 652 1124
Tel: 01709 961 666
Email: info@elecsafety.co.uk


Thorne & Derrick

Thorne & Derrick are national distributors of LV, MV & HV Cable Installation, Jointing, Substation & Electrical Equipment – servicing businesses involved in cabling, jointing, substation, earthing, overhead line and electrical construction at LV, 11kV, 33kV, 66kV and EHV. Supplying a complete range of power cable accessories to support the installation and maintenance of low/medium and high voltage power systems:

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  • Separable Connectors (Euromold)
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