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Arc Flash Standards - Australian Developments

Paper Abstract 

Across the world, Arc Flash Hazard studies have emerged as a engineering service centred around two standards, IEEE 1584 and NFPA 70E. The first is the only available standard on arc hazard quantification but soon after publication was shown to be fundamentally incorrect through the research of Stokes & Sweeting (1). The second standard forms part of North America‟s equivalent to the Australian Wiring Rules. Neither standard is appropriate for the Australian workplace but in the absence of technical direction from the IEC, these documents have now become de-facto arc flash standards for Australian industry, particularly across the local operations of multinational companies. An array of arc flash software tools based around these standards has produced new opportunities for consulting engineers however it would seem even without considering the IEEE 1584 problems, basic power engineering principals have been overlooked. Namely: the relationship of switchgear segregation with arc propagation and identification of protection clearing location; the risk assessment process to match various activities with appropriate hazard controls; the treatment of multiple sources, staged protection clearing and motor contribution; the correct application of the hierarchy of controls; the roles of PPE.

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