Arc-Flash Reduction Techniques

Virginia Balitski, Magna IV EngineeringColumns, Spring 2022 Columns, Tech Quiz

As NETA Certified Technicians, many of the tests and inspections performed may expose workers to electrical hazards. ANSI/NETA MTS, Standard for Maintenance Testing Specifications for Electrical Power Equipment & Systems specifies that individuals performing these tests shall be qualified and capable of conducting the tests in a safe manner and with complete knowledge of the hazards involved.

One of these hazards is arc flash. This quiz will look at some arc-flash reduction techniques. First, let’s start with identifying the arc-flash hazard.

  1. Which two factors are used to assess risk when performing a risk assessment?
    a. Awareness, self-discipline
    b. Job safety planning, job briefing
    c. Likelihood, severity
    d. Policies, procedures
  2. If an arc-flash hazard is identified during a risk assessment, which option is the first choice to mitigate the risk associated with the hazard?
    a. Elimination
    b. PPE
    c. Engineering controls
    d. Administrative controls

Now let’s move on to some arc-flash reduction techniques.

  1. Arc-flash incident energy calculations are dependent on which factor?
    a. Frame size of the circuit breaker
    b. Protective device clearing time
    c. Age of the switchgear
    d. Limited approach boundary
  2. Which method can be utilized as an arc-reduction technique to lower the fault clearing time?
    a. Remote racking
    b. Energy-reducing maintenance switch
    c. Arc-resistant switchgear
    d. Remote operation
  3. Which type of protective relay typically utilizes light sensors?
    a. Overcurrent relay
    b. Undervoltage relay
    c. Lockout relay
    d. Arc-flash detection relay
  4. What are some additional methods that can be used as arc-flash reduction techniques?
    a. Finger-safe components
    b. IR scanning windows
    c. Permanently mounted absence of voltage tester
    d. All of the above



Virginia Balitski, CET, Manager – Training and Development, has worked for Magna IV Engineering since 2006. Virginia started her career as a Field Service Technologist and achieved NETA Level 4 Senior Technician certification. She has since dedicated her time to the advancement of training and safety in the electrical industry. She is a Certified Engineering Technologist through ASET – The Association of Science & Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta. Virginia is current Vice-Chair of CSA Z462, Workplace Electrical Safety, is a member of the NFPA 70E, Electrical Safety in the Workplace Technical Committee, and serves on the NETA Board of Directors.