Are arc flash labels required?

One of the best ways to keep people safe from the threat of an arc flash is to ensure they aren’t in the area should one occur. Or, if they must be in the area, that they are wearing the proper personal protection equipment. In order to do that, OSHA requires that employers use arc flash labels on any systems where a dangerous flash may occur.

Requirements for Arc Flash Labels

OSHA has outlined a number of different requirements when it comes to labeling areas where arc flashes could occur. Each label must include information on the voltage, current, wattage, and other ratings that are needed. In addition, the labels or signs must make it clear that it is a warning and that danger is present. This will typically come in the form of the word WARNING written in larger letters at the top of the sign of label.

On the label, the list of potential risks should also be written. This will typically include burns, fire, failure of electrical machinery, electrical shock, and more. The label, when properly understood, will provide those in the area with the information they need to make sure they either avoid the area entirely, or if they must enter the area, that they will wear proper personal protection equipment and take great care with what they are doing.

Optional Information

While OSHA has specific information they require on arc flash labels, many companies will also put up secondary labels to provide additional guidance. For example, labels near an entrance to an area where an arc flash may occur may remind people that they need to be wearing personal protection equipment. It could also tell people to keep out without proper authorization. In the end, good labeling can help to save lives and keep an entire facility safe.

Creating the Proper Labels

Most facilities today that need arc flash labels will simply print off their own as they are needed. This is done with an industrial label printer and software that will allow them to create custom labels. Using this type of setup, companies can always be sure that they have exactly what labels they need to remain in compliance with OSHA and other regulatory agencies.


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