Authorized Rockwell Automation Distributor

Shop Rockwell Automation Products

Rockwell Automation Company Banner

Rockwell Automation is a leader in automation. The company's domain expertise is built on decades of work across all industries and all regions of the world. They understand the factory floor and the business models that make it the most productive - and are fluent in the real-world production challenges customers face. Rockwell Automation also knows how to identify critical data, what it means and how to make it useful to industrial and enterprise users.

Rely on Rockwell Automation to provide a full scope of capabilities to deliver the solutions and services you need now and in the future.


Show All


Build a Strong Electrical Foundation

  • Sep 7, 2021, 12:34 PM

Safety continues to be at the forefront of industrial applications. However, a high frequency of serious electrical injuries and fatalities still occur around electrical equipment. In addition to the harm they do to workers, they also result in high monetary losses associated with damaged property and production losses. 

Foundation for Safety

The need for guidance in promoting safety of both people and property through effective electrical equipment maintenance was identified decades ago. Around 1968, the National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA®) Board of Directors authorized the formation of a new NFPA committee with representation from equipment manufacturers, installers, inspectors, users, maintenance contractors and engineers. 

The group also included representatives from safety, labor and insurance organizations along with representatives of other National Electrical Code® (NEC®) and NFPA committees.

The committee’s goal was "to develop suitable texts relating to preventive maintenance of electrical systems and equipment used in industrial-type applications with the view of reducing loss of life and property.”

At the time the committee was created, failure to perform maintenance at regular intervals or where maintenance wasn’t done properly on electrical equipment attributed to a high frequency of electrical accidents. These electrical incidents resulted in fatalities and serious injuries and had a high monetary impact due to loss of property and production.

The committee determined the best way to break down electrical safety information was to divide it into four topics: 

1. Product design or product standards
2. Installation standards
3. Maintenance recommendations
4. Use of product instructions

Though this approach to electrical safety was first introduced in the late 1960s, it still provides good, foundational guidance for improving safety. By focusing on these four areas of electrical safety, you can feel more confident in your plan to reduce arc-flash incidents.

1. Product Design or Product Standards

Safety starts with product selection. Regulatory bodies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the NFPA both include detailed codes and regulations for electrical equipment installations. By selecting products designed to meet or exceed the safety standards you have selected for your facility, you can greatly increase worker safety.

2. Installation Standards

The purpose of the NEC is to provide practical safeguarding of people and property from electrical hazards. Meeting that goal requires a safe and appropriate electrical installation. Article 110, within the NEC, is focused on providing the specific details around an installation that’s safe for not only the installers, but also the maintenance electricians who follow.

Every equipment vendor will provide specifics around the required methods for proper installation and electrical connections to their equipment, whether low voltage or medium voltage. Most will provide suitable spaces and grounding locations, to install the control and the line and load cable connections into a piece of electrical equipment or a line-up of switchgear or motor control centers (MCCs).

However, never assume the configurations are the same between vendors or even between equipment from the same vendor. Always refer to the installation section of the user documentation provided by the equipment vendor, for each piece of equipment.

Also, a good practice is to provide the installation details or sections from those documents to any contracted service provider before they provide a quote for the equipment installation. This sets specific expectations for a successful installation and provides the installation-specific details.

3. Maintenance Recommendations

Performing the correct maintenance on all the unique pieces of equipment is challenging. Equipment often can be various ages and versions and from varied suppliers, which can create confusion. To avoid arc flashes, it’s important to follow the maintenance instructions for each piece of equipment in the facility.

4. Use of Product Instructions

Selecting products designed to achieve safety standards won’t be effective if operators disregard product-specific instructions. Just as it’s important to follow specific maintenance instructions without generalizing, it’s also important for operators to follow each products’ instructions. Failure to do so increases the risk of dangers, such as arc flash incidents. An assumption on a simple maintenance item, such as the expectation that generic lubricants can be used generically across all vendor products, could inject significant equipment risk.

Focusing on these four areas for electrical safety information can help you feel more confident in your approach to helping reduce arc-flash incidents.

Shop for electrical safety products, or learn more about SMC's customized service plan to help reduce risk in your organization. 

Article Source: Rockwell Automation