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DGUV Information 203-077e - Thermal hazards due to electric ...
DGUV Information 203-077e - Thermal hazards due to electric fault arcing Guide for selecting Personal protective equipment (DGUV Information 203-077)
Titel: Thermal hazards due to electric fault arcing Guide for selecting Personal protective equipment (DGUV Information 203-077)
Normgeber: Bund
Redaktionelle Abkürzung: DGUV Information 203-077e
Gliederungs-Nr.: [keine Angabe]
Normtyp: Satzung

Thermal hazards due to electric fault arcing
Guide for selecting Personal protective equipment
(DGUV Information 203-077)


string DGUV
Deutsche Gesetzliche

Stand der Vorschrift: Juli 2021

Table of contents Abschnitt
Preliminary remarks  
Scope of application 1
Definitions 2
Performing the Risk Assessment 3
Evaluation phases 3.1
Case-by-case evaluation 3.2
Procedures for selecting PPEaA 4
Overview of the estimation process 4.1
Estimation process for AC installations 4.2
Work environment parameters 4.2.1
Determination of system electric arc energy in the event of a fault 4.2.2
Determining the PPEaA protection level for the work situation 4.2.3
Selection of PPEaA 4.2.4
Estimation process for DC installations 4.3
General calculation methodology 4.3.1
Rough estimation based on reference values (worst-case considerations) 4.3.2
Hints for practical implementation 5
Directives, Regulation, Literature Annex 1
EU Directives and RegulationsA 1.1
Provisions, Rules and Information for occupational safety and healthA 1.2
Standards/VDE provisionsA 1.3
LiteratureA 1.4
Standardization of PPEaA against the thermal effects of electric fault arcing Annex 2
Standardization for protective clothingA 2.1
Standards originating in Europe for testing protective clothingA 2.2
Standards originating in America for testing protective clothingA 2.3
Standardization for other types of PPEaAA 2.4
Standards originating in EuropeA 2.4.1
Standards originating outside the EUA 2.4.2
Requirements for proper selectionA 2.5
Parameters and risk analysis of thermal hazards to persons due to electric arcing Annex 3
General Preliminary remarksA 3.1
Energetic parameters for thermal hazards to persons due to electric arcingA 3.2
Methods for determining W arc and W arc, prot A 3.3
Work stepsA 3.4
Ascertain the general operating conditionsA 3.4.1
Calculate the short-circuit currents at the work places under studyA 3.4.2
Determine the short-circuit duration (arc duration)A 3.4.3
Determine the expected value of electric arc energyA 3.4.4
Determine the working distanceA 3.4.5
Determine the Arc protection level of the PPEaAA 3.4.6
Consider the divergent exposure relationshipsA 3.4.7
Using the analysis results for the Risk assessmentA 3.4.8
Alternative test methodsA 3.5
Application of the Risk matrix Annex 4
GeneralA 4.1
Evaluation of the anticipated severity of injuryA 4.2
Evaluation of the probability of occurrenceA 4.3
Examples Annex 5
Example 5.1: Low voltage distribution in a transformer station (Work location 1)A 5.1
Example 5.2: Low voltage cable (Work location 2)A 5.2
Example 5.3: House junction box (Work location 3)A 5.3
Example 5.4: Electrical installation behind the house junction box (Work location 4)A 5.4
Example 5.5: Removal of NH fuse-linksA 5.5
Example 5.6: Industrial distributorA 5.6
Example 5.7: Switching on systems of older design, not tested for electric fault arcingA 5.7
Example 5.8: Working on DC installations (UPS)A 5.8
Working in the vicinity of a battery or directly on the battery cells (Work location 1)A 5.8.1
Working in the vicinity of the inverter (DC intermediate circuit, Work location 2)A 5.8.2
Example 5.9: Working on DC installations (traction network))A 5.9
Exemplary work locations for determining transmission factor k T Annex 6
Coordination of PPEaA and pre-fuses Annex 7
Practical rules of application for the coordinated selection of PPEaA and backup fuseA 7.1
Selection matrixA 7.2
Line protection fusesA 7.3
Transformer protection fusesA 7.4
Safe-work fusesA 7.5
Minimum overcurrent factorA 7.6
Permissible fuse trip timesA 7.7
Selection guide worksheets Annex 8

Preliminary remarks

This DGUV Information brochure is intended to support employers in their selection of suitable personal protective equipment (e.g. protective clothing, head and face protection and gloves) against the thermal effects of an electric fault arc (PPEaA).

Persons working on or in the vicinity of live electrical equipment are, in principle, exposed to hazards associated with electric fault arcing. Electric arcs are rare, yet cannot be eliminated completely in the working environment, meaning that persons therein will require reliable protection. Arcing is not only induced by short circuiting, but can also occur when two current-carrying components are separated from each other (e.g. installation/removal of circuit protectors while under load).

The T-O-P principle for occupational safety should be used when evaluating thermal hazards and determining the measures to apply against electric fault arcing. This means that the use of personal measures (PPEaA) is viewed as being subordinate to technical and organizational measures. PPEaA is intended to minimize the remaining residual risk after the technical and organizational measures aimed at preventing an electric arc occurrence have been implemented.

Depending on the electrical network and equipment configuration, electric arcing can be extremely hazardous:

  • High levels of thermal energy.

  • Shock waves and associated fragments released by the explosive propagation of an arc flash.

  • High intensity electromagnetic radiation, particularly in the ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation bands, but also in the visible light band, which can lead to irreversible damage to the eyes and skin.

  • High levels of acoustic shock (blast).

  • Toxic gases and particles produced by melting and vaporized materials in the vicinity of the arc flash (including electrodes)

Each consequence can, by itself, endanger the health and even the life of a person in proximity of the occurrence.

The most serious personal risks are associated with the thermal effects of electric fault arcing.

The PPEaA selection process used in this DGUV Information is based on the standardized Box test method according to DIN EN 61482-1-2 (VDE 0682-306-1-2) [11].

The procedures related to the selection of PPEaA tested in accordance with DIN EN 61482-1-1 (VDE 0682-306-1-1) [10] have already been described in NFPA 70E [14] and IEEE 1584-2018 [15]. For this reason, they are not addressed in this DGUV Information.

Furthermore, an overview of the PPEaA selection process is included in the ISSA (International Social Security Association) "Guideline for the selection of personal protective equipment when exposed to the thermal effects of an electric fault arc" (2nd edition 2011) [26].

It is recommended to perform a Risk assessment in order to evaluate the hazards associated with electric fault arcing and to facilitate subsequent PPEaA selection. In addition to the potential severity of damage, the probability of injury due to electric arcing should also be considered as part of the analysis. Section 3 of this DGUV Information describes the approaches that can be taken with respect to the thermal effects of electric arcing.

Comprehensive examples in Annex 5 as well as exemplary depictions of work locations in Annex 6 support those who apply this DGUV Information with implementation of the Risk assessment and with the calculation process. Practical rules to apply when coordinating the selection of PPEaA with pre-fused circuits (Annex 7) point the way to finding suitable PPEaA based on the fuses used or selected.


Published by:
German Statutory Accident
Insurance registered association (DGUV)

Glinkastraße 40
10117 Berlin
Telephone: +49 30 13001-0 (switchboard)
E-Mail: info@dguv.de
Internet: www.dguv.de

Subcommittee Electrical and Precision Engineering of Expert Committee Energy Textile
Electrical Media products sectors (ETEM) of DGUV

The present DGUV Information is the translation of the German edition.
No liability is accepted for translation errors.

DGUV Information 203-077 (former number 203-078)
Obtainable from: your accident insurance institution, or at
www.dguv.de/publikationen Webcode: p203077

Cover, Figs. A 5-6, A 5-8, A 5-10, A 5-11, A 6-1, A 6-3, A 6-5 © Viktor Strasse;
Fig. A 2-1 © Dr. Holger Schau, TU Ilmenau;
Fig. A 2-2, A 2-4, A 5-2, A 6-6 © BSD GmbH;
Fig. 2-5 © Paulson Intl Ltd;
Fig. A 3-1, A 5-17, A 5-18, A 5-19, A 5-20, A 5-22 © Infraserv GmbH & Co. Höchst KG;
Fig. A 5-14 © Michael Schäfer;
Fig. A 6-2, A 6-4 © Thomas Lanzki