Jim Phillips

Freelance Writer

Jim Phillips, P.E., founder of www.brainfiller.com and www.ArcFlashForum.com, conducts training programs globally and is the author of the book “Complete Guide to Arc Flash Hazard Calculation Studies.” He is Secretary of the IEEE 1584 Arc Flash Working Group and International Chair of IEC TC78 Live Working.

Articles by Jim Phillips

March 2015
Electrical systems have posed hazards since they were introduced more than 100 years ago. Although evaluating these hazards and identifying the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is a major task of electrical safety programs, the risk associated with the hazards is frequently overlooked. It’s more than just the hazard READ MORE
  • Obtain the 2015 edition of NFPA 70E

January 2015
New Year’s Resolutions are easy to make but difficult to keep. There is still time to make a few late resolutions. Here are 10 such resolutions for electrical safety that should be made (and kept) for 2015. They may just save a life.
 Obtain the 2015 edition of NFPA 70E
November 2014
An arc-flash study should not be thought of simply as an item that needs to be checked off the list. However, many people still view it this way. It is not unusual to hear, “I don’t completely understand what an arc-flash study is, but I need one,” or “Can’t you just provide us with a typical study?”
September 2014
Silence! Production came to a screeching halt. Except for a few faint alarms in the distance, an eerie quiet fell over a large part of the facility. It was quite an ominous sight to see the emergency lights attempting to penetrate the darkness from the power outage.
  • Arc rating only

September 2014
“What do you mean we need to relabel the electrical equipment? Didn’t we just do this a few years ago?”
July 2014
Attorney: “Can you tell us how Mr. Smith died?”
 Witness: “There was an electrical explosion. Something went wrong when he was working on the panel. A big fireball shot out that caught his clothing on fire. It was horrible.”
 Attorney: “Was Mr. Smith qualified to be performing that particular task?”
May 2014
Everyone tenses up in anticipation as they hear the countdown, “three, two, one.” Then there’s an extremely loud BOOM and blinding light. Sparks fly everywhere, and smoke fills the test area. Laughter and perhaps even a high five frequently follow. 
May 2014
Deja vu? Déjà vu is that feeling you get when you think you have seen or done something before. NFPA 70E is giving us all déjà vu since it was just three short years ago, in 2011, that we were analyzing changes for the upcoming 2012 edition (see “It’s Almost Here,” May 2011 at www.ECmag.com). It’s time for that feeling once again as we move toward completion of the 2015 edition.
 What's new? READ MORE
  • System upgrades, short-circuit current

March 2014
It goes up. It goes down. Sometimes, it is thought to be infinite (although it isn’t), and other times, it seems impossible to find. The available short-circuit current from the electric utility is one of the more important pieces of information for an arc flash hazard calculation study. READ MORE