Arc Flash Standards

Standard: IEC 61482-2

IEC 61482-2 is the overall standard covering protective clothing against thermal arc hazards of an electric arc. This standard also covers various aspects of the garment design. Garments complying with all of these requirements should be marked with the IEC 61482-2 symbol as well as the level of protection it meets.



IEC 61482




Open Arc Test Method (IEC 61482-1-1)
IEC 61482-1-1 is the Open Arc Test Method. It indicates the energy level required to get heat passage in the garment with a 50% risk of causing a 2nd degree burn determining the ATPV level (Arc Thermal Performance Value) of the garment. The basic principle is that the Garment ATPV must be higher than the Arc Flash energy level as calculated. The Arc Rating is expressed in Cal/cm2 (or small calories of heat energy per square centimetre).

2. BOX TEST METHOD (IEC 61482-1-2)

Box Test Method (IEC 61482-1-2)
IEC 61482-1-2 is the Box Test Method. It determines the Class Rating of the garment. The Arc rating Class 1 – 4kA or Class 2 – 7kA is evaluated in a test with a limited and directional Arc. The result is then approved or not approved.

It is important to ensure that all garments are fully tested and comply with all the requirements of IEC 61482-2.


Arc Rating:

  • The Arc Rating is the maximum incident energy resistance demonstrated by a material prior to break open (EBT – Energy Breakopen Threshold i.e., a hole in the material) or necessary to pass through and cause with 50% probability a second- or third-degree burn.
  • The HAF (Heat Attenuation Factor) is the measurement of the percentage of energy that is blocked by the material or material system.
  • Arc Rating is normally expressed in Cal/cm² (or small calories of heat energy per square centimetre).

Note – an appropriately arc rated Helmet, Visor and Gloves are also required.

Revision of Symbols & Standards:

In 2019, IEC 61482-2 was revised and has been updated with a new symbol/pictogram and a new value: ELIM

All new flame-retardant garments from autumn 2019 will be tested according to the new version and will have an ELIM value

ELIM (Incident Energy Limit) is a new value for open arc testing.
ELIM replaces ATPV and EBT.
ELIM indicates the energy level to which the garment may be exposed with a 0% risk of a second-degree burn (i.e., ATPV and EBT indicate a 50% risk of a burn).
The ELIM value therefore has a lower calorific value than ATPV and EBT.

Ongoing update and recertification of existing flame garments is underway with the aim of being completed in 2021


The IEEE 1584 Standard was developed to help to protect personnel against Arc Flash Hazard Dangers. Once calculated, the predicted incident energy and arc current are used in determining and selecting appropriate overcurrent protective devices and PPE. The incident energy, category of PPE, flash protection boundary as well as approach limits for shock protection can all become part of the detailed arc flash label.

We can recommend an independent company to you, who are experts in Arc Flash Studies, to carry out your Risk Assessment and calculate the Arc Rating required for you. For more information call us on 057 866 2162 or email us at