PM Group’s Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) team has assisted numerous clients, from blue-chip multinationals to small indigenous firms, in complying with the ATEX regulations and we have brought added value and financial savings to these clients in the process.
There is a perception out there that ATEX compliance always costs money. This is not true and PM Group has demonstrated this in a number of recent cases.
Good housekeeping can help achieve ATEX compliance. In companies where combustible dusts are present and where dust containment and dust extraction processes are in operation, good housekeeping measures are important. Preventing dust spillages and promptly cleaning up spillages is particularly important. If it can be demonstrated that dust layers are not allowed to prevail, then such areas may not need to be zoned. This in turn means that equipment located in such areas may not need to be ATEX rated.
Many companies think that ATEX will require them to automatically replace older equipment with ATEX rated equipment. This is not true. If electrical equipment is suitably rated to the equivalent older EEx standards for the given environment, then this EEx certification is generally acceptable. For non-electrical equipment, there is often confusion because such equipment did not require certification before ATEX came into force. Some clients believe they need to replace such equipment with ATEX certified equipment and incur significant costs. A fully acceptable approach is to have documented risk assessments carried out on older non-electrical equipment in accordance with EN 15198:2007 to check that potential ignition sources are assessed and that the equipment is well designed and fit for its purpose.
A key requirement for ATEX is to have the explosive properties of the combustible powders and flammables assessed. Companies need to pay particular attention to taking representative samples of materials. For example, combustible powders which are blended with other materials in a process may become inert and be rendered incombustible. Similarly flammable liquids, when maintained at temperatures well below their flash points, may not present explosion risks.
PM Group is aware of the pitfalls associated with ATEX compliance and indeed have saved quite a few clients from incurring significant unnecessary expenditure. With our breadth of experience, we can help clients achieve ATEX compliance in accordance with the relevant safety standards and in the most cost effective manner.
For further information, please contact:
T: +353 1 404 0700
T: +353 1 404 0700