Have you reviewed your ATEX & EPD recently? - Chris Mee Group | CMSE

Have you reviewed your ATEX & EPD recently?

What are the ATEX Directives?

The term “ATEX” applies to atmospheres that are potentially explosive due to the possible presence of dusts vapours or gases that are likely to ignite or explode.

There are two Directives from the European Commission dealing with this phenomenon.

  1. ATEX Directive No.94/9/EC is concerned with products that may be supplied for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The directive is transposed into Irish legislation by SI No 83 of 1999 European Communities (Equipment & Protective Systems Intended for use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1999.
  2. ATEX Directive1999/92/EC deals with the precautions to be taken in workplaces where explosive atmospheres might be present due to flammable dusts vapours or gases (or mixtures of these). This directive is transposed into Irish legislation by Part 8 of the 2007 Safety Health & Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations

The Regulations originally allowed a transposition period which has now expired.  Therefore, the Regulations now apply to all workplaces.

What are the employer‘s duties under this Directive?

S.I. No. 299/2007 – Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007

PART 8: Explosive Atmospheres at Places of Work

Assessment of explosion risk and explosion protection document.

  1. (2) Having carried out an assessment under and in accordance with this Regulation, an employer shall—
  • Prepare an explosion protection document, as soon as practicable and before the commencement of work,
  • Revise that document as necessary if the workplace, work equipment or organisation of work undergoes significant changes, extensions or conversions,

Prevention against explosion.

  1. An employer shall—
  • review the foregoing measures regularly and whenever significant changes occur,

What is an EPD?

An EPD is an explosion protection document which contains the findings of a risk assessment of any work activity involving flammable/or explosive atmospheres. It may be incorporated or at least referenced in the Safety Statement, be part of other risk assessment documentation or included in the Safety Report for those establishments subject to the European Communities (Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances) Regulations.

It must detail:

  • Technical or organisational measures so as to reduce or prevent the risk of explosions (as set out in Schedule 2) and measures used to mitigate the effects of an explosion.
  • The operation of early warning devices.
  • Training instruction and supervision given to workers who work in places where an explosive or flammable atmosphere may occur.
  • Operational procedures, maintenance, operation of permits to work, and co-ordination between employers.
  • Classified places (according to Schedule 1) where explosions may occur called hazardous zones and detail marking of areas as well as location.
  • Means of escape in the event of an explosion.
  • The properties of substances that present an explosion hazard.
  • Selection and use of suitable equipment for use in hazardous zones including certification and calibration documents.
  • Equipment used that is CE marked and in compliance with S.I. 83 OF 1999 (the ATEX product Regulations).
  • How often the EPD is reviewed and when is it due to be reviewed again.

Should the ATEX or EPD be revisited and reviewed?

Today’s socio-technical systems are subject to rapid changes. New technologies are introduced every day and the available equipment in market will be subject to modifications, upgrades and etc. Organisations shall consider this issue seriously and commit to safety by revisiting the ATEX and EPD on a regular bases to ensure that no changes have been introduced and the most up-to-date measures are in place and all risks are under control.

How CMSE Consultancy can help?

CMSE Consultancy provides a top quality ATEX consultancy and support service to our clients nationwide. We have extensive ATEX experience and a proven track record in providing these services across many industrial sectors. Our ATEX consultants have both process and electrical safety expertise which makes our solutions both legally compliant and beneficial from the perspective of potential cost reductions and savings.

How CMSE will perform the review?

At CMSE Consultancy, our consultants will perform Explosion Safety Management Review for defined areas and activities within the plant. By carrying out an on-site walk-through inspection of the plant our Process Safety Engineers will identify possible lapses in order to control the explosion hazard in the workplace.

Moreover, an in-depth review will be used to ensure that the plant and the equipment, as well as the operating and maintenance procedures, comply with the design intent and ATEX standards to minimise and control the explosion risk. The review will include interviews with employees working on the process plant as, including operators, managers and maintenance workers.

Our professionals, will apply also other techniques, such as checklists and Explosion Risk Assessments to identify potential ignition sources, quantify the explosion hazard by determining the source of release of explosive substances and defining additional bases of safety to implement in the process. In addition, they will audit and review the following areas and factors as:

  • Description of Utilities and Activities
  • Flammable substances present
  • Hazardous area classifications and zoning
  • Standard Operating procedures
  • Basis of safety
  • Explosion protective measures in place
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Automatic fire detection
  • Emergency response arrangements
  • Personal protection standards
  • ATEX training
  • Explosion accident records

Once the review will be performed, a report will be issued giving detail of existing control measures, basis of safety to be implemented, recommendations and actions required to prevent an explosion and to mitigate the effects should one occur.

A follow-up visit can then be performed to assess whether the recommendations have been performed to the required standard.

If you would like to get more information about the ATEX and EPD review, please Submit an enquiry and one of our CMSE Consultants will be in contact As soon as possible.

 

Reference:

ATEX Regulations – Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.hsa.ie/eng/Topics/ATEX_and_Electrical_Apparatus/Atex_Regulations_-_Frequently_Asked_Questions/#epd

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