Occupli provides a top quality ATEX 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.
Your Legal Requirements
The ATEX Regulations apply wherever an explosive atmosphere may occur. An explosive atmosphere is a mixture with air, under atmospheric conditions, of flammable substances in the form of gases, vapours, mists or dusts in which, after ignition has occured, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture.
The legal requirements coming from the ATEX Directive are:
- Prevent the formation of explosive atmospheres which may be produced by equipment and by protective systems themselves
- Prevent the ignition of explosive atmospheres, taking into account the nature of every electrical and non-electrical source of ignition
- Halt an explosion immediately and / or limit the explosion flames
- Ensure the appropriate selection of materials
- Prevent potential ignition sources
- Control hazards arising from external effects
- Outline requirements in respect of safety devices
- Integrate safety requirements relating to the system
- Conduct ATEX risk assessments to identify the hazards and risks
- Identify and classify (zone) all hazardous areas
- Take organisational and / or technical measures in order of priority and document the measures in an Explosion Protection Document (EPD)
- Reduce risk as far as is reasonably practicable
Occupli Provides The Following ATEX Services
- Carry out the required ATEX risk assessments to identify and determine the necessary control measures
- Carry out a Hazardous Area Classification exercise for any location
- Assist with recommending and implementing additional control measures to reduce risk if required
- Generate your EPD to outline the control measures, both physical and organisational, in place and demonstrate compliance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Applications) Regulations 2007
- Assist with the generation of zoning and hazardous area layout drawings
Explosion Safety Management Review / Audit
At Occupli, our consultants perform Explosion Safety Management Reviews 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 revise the following areas and factors as:
- Description of Utilities and Activities
- Flammable substances present
- Standard Operating procedures
- Basis of safety
- Explosion Protective measures in place
- Fire Suppression systems
- Automatic Fire detection
- Emergency Response
- 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.
Explosion Risk Assessments
S.I. 299 of 2007 transposes into Irish Law a European Directive called the ATEX directive No.1999/92/EC and is concerned with the risks from fire and explosion arising from flammable substances stored or used in the workplace.
The regulations apply to most workplaces where flammable substances are stored or used for example where flammable liquids or flammable dusts are present.
By law, an explosion risk assessment must be carried out for any work activities involving flammable substances. Our Process Safety engineers can perform those explosion risk assessments by completing a visit on site and identifying the following aspects:
- Potential ignition sources
- Explosive atmospheres that are present
- Basis of safety
- Potential Consequences
Additional recommendations will be given to the client at the end of the performance of the assessments to be implemented in order to control the explosion hazard.
Explosion Accident Investigation
At Occupli our first aim is eliminate the risks and mitigate the possible effects of the explosion hazard in the workplace.
Additionally, our Process Safety Engineers at Occupli can carry out an investigation if an explosion accident has occurred on site. They will gather witness accounts and all relevant background information.
They will also review available direct and indirect evidence for accuracy to define the most likely sequence of events and probable cause (s) of the explosion accident.
The proper analysis will include consideration of both material and human factors.
To complete the investigation, a report will be issued to the client, including the following sections:
- Incident Description
- Accounts of witnesses
- Evidence from field inspection
- Analysis of evidence
- Background information
- Key Technical Findings
- Key Organisational Findings
- Safety system deficiencies, system malfunctions and hazardous conditions will be identified.
- Specific recommendations, to prevent recurrence of the accident, including both operative and protective measures.
Equipment selection for ATEX areas
Directive 94/9/EC applies to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The suitability of mechanical and electrical equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres is determined according to its group and category.
Carrying out Hazardous Area Classification and Explosion Risk Assessments on site, our Process Safety Engineers, will determine the type of equipment suitable for the ATEX area.
Flammable properties of the substances, Temperature and Pressure of the process and basis of safety on place will be also relevant for the study.
A report will be issued containing the following subdivisions:
- List of flammable substances and their properties
- Determination of Hazardous Area Classification
- Explosion Risk Assessments
- Equipment Groups and Categories
- Equipment Labelling
- Determination of the suitable equipment to use in place