Contrary to what many organisations believe, explosive atmospheres may be found in a multitude of large and small industries that operate processes involving furniture/wood, paints, grain extracts, fuels, solvents, pharmaceuticals, etc. Atmospheres could become explosive due to local and operational conditions such as during maintenance activities and fault conditions such as leakages.Failure to adopt correct and safe working practices could result in ignition of explosive gases and dust clouds.
For the purpose of managing the potential risk posed by explosive atmospheres, two European directives are in force, ATEX 95 (94/9/EC) Directive, or the ‘ATEX Equipment Directive’ which deals with equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres; and ATEX 137 (1999/92/EC) also known as the ‘ATEX Workplace Directive’ which deals with the safety and health of workers potentially at risk from exposure to explosive atmospheres.
This directive is covered under Maltese legislation by means of Legal Notice 41 of 2004, Work Place (Minimum Requirements for Work) (Confined Spaces and Spaces having Explosive Atmospheres) Regulations, 2004.
Resolve Consulting can assist your organisation by:
- identifying areas where hazardous explosive atmospheres may occur (Hazardous Area Classification);
- classifying devices and designating work areas into zones;
- identifying possible ignition sources, and;
- providing recommendations to mitigate risk, formulating requirements on the machinery used in explosion hazardous areas, and proposing organisational precautions.
This shall be reflected in what is legally called the ‘Explosion Protection Document’.