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A PRACTICAL APPROACH TO FIRE AND EXPLOSION SAFETY RISK ASSESSMENT AND

COMPLIANCE WITH THE DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES AND EXPLOSIVE ATMOSPHERES
REGULATIONS (DSEAR) 2002
By Kevin James Dodd and Jon Lowe

SYNOPSIS
With the introduction of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations
(DSEAR) 2002, fire and explosion safety is now a key element of an organisations demonstration
of legal compliance. Organisations must now determine how best they can demonstrate
compliance before 1st July 2006. This paper gives an overview of the requirements of DSEAR and
seeks to describe practical methods to achieve compliance and, in particular, the production of a
suitable and sufficient assessment of risk.
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INTRODUCTION

Fire and explosion legislation has long been present on the UK statute. For example the
Explosives Act dates from 1875.
Comparatively recent prescriptive regulation such as the Fire Precautions Act 1971, has been the
foundation of fire legislation. However, over recent years the focus of regulation has changed.
Health and safety legislation has now moved towards the requirement to identify hazard and
assess risk. For example the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (but
first introduced in 1992) requires organisations to complete a suitable and sufficient assessment of
the risks to which employees are exposed to at work, incorporating the provision of the Fire
Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997.
The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations 2002 follow and build upon
the provisions within these regulations. The aim of DSEAR 2002 is to ensure that organisations
have:




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Identified their fire and explosion hazards.
Assessed the risk presented by these hazards.
Developed technical and organisational measures to establish both control and mitigation.
OVERVIEW OF THE DANGEROUS
ATMOSPHERES REGULATIONS 2002

SUBSTANCES

AND

EXPLOSIVE

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 came into force on 9
December 2002.
These regulations implemented Directive 1999/92/EC (ATEX 137) of the European parliament and
the Council of 16 December 1999 specified the minimum requirements for improving the safety
and health of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres (Official Journal of the
European Communities; 2000).
This directive is supported by Directive 94/9/EC (Official Journal of the European Communities,
1994) concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive
atmospheres [Reference 8]. In the United Kingdom this has been transposed as the Equipment
and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres (EPS) Regulation
1996 (as amended) [Reference 3].
The regulatory framework is summarised in Figure 1.

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Figure 1

European and UK Regulatory Framework

The purpose of DSEAR 2002 is to protect people from the risks associated with dangerous
substances that can cause fire, explosion or other energy releasing events.
An ATEX dangerous substance can be defined as:
a.

A substance or preparation which is classified as (under the Dangerous Substance
Directive 67/548/EEC):

b.

A substance or preparation which because of its physicochemical or chemical properties and
the way it is used or present in the workplace creates a risk.
Any dust, whether in the form of solid particles or fibrous materials or otherwise, which can
form an explosive mixture in air or an explosive atmosphere.

c.

In addition, the regulation defines an explosive atmosphere as a mixture with air, under
atmospheric conditions.
DSEAR 2002 requires an organisation to:





Assess the risk to people whose safety may be affected by the use or presence of a
dangerous substance.
Apply a hierarchy of control to potential risks from dangerous substances in the workplace.
Complete hazard area classification to an appropriate international standard (
Establish provision to deal with accidents, incidents and emergency.
Provide information, instruction and training to all relevant personnel.
Identify pipes, tanks and containers which contain dangerous substances.

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testing GAS EN 1127-1 DUST EN 1127-1 EN 60079-10 EN 50281-3 EN 60079-14 EN. Each element will be introduced and discussed in the following sections. ignition source assessment and hazardous area classification can support this study. For plant modification organisations must comply with DSEAR at the time of the modification. In addition to these standards are also available – Table 1. These studies then inform the completion phase. Approved Codes of Practice have been issued in support of the regulation.In addition. For equipment and protective systems already in place. Risk assessment is considered central. installation Inspection. However. maintenance Design and testing Non-Electrical Equipment Selection/design. the extent of inspection is dependant upon the hazardous area classification. Figure 2 presents a route map to compliance incorporating the key elements of the regulation.1 Introduction Compliance requires an organisation to demonstrate that systems and procedures have been developed and implemented to address each of the key elements of the regulation. The transitional requirements for DSEAR 2002 are established within the Regulation. hazardous area classification may be completed before 30th June 2006. Completion phase where the results of the risk assessment are applied. However. Table 1 European Standards Supporting the Implementation of DSEAR 2002 Explosion hazard Basic principles and methodology Area Classification Electrical Equipment Selection/design. organisations need to review existing risk assessments immediately.60079-17 EN 50014-series EN 50281-1-2 EN 50281-1-2 EN 50281-series EN 13463-1 series EN 13463-1-series 3. hazard identification. Hazard identification. New plants must comply with DSEAR immediately. before a workplace is first used an organisation must verify that it is safe. hazardous area classification are completed. Three distinct phases have been identified: • • • An information gathering phase completed using gap analysis. Ultimately any inspection of mechanical and electrical equipment should be considered within risk assessment.0 Compliance with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 3. An implementation phase where risk is assessed and supporting ignition source assessment. Page 3 of 22 .

A gap analysis can be completed against a simple protocol developed from the regulation.Figure 2 Route Map to Compliance DSEAR Compliance Gap Analysis Ignition Source Assessment Emergency Planning Hazard Identification Inspection / Testing / Review of Mechanical and electrical Equipment Risk Assessment Hazardous Area Classification 3.3 Risk Assessment 3. 3. A gap analysis is therefore considered to be an essential initial step to identify those systems that already do or can be used to demonstrate ATEX compliance. in certain cases significant gaps in safety management systems were also identified. Evaluated to determine whether tolerability criteria have been met. AK EHS & Risk has applied such protocols to a number of sites in both the UK and mainland Europe. The Health and Safety Executive further suggest that the ‘impact upon the diligent employer should be small’ (The Health and Safety Executive. All this information assisted in the development of a programme to achieve compliance. It is reasonable to assume that many sites have existing systems in place to manage risks. supporting approved codes of practice and European Norm standards.1 Introduction The requirement to complete a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk is central to DSEAR compliance.3. The protocol itself can be simple or comprehensive depending upon the nature of an organisation. In each case opportunities to demonstrate compliance through existing or modified systems were identified. A sites work processes can then be assessed against the criteria. 2004). The gap analysis can then be used to develop a compliance programme. Risk assessment requires a risk to be: • • Analysed to identify hazards and estimate risk. DSEAR expands upon existing duties to manage the hazards and risks associated with the release of dangerous substances and their potential to result in fire and explosion. However.2 Information / Training / Instruction Gap Analysis The Health and Safety Executive has suggested that DSEAR complements the general duty to manage risks under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Page 4 of 22 .

Page 5 of 22 . such as maintenance. Evaluate the risk to determine whether it is tolerable.The assessment of fire and explosion risk may become quite onerous. storage and transport of dangerous substances and of waste containing dangerous substances. b. including information contained in any relevant safety data sheet. The regulation stipulates that the following are considered: a. iv. Figure 3 Risk Assessment A risk assessment under DSEAR is only necessary if a dangerous substance is or is liable to be present. The scales of the anticipated effects of a fire or an explosion. These are summarised in Figure 3. iii. where there is the potential for a high level of risk. f. including electrostatic discharges. c. Modifying the basic model presented in Figure 3 Risk Assessment and considering the requirement of the regulation. The work processes and substances used and their possible interaction. ii. will be present and become active and effective. Information on safety provided by the supplier. The likelihood that an explosive atmosphere will occur and its persistence. 2004): Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Identify the fire and explosion hazard – the presence of a DSEAR dangerous substance. The likelihood that ignition sources. Any places which are or can be connected via openings to places in which explosive atmospheres may occur. The circumstances of the work including: i. The quantity of each substance involved. The effect of measures which have been or will be taken pursuant to these Regulations. e. Where the work will involve more than one dangerous substance. However. the key components of a DSEAR risk assessment are identical to any other assessment of risk. j. Identify the hazardous events leading to failure including the presence of a flammable / explosive atmosphere and subsequent ignition. The hazardous properties of the substance. i. Estimate the risk by determining the likelihood of failure and extent of harm (consequence). the risk presented by such substances in combination. d. Identify control established to ensure fire and explosion safety. Such additional safety information as the employer may need in order to complete the risk assessment. h. Activities. g. a DSEAR assessment can be considered as a series of logical steps (CEN. The arrangements for safe handling.

In assessing these it is important to understand both the mechanism and the location of the release and safe guards in place. DSEAR defines a hazard as ‘those substances and preparations with the potential to create fires. A jet fire. explosions or other similar energetic events’.1 Identification of Hazards The effective identification of hazards and hazardous events is the first stage of any risk assessment process. Task analysis may be more appropriate for the latter and not the former. This determination is often simple for gases.3. for example.Figure 4 summarises these concepts and introduces the specific consequence requirements for a DSEAR risk assessment. A comprehensive hazard study technique based upon the use of P&ID / EFD / PFD may be appropriate for the former but not for the latter. A dangerous substance must be present or liable to be present and form a mixture with air to combust. Organisations often have several techniques to do this. 3. It may be that both techniques need to be applied in order to demonstrate compliance. The depth of any hazard identification study will be determined by the nature and extent of the hazard. vapours and mists but can be difficult for dusts. For dusts is may be necessary to complete detailed studies to determine if they are combustible. The gap analysis will identify this. Page 6 of 22 . Hazardous events are not merely associated with loss of containment events but also the presence of dangerous substance within containment. Figure 4 Hazard Presence of Dangerous Substance Summary of the Concepts and Requirements of a DSEAR Assessment Intermediate Consquence Hazardous events Loss of Containment Ignition Within Containment Generation of vapour Unconfined JET FIRE THERMAL RADIATION FLASH FIRE THERMAL RADIATION Ignition POOL FIRE THERMAL RADIATION Heats Pressue Vessel BLEVE Ignition Rain out Pool formation Consquence Determinant THERMAL RADIATION OVERPRESSUE Vapour / dust Evaporation and generation of vapour cloud or dust cloud Confined Ignition Explosion OVERPRESSUE These issues will be discussed further in the following sections. Physical testing may be appropriate or a review of the historical records to identify incidents involving the material. It is important that any technique does identify all the potential hazards associated with each dangerous substances. The hazard identification study should focus on where these dangerous substances are and / or could be located. The consequences of the ignition of a flammable / explosive atmosphere can only be determined if the mechanism of harm is understood. will have different consequences (or extent of harm) than a Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion (BLEVE).2 Risk Analysis 3.2. It may be that a single technique cannot or does not do this. DSEAR covers both process and occupational safety risk.3.

and these are reproduced in Appendix 1. 3. each of these issues will be discussed further in section 3. 1998]. This is a requirement of the regulation where an explosive atmosphere is likely to be present (Health and Safety Executive.2.2 Identification of Sources of Ignition DSEAR requires that the likelihood of an ignition source being present is assessed.3. Insufficient energy within the source to ignite the flammable / explosive atmosphere. BE EN 1127-1 provides a potential list of generic ignition sources and ignition mechanisms [British Standards Institute.2.3. Become active. It is essential.2.2. however.2.3 Assessment of the Likelihood of Ignition In addition to requiring that ignition sources are present.3. 2003). The depth of any ignition source assessment will depend upon the nature and extent of the overall risk presented by the presence of a flammable / explosive atmosphere. 3.2. Hazardous area classification also requires that the point or location from which a flammable gas. vapour. Simple occupational safety issues associated with the use of flammable materials in laboratories may not be captured.3. can be a source of ignition and these will be discussed in more detail in section 3. This was possible as the site in question did not have such studies in place.2.2 and 3.5.3. Equipment in particular. However. 3. By defining an area as hazardous (during risk assessment and formally in hazardous area classification) there is an assumption that a flammable and / or explosive atmosphere can be present.2.4 and 3. These could be associated within permanent / temporary plant and equipment. liquid or dust may be released or is present and can form an explosive atmosphere to be identified and classified (British Standards Institute. Be effective. It may also be appropriate at this point to assess the frequency of such an event. Page 7 of 22 .3.2.2 Ignition Source Assessment 3. 2003a). process operations or merely the presence of people at the location. All potential sources of ignition permanently located within or with the potential to be introduced into a defined hazardous area should therefore be identified and documented. The regulation stipulates that the likelihood that ignition sources will: • • • Be present. This can be either qualitative or quantitative depending upon the nature of the hazard.2. but is associated with the Loss of Containment event only.2. It may be that whilst an ignition source is present there is: • • No foreseeable mechanism for it be active and ignite a flammable / explosive atmosphere.2.2. DSEAR also requires that they can become active and are effective.2. The initial step could also form the basis of a wider hazard identification step for DSEAR compliance.1 Introduction DSEAR is explicit in requiring an analysis of ignition sources.3.Hazardous area classification also offers an opportunity to achieve compliance.2. For example a comprehensive process hazard review may not be sufficient. containment cannot be guaranteed and hence the only recourse is to prevent ignition. both electrical and non-electrical. AK EHS & Risk has proposed a compliance programme based upon the development of hazardous area classification studies.3.3. in demonstrating compliance a systematic approach must be adopted that can address all areas (both process and non-process) and hazards. Such a list could form the basis for any assessment.

Equipment failure mechanisms and data. Low – Weak ignition source. Finally the flammable / explosive atmosphere must be able to reach the source of ignition. A determination can then be made to the likelihood of ignition.2. These are: • • • High . 3.3. It is recommended that if the likelihood of occurrence of an effective ignition source cannot be estimated then it presence should be assumed. This study can be both qualitative and quantitative. However. 1998] presents a simple word model against which ignition sources can be assessed. For this reason standards requiring hazardous areas to be classified and equipment to be designed for these areas to prevent ignition are long established. the probability of the cloud reaching a source of ignition could also be considered. However. This can be a difficult exercise to complete and the depth of study should once again be commensurate with the overall risk. The minimum ignition temperature of an explosive atmosphere. Low .2.Sources of ignition which can only occur in very rare situation. Extent and quantity of the flammable atmosphere. Probability of ignition. Medium – Medium ignition source.2. it may be more appropriate to apply a simple qualitative work model. For this type of study the following information may be required: • • • • • • • The minimum ignition energy of the dangerous substance. Release rates.4 Mechanical Equipment DSEAR requires that all potential sources of ignition within a defined hazardous area are considered and hence mechanical equipment does need to be considered.3. where each potential source is identified.2. Page 8 of 22 . The minimum ignition temperature of a dust layer.4 Electrical Equipment Electrical equipment has long been considered to present a potential ignition hazard. Section 3. It is reliant upon being able to match the ignition source with the location and extent of the flammable atmosphere and determining the ignition mechanism and capability of the source. A comprehensive assessment may be appropriate. BS EN 1127 [British Standard Institute.2. An assumption can be made that only ignition source within the maximum possible cloud dimensions will be considered. This simple model can be expanded further to incorporate effectiveness: • • • High – Strong ignition source.4 of this paper further discusses the concepts of the protection established for electrical equipment and the requirements for inspection and testing. 3. It is expected that within any DSEAR compliance programme the hazards and risk associated with electrical equipment will already be understood and addressed.Sources of ignition that can occur in rare situations. Medium . the likelihood of it being active determined and its potential compared with the properties of each flammable material.Sources of ignition that can occur continuously or frequently.Determining the likelihood of ignition is therefore important.7.3. This model assumes that the ignition source is effective.

However. expected malfunction and during normal operation should be identified. To receive a specified level of harm from a hazard. there is a further factor that may need to be considered.2.Where mechanical equipment is new. Control for these is then identified and options for improvement identified and assessed.3. It may be appropriate to consider the probability of this in any assessment. Once again a qualitative or quantitative approach may be adopted depending upon the nature of the hazard and incorporated into the overall frequency assessment. Figure 5 Assessment of Mechanical Equipment Identify Area Classification Group II Category 1 Group II Category 2 Group II Category 3 Identify all potential ignition sources Rare Malfunction Identify all potential ignition sources Expected Malfunction Identify all potential ignition sources Normal operation Determine Likelihood Identify all potential measures to prevent ignition Reassess Likelihood Identify Consequences Assess Risk For example. people need to be within the hazard radius. equipment located within a zone 0 is required to be Category 1 and hence all potential ignition sources associated with a rare malfunction. then ATEX certified equipment should always be considered.3 Frequency Assessment In the model discussed in Sections 3. potential problems arise if ATEX certified equipment cannot be purchased or the site has existing mechanical equipment within a hazardous area. A demonstration of safety. Page 9 of 22 . The probability of ignition. 3. However.3. This method is based upon the identification a potential faults that could result in ignition.2 and summarised in Figure 3 it can be seen that the likelihood of a fire and / or explosion is the product of: • • The likelihood of a dangerous substance forming a flammable or explosive atmosphere. A hazardous area classification must first be completed as the depth of this assessment is based upon the zone in which the equipment is situated. through risk assessment will be required. One potential method to complete this is based upon BS EN 13463 and summarised in Figure 5. In this way equipment designed for a particular hazardous zone can be specified and sourced.2.1 and 3.3. The potential exists for this analysis to be incorporated into the wider risk assessment.2.

2. To do this the intermediate consequence and the consequence determinant should be identified. 3.6 Estimation of Consequence of Fire and Explosion The focus of a DSEAR assessment is the impact upon safety of dangerous substance. In addition. To do this effectively it is useful to address these separately. This requires that the measures for explosion protection to be identified and their effectiveness assessed. 3.2.2. will to a certain extent.3.3. This should always be considered as this also informs the ‘extent of harm’.3.3 Hazardous Area Classification Hazardous area classification is an explicit requirement of DSEAR. organisational measures are typically taken where technical measures are insufficient or where technical measures cannot alone ensure or maintain protection.7.3.2 Measures for Explosion Protection During the risk assessment process the measures established for fire and explosion protection should be formally identified and their effectiveness assessed.2.3. be determined by the quantity of material involved. Within this framework. 3.7. Avoid the ignition of an explosive atmosphere. where an explosive atmosphere may occur should be classified into hazardous (zones) or non hazardous places on the basis of the frequency and duration of the occurrence of an explosive atmosphere – Table 2. It is essential that the assessment considers both. Workplaces. Page 10 of 22 .1 General The identification of control is fundamental to the risk assessment process.7 Identification of Control 3. The regulation requires that the ‘effect of measures which have been or will be taken pursuant to these Regulations’ should be considered.3.7. Hazardous area classification can be considered as a protection measure within this context and this is discussed further. Mitigate the consequences of an explosive atmosphere. Measures can be both technical and organisational. Measures can be considered to: • • • Prevent the formation of an explosion atmosphere. the scale of any impact. The potential outcome on the ignition of any loss of containment event should be considered (Figure 3).2.

2.4 Concepts of Protection There are standards to ensure that ignition sources cannot arise. vapour or mist is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally. VAPOURS. DUST Zone 20 A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air is present continuously.Table 2 Definitions of zones GAS. 2 Place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of flammable substances in the form of gas. Essential Health and Safety Requirements need to be satisfied for ATEX certification and compliance with concepts of protection aids this process. 2003a). The equipment is assessed against general requirements in addition to the concept of protection specific requirements. Hazardous Area Classification of Natural Gas Installations (Institution of Gas Engineers. For example the institute of petroleum and the Institution of Gas Engineers have both issued codes of practice in support of hazardous area classification: • • Area Classification Code for Installations Handling Flammable Fluids Part 15 of the Institute of Petroleum model Code of Safe Practice in the Petroleum Industry (Institute of Petroleum. 2000). There are exiting European Norm standards (British Standards Institute. associated standards and brief descriptions are detailed in Appendix B. 2003a & 2000) ’for completing these studies and these may be supported by industry codes of practice. 2002).7. This enables control over ignition sources to be formally assessed. Alternatively equipment is designed and assessed against the Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSR) without applying concepts of protection. Recommendation IGE/SR/25. A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air is not likely to occur in normal operation but. Furthermore integration of risk assessment enables: • • The quantity of material to be assessed which may negate the requirement for hazardous area classification. MIST Zone 0 Place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of flammable substances in the form of gas. vapour or mist is not likely to occur in normal operation but. Page 11 of 22 . 2003) suggests that hazardous area classification should be completed as an integral part of risk assessment.3. if it does occur. 1 Place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of flammable substances in the form of gas. if it does occur. The criticality of ventilation to be formally assessed. Industry codes of practices may be used where they are more applicable to the materials under consideration (British Standards Institute. will persist for a short period only. The Approved Code of Practice issued in support of DSEAR (Health and Safety Executive. 21 22 A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally. Common concepts of protection. 3. or for long periods or frequently. vapour or mist is present continuously or for long periods or frequently. will persist for a short period only.

Pressurised.3 Risk Evaluation The risk evaluation stage uses the outcome of the risk analysis to determine whether the tolerable risk has been achieved.3.2. in order to be able to do this the matrix may need to be calibrated against the HSE criteria. However. Mitigate the detrimental effects. this approach may not be appropriate to the hazards under assessment. It should also be recognised that this criterion applies to all of the risks that a person may be exposed to at work. A purely qualitative approach may be considered. Table 3 Ex tD Ex iD Ex pD Ex mD Further Concepts of Protection Protection by enclosure. For example the risk matrix is a well-used tool to present risks in relation to the HSE’s tolerability criteria.2. In addition to the standards presented in Appendix B there are further methods of protection specifically for combustible dust based on several methods of protection used for gases and vapours. Page 12 of 22 . Control is discussed in Section 3. Intrinsic safety. but once again the criteria for decision making should be established and recorded.The standards detailed are currently in use but there is a possibility that all the European references with soon follow the 60079 numbering system as used for Hazardous Area Classification EN 60079-10. not just the risks from flammable & explosive hazards. Certain options will reduced the frequency of harm others will mitigate the consequences. However. Within in any framework developed it is useful that the following hierarchy is considered: • • • • Eliminate hazard. as detailed in Table 3. Substitute hazard. Risk evaluation provides the basis for determining whether additional control or mitigation is necessary. Once a frequency and consequence have been determined to each event it is then necessary to determine whether these risks are tolerable. Control risk. The guidelines suggest the upper limit of the Tolerable if ALARP region is 1x10-3 and the lower limit is 1x10-6. 3. The HSE offer guidelines on numerical values that can be used to describe the tolerability limits for a fatality. The depth of this study will depend upon the nature of the hazard. therefore continuous reviews are required. The standards for concepts of protection are continually being updated and revised. Options for improvement should be considered within the context of the existing risk assessment. (Health and Safety Executive. 2001). This suggests that a quantitative or semi-qualitative approach should be used. These may be either technical or organisation preventative or mitigation measures. Encapsulation.7 and at this point further measures for explosion protection need to be considered.

technical information. nor the testing and certification of electrical apparatus. repair. etc). c) records sufficient to enable the explosion-protected equipment to be maintained in accordance with its type of protection (e. or Continuous supervision by skilled personnel. EN 60079-17 (British Standards Institute. Maintenance. When conducting an inspection of electrical equipment in hazardous areas. To ensure installations remain in a satisfactory condition for continued use within the associated hazardous areas either: a) b) c) Regular periodic inspections.1. modification or adjustment is applicable further inspection is necessary to ensure the installation remains suitable for the environment.4. should be carried out by the inspection and maintenance team. and covers factors directly related to the inspection and maintenance of electrical installations within hazardous areas only.4. 2003b).1 Electrical Equipment 3. The inspection and maintenance of equipment installations should be carried out by competent personnel. This standard is intended to be applied by users. There are different types and grades of inspection. the following up-to-date documentation is required: a) the classification of hazardous areas (reference EN 60079-10). The competent inspection and maintenance team should conduct an initial inspection before plant or equipment is brought into service. Page 13 of 22 . It does not include conventional requirements for electrical installations. where replacement.g. b) apparatus group and temperature class.3.1 Inspection Inspection of electrical equipment is detailed in an European Standard. equipment type. The interrelationships are detailed in Table 4. In addition.4 Inspection and Testing of Mechanical Equipment 3. and. manufacturers’ instructions. spares.

Issues relating to personnel integrity. which will only be apparent by opening-up the equipment. Flameproof.g.g. Type and grade of inspection. ladders and tools). Close As detailed previously. Close As detailed previously. The results of all initial. Methods of recording vary but generally the information gathered will be fairly standard. EN 60079-17 provides check lists for common types of protection concepts (i. sample and continuous supervision inspections shouldl be recorded. Close An inspection which encompasses those aspects covered by VISUAL INSPECTION and in addition. • This inspection can be done by the manufacturer. Visual As detailed previously. o Fixed equipment maximum 3 year interval o Mobile equipment maximum 1 year interval • Detailed inspection conducted if internal damage is suspected. etc) and most recording systems are based around these tables. Visual An inspection which identifies. Equipment certificates (especially when special conditions are indicated). INSPECTION GRADE Grade Description Detailed An inspection which encompasses those aspects covered by CLOSE INSPECTION and in addition identifies those defects. Inspection date. increased safety.e. Inspector. those defects which will be apparent to the naked eye. intrinsic safety. Additional information. Detailed As detailed previously. This is used on a regular basis in the normal course of work. Information required for an effective inspection includes: • • • • • • • • • Details of installation. without the use of access equipment or tools. Visual As detailed previously.Table 4 Inspection Type and Grade INSPECTION TYPE Type Description Initial • Conducted to ensure installation is correct. JBs & luminaires). periodic. Page 14 of 22 . • This inspection should also consider the period between future inspections Periodic • Conducted periodically to evaluate the status of equipment. Inspection schedule (Reference check lists detailed in EN 60079-17). Apparatus group and temperature classification. Sample • • • Continuous • supervision • • Periodic inspection may be done on a sample basis for numerous similar items (e. This is used at the discretion of the inspection team. Prevents designated inspection. Used to monitor if environment is problematic. Evidence of Hazardous Area Classification review. identifies those defects which will be apparent only by the use of access equipment (e. • Periodically evaluated on a regular basis.

Verification of the effectiveness of the continuous supervision approach. the interrogation arrangements for the system must then be suitable to achieve the concepts detailed above.1. certificate or instructions). input from manufacturers and users of the equipment should be considered where appropriate. Therefore. EN 60079-17 only covers the main concepts of protection and relies on the inspection/maintenance team adapting the principles used for other electrical equipment. Care shall be taken. In these situations advice should be sort from the manufacturer or experts. Information on defects found and remedial action taken. For example. Published and draft mechanical equipment design standards are available. Some of the key elements to consider are corrosion. however.3 Mechanical Equipment Mechanical equipment standards are unavailable at present for inspection and maintenance but ATEX certified equipment should be supplied with instructions as required for electrical equipment. Alterations to apparatus shall not be carried out without appropriate authorization where they adversely affect the safety of the apparatus as stated in the safety documentation (e. mechanical effects and chemical attack. if required.g. this may require consultation with the manufacturer (e. 3. In addition. The check lists detailed in EN 60079-17 are based on generic questioning and the design requirements of the concepts of protection. EN 60079-17 does not provide generic information for types of equipment maintenance as this information should be provided by the manufacturer.2 Maintenance The general condition of all equipment shall be noted when conducting an inspection and appropriate remedial measures shall be taken where necessary (e. The advent of ATEX equipment ensures that equipment is supplied with instructions.g. therefore maintenance such as skimming a corroded flamepath could invalidate the type of protection if not conducted under the requirements of the certification. thus this approach should be taken for mechanical equipment. Some of the main areas to be considered for general maintenance will relate to the environmental conditions in which the equipment is located. Generally the records of inspection shall include: • • • A history of maintenance activities with the reason for such activities. However. For example. The records are usually part of normal maintenance documentation.4. and hence inspection schedules can be produced. ultraviolet radiation. to maintain the integrity of the type of protection provided for the equipment. Page 15 of 22 . replacement bolts for a flameproof enclosure might require a specific grade). ambient temperature. until standards and /or guidance is provided mechanical equipment should be inspected and maintained following the same principles laid down for electrical equipment.4. Equipment maintenance shall always consider the type of protection. replacement of missing bolts). these instructions will highlight maintenance requirements for the item of equipment. Replacement parts. if a luminaire lamp is replaced with a higher wattage lamp this could effect the temperature classification of the equipment and could lead to ignition of an explosive atmosphere. flameproof equipment relies heavily on the mechanical strength and construction of the enclosure/flamepaths.The requirements for continuous supervision by skilled personnel are not as rigorous. 3.1. will be detailed in the instructions (or on the certificate) and shall be replaced in accordance with the safety documentation. accumulation of dust or sand.g. This information will be available for equipment post ATEX but it might be harder to find pre ATEX. ingress of water.

It is therefore possible to generate this as the programme progresses. It is therefore expected that the majority of sites will have systems in place to address emergencies. The knowledge requirements of the technical person with executive function shall include a full understanding of the provisions of EN 60079-10 (hazardous area classification) and EN 60079-14 (equipment selection and installation). Where this is the case the risk assessment should refer to this explicitly. It is also important to note. 3.1. equipment. It is evident from the above that much of this information is generated during a compliance programme.6 Information.5 Emergency Arrangements The requirement to establish emergency arrangements has been a longstanding requirement of UK legislation. There are additional requirements within DSEAR that the emergency arrangements should address. This training shall include any plant. This duty does apply to emergency arrangements. This has a direct link to human factors assessments which are becoming more prominent in hazardous environments. This includes: • • • • • The identity of the dangerous substances which could be present. Finally. there is also a requirement for verification of explosion safety following modification of existing plant and for new plant. It may be that within any compliance programme there is an action to review these arrangements following the completion of the assessment of risk. Training and Instruction The Health and Safety Executive (2003) stipulate the information that needs to be provided to employees. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (Health and Safety Executive. Significant findings of risk assessment.4 Inspection and Maintenance Team / Individual Training Skilled personnel conducting inspection and maintenance within a hazardous area shall be provided with sufficient training to enable familiarity with the installation which they attend.3. Where necessary. operational or environment conditions which relate to their understanding of the needs of the explosion protection of equipment. training in the concepts of continuous supervision shall be provided together with refresher or reinforcement seminars. this information shall be provided to the skilled personnel in a manner which supports their function as part of the continuous supervision process. Personnel competence is extremely important and should not be overlooked when training personnel to conduct the inspection and maintenance functions required by EN 60079-17. The risk assessment therefore needs to consider this type of situation and within these assessments determine whether other employers can be affected. Where any alterations or changes to the process or installation are effected. information / training / instruction may be an important organisation measure to prevent and / or mitigate risk. It is therefore useful in any design project to consider this requirement as the project progresses. that where risks can affect other employees from other employers that this is identified and appropriate information instruction / training is provided at induction. Page 16 of 22 . 2003) require that procedures for ‘serious and imminent danger and for danger areas’ are established.4. The type and extent of the risks. The effectiveness of emergency arrangements do need to be assessed at this stage. There is a requirement to coordinate fire and explosion safety where more than one employer occupies a site. The control and mitigation measures adopted. In addition. 3. Procedures for dealing with accidents / emergencies.

The risk assessment process described in Section 3 gives guidance for each of these stages and can be used to identify existing systems and inform improvement. The Health and Safety Executive has suggested that DSEAR complements the general duty to manage risks under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Furthermore. DSEAR. DSEAR can be considered as establishing a layer of defence (LOD) for each of the elements of the risk assessment. The information present in Section 3. It is also possible that organisations have yet to assess the hazard presented by mechanical equipment located with a defined hazardous area.0 Discussion Section 3 introduced the key elements of DSEAR compliance. Others organisations may determine that compliance can be demonstrated within their existing systems. it is this risk assessment process which informs other key elements of the compliance programme. Once again there will be a layer of defence to prevent this.0 Conclusion The paper has discussed a potential route to compliance and has introduced tools to achieve this. an explosive atmosphere must be able to form and ignite. emergency planning arrangements cannot be developed. This concept has been summarised in Figure 6.2 (Risk Assessment) can be considered as key to any compliance programme. Following the release of a material. principally of mitigation measures but also prevention measures can be established. Without an effective assessment of risk.3. despite this DSEAR may still present a challenge to some organisations. For DSEAR to apply there must first be a source of hazard within the workplace. A final layer. Finally following ignition someone needs to be present to be harmed. A potential method is presented to assist organisations achieve this. inspection / maintenance system or perhaps even the principals of inherent SHE. Risk assessment is the principal demonstration required by the regulation. However.inherent SHE Risk assessment techniques Management of change Technical prevention measures for release and ignition Organizational prevention measures for release Technical mitigation measures Organizational prevention measures Organizational mitigation measures. Figure 6 Summary of Compliance Requirements PRESENCE OF AN EXPLOSIVE ATMOSPHERE LOD 2 LOD 1 SOURCE OF HAZARD WORKPLACE IGNITION OF AN EXPLOSIVE ATMOSPHERE LOD 3 PRESENCE OF AN IGNITION SOURCE (ACTIVE AND EFFECTIVE) HARM PRESENCE OF SOMEONE WHO COULD BE HARMED Design procedures . in common with recent health and safety legislation is focussed upon demonstrating that measures are in place to guarantee the safety of employees and other who may be affected. and this may not be in place. This LOD may include the inspection of electrical and mechanical equipment against an appropriate standard of the results of the risk assessment. The first layer of protection can therefore be considered to be design procedures. A compliance programme and hence the tools used will be dependant upon the nature and extent of the hazard and risk and ultimately what the organisation decides is suitable and sufficient. Hazardous Area Classification 6. Page 17 of 22 .4. employees cannot be trained and critical mechanical / electrical equipment cannot be inspected.

TC 305 WI 00305082. Electrical apparatus for explosive gas atmospheres – Part 17: Inspection and maintenance of electrical installations in hazardous areas (other than mines).htm [Accessed 18 November 2004. 1998. Reducing Risk.7. Institution of Gas Engineers. British Standards Institute. Health and Safety Executive. BS EN 1127-1:1998. British Standards Institute. CEN. Institute of Petroleum. Equipment for the use in the presence of combustible dust – Part 3: Classification of areas where combustible dusts are or may be present. L138. 2001. Area Classification Code for Installations Handling Flammable Fluids Part 15 of the Institute of Petroleum model Code of Safe Practice in the Petroleum Industry. 2003a. Directive 1999/92/EC of the European parliament and the Council of 16 December 1999 on minimum requirements for improving the safety and health of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres. BS EN 50281-3:2001. BS EN 60079-10:2003 Electrical Apparatus for Explosive Gas Atmospheres – Part 10: Classification of hazardous areas.uk/spd/dsear. Safety Recommendation IGE/SR/25. Health and Safety Executive. L138. British Standards Institute. Hazardous Area Classification of Natural Gas Installation. 2004. IGE/SR/25. 2nd Edition. 2000. BS EN 50281-3:2001. 1994. Health and Safety Executive. British Standards Institute. The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002. BS EN 60079-17. Directive 1994/9/EC of 23 March 1994 on the approximation of the laws of the member states concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. Approved Code of Practice and Guidance. BS EN 60079-10:2003.0 References British Standards Institute. 2003.hse. 2003b. Official Journal of the European Communities. 2004. 2002. Official Journal of the European Communities. The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR). British Standards Institute. 2002. Implementing the Chemical Agents Directive 98/24/EC (CAD) and the Explosive Atmospheres Directive 99/92/EC (ATEX 137). 2000. Methodology for Risk Assessment of Protective Systems for Intended Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres. Available from: http://www.6869 Page 18 of 22 .gov. Protecting People. Word count excluding Appendices . BS EN 1127-1:1998 Explosive atmospheres – Explosion prevention and protection Part 1: Basic concepts and methodology.

• With cathodic corrosion protection the above ignition risks are present. • By stray currents. • As a result of magnetic induction (near electrical installations with high current or radio frequency).g. A layer of dust or combustible solid in contact with a hot surface and ignited by the hot surface can also act as an ignition source. If these particles consist of oxidisable materials (e. Rubbing friction between ferrous metals and between ceramics can generate hot spots and sparks. steel). The discharge of charged. However. • As a result of lightning. aluminium. Electrical sparks can be generated: • When electrical circuits are opened and closed. insulated conductive parts can lead to incendive sparks. Deposited dust in contact with sparks can smoulder and thus be a secondary ignition source. magnesium). Hot surfaces generated by exothermic chemical reactions. Static electricity. they can burn thus reaching higher temperatures. cathodic corrosion protection. In addition. Brush discharges can ignite almost all explosive gas and vapour atmospheres. Inherent hot or heated surfaces such as radiators.g. • By loose connections. Hot or heated surfaces generated by mechanical or machinery processes. Stray currents can flow in electrically conductive systems or parts of systems: • As a result of short circuit or a short circuit to earth owing to faults in electrical installations.Appendix A Ignitions Sources Ignition Source Mechanism Hot surfaces. if sacrificial anodes are used ignition risk due to electrical sparks are unlikely (unless anodes are Al or Mg). Welding beads (which occur when welding or cutting) are sparks with a very large surface and hence the most effective source of ignition. cone discharges from bulk material and cloud discharges are also possible. friction clutches. tight housing of moving parts etc. Stray electrical currents. Impacts between rust and light metals (e. e. As a result of friction. Flames are associated with combustion reactions at temperatures of more than 1000°C. iron. Naked flames and hot gases / liquids (including hot particles).g. Brush discharges. and their alloys can initiate thermite reactions. ignition can occur due to heating up of these current paths. glands). Electrical apparatus. connected or bridged (even in the case of a slight potential difference) and explosive atmosphere can be ignited as a result of an electric spark and / or arcs. protective systems or components that convert mechanical energy into heat. Electrical sparks and hot surfaces can occur as sources of ignition. • If parts of a system able to carry current are disconnected. impact or abrasion particles become separated from solid materials and become hot. Light metals such as Titanium and Zirconium can generate sparks upon impact or friction with any hard material in the absence of rust. heating coils. Non conductive materials will include most plastics. Glowing solid particles can also be produced in dusty or sooty flames. The ingress of foreign materials into equipment can cause sparking. Hot gases include the products of reaction or heated gases. Equipment. mechanically operating brakes. drying cabinets. Page 19 of 22 . shaft passages. All moving parts (bearing. In addition ignition of explosive dust / air atmospheres Mechanically generated sparks / Thermite reactions.

which can lead to the generation of highly reactive radicals or unstable compounds. drying. Sugar / chlorate exposed to impact or friction. Large currents flow from lightning strikes and these can produce sparks in the vicinity of the point of impact. In the absence of lightning strikes thunderstorms can cause high induced voltages in equipment. hardening. The temperature increase depends upon the pressure ratio and not the pressure difference. It is also worth noting that equipment that generates intense lights sources (e. Copper with acetylene. lasers.. Radio frequency electromagnetic waves (104 – 3x1012 Hz).g. There is also a possibility of ignition due to the high temperatures reached by lightning conductors. Examples include sunlight. Whilst all discharges can ignite all types of explosive atmosphere this is dependant upon their discharge energy. cutting. EM waves are emitted by all systems that generate or use radio frequency electrical energy e. Page 20 of 22 . e. Those induced by catalysts. radio transmitters. Mechanism by brush discharges cannot be discounted. The high temperatures generated during adiabatic compression in shock waves can ignite explosive atmospheres (and deposited dusts). Polymerisation. electric arcs) can themselves be sources of ignition). Ionizing radiation generated by X-ray tubes and radioactive substances can ignite explosive atmospheres (especially those with dust particles). Pyrophoric substances with air. radiolysis of water generating hydrogen and oxygen). In the use of ultrasonic sound waves solid or liquid substances absorb a large portion of the emitted energy. Self ignition of combustible dusts. Ionizing radiation can cause chemical decomposition or other reactions. Ionizing radiation. welding. Utrasonics. Decomposition of organic peroxides.Ignition Source Lightning. All conductive parts located in the radiation field function as receiving aerials. Electromagnetic waves from 3x1011 – 3x1015 Hz. Exothermic reactions can act as an ignition source when the rate of heat exceeds the rate of heat loss to the surroundings. Adiabatic compression and shock waves. lasers. As a result substances exposed to ultrasonics can warm up so in extreme cases. industrial / medical RF generators for heating. If lightning strikes an explosive atmosphere ignition will always occur. Self heating of feedstuffs induced by biological processes. the radioactive source itself can heat up to such an extent that the minimum ignition energy of the explosive atmosphere is exceeded.g. protective systems and components. lamps. Alkali metals with water. Shock waves are generated during the sudden relief of high pressure gases into pipelines. ignition may be induced. and this can cause ignition (Note: these reactions can also create explosive atmospheres.g. If the field is powerful enough and if the receiving aerial is sufficiently large these conductive parts can cause an ignition in an explosive atmosphere – the received radio-frequency Focussed energy in this spectral range can become a source of ignition through absorption by the explosive atmosphere or solid surface. Aluminium / rust exposed to impact or friction. Hydrogen peroxide with heavy metals. Under certain circumstances this radiation of intense light is so intense that following absorption by dust particles these become a source of ignition in an explosive atmosphere. Exothermic reaction including self ignition of dusts. In addition. Reactions include.

in normal operation and in certain abnormal conditions specified by EN 50021. Type of protection where circuits in which any spark or any thermal effect produced in the conditions specified in EN 50020. Type of protection in which the parts which can ignite an explosive atmosphere are placed in an enclosure which can withstand the pressure developed during an internal explosion of an explosive mixture and which prevents the transmission of the explosion to the explosive atmosphere surrounding the enclosure. Type of protection in which additional measures are applied so as to give increased security against the possibility of excessive temperatures and of the occurrence of arcs and sparks inside and on external parts of electrical apparatus which does not produce arcs or sparks in normal service. Technique of applying protection as to an enclosure in order to prevent the formation of an explosive atmosphere inside the enclosure by maintaining an overpressure against the surrounding atmosphere. Type of protection in which the parts capable of igniting an explosive atmosphere are fixed in position and completely surrounded by filling material to prevent the ignition of an external explosive atmosphere. Type of protection applied to electrical apparatus such that. it is not capable of igniting a surrounding explosive Page 21 of 22 .Appendix B Concepts of Protection Ex o Concept Oil immersion Standard EN 50015 Cat 2 Ex p Pressurised EN 50016 2 Ex q Powder filling EN 50017 2 Ex d Flameproof Enclosure EN 50018 2 Ex e Increased safety EN 50019 2 Ex i Intrinsic safety EN 50020 1 (ia) 2 (ib) Ex n Type of EN 50021 protection “n” 3 Brief description Type of protection in which the electrical apparatus or parts of the electrical apparatus are immersed in a protective liquid in such a way that an explosive atmosphere which may be above the liquid or outside the enclosure cannot be ignited. and where necessary by using dilution. is not capable of causing ignition of a given explosive gas atmosphere. which include normal operation and specified fault conditions.

nC – enclosed break. EN 13463. 2 or Risk assessment and application of Basic 3 supporting standards as listed below methods and 1 where necessary. This type of protection is broken into the following types: nA – non-sparking. Liquid EN 13463.Type of protection in which constructional safety 5 measures are applied so as to protect against the possibility of ignition from hot surfaces. requirements prEN Type of protection relies on tight seals of Flow 13463-2 the enclosure to restrict the breathing of restricted the enclosure enclosure Flameproof prEN Type of protection as detailed for enclosure 13463-3 electrical apparatus Ex d. Type of protection that relies on a device Control of prEN 13463-6 to control all ignition sources. or by partially immersing and continuously coating their active surfaces with a protective liquid in such a way that an explosive atmosphere which may be above the liquid. Inherent prEN Type of protection relies on low potential safety 13463-4 energy. nP – simplified pressurisation. Encapsulation EN 50028 Type of protection applied to electrical apparatus such that surrounding explosive atmospheres are excluded from ignition sources by a compound.Concept Ex m Ex fr Ex d Ex g Ex c Ex b Ex p Ex k Standard Cat Brief description atmosphere. sparks and adiabatic compression generated by moving parts. Constructional EN 13463. nR – restricted breathing.1. nL – energy limited. thermal ignition sensors and shutdown devices. e.g. sources Pressurisation prEN Type of protection as detailed for 13463-7 electrical apparatus Ex p. Page 22 of 22 . or outside the equipment enclosure cannot be ignited.Type of protection in which potential immersion 8 ignition sources are made ineffective or separated from the explosive atmosphere by either totally immersing them in a protective liquid.