We get asked this often. Should an old piece of equipment in a potentially explosive area be replaced with ATEX equipment, even if the old equipment is still working?
Equipment that is not ATEX equipment but is still in use in a potentially explosive atmosphere or area can be continued to use safely IF:
- The equipment has been suitable for ATEX areas in the past (there were EX areas even before ATEX directives).
- They are suitable for the zone classification (0, 1, 2, 20, 21, 22) – zoning must be done for safety.
- They are suitable for the hazardous substances in the premises (T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6 or dust ignition temperature). The most dangerous hazard must be identified.
- The equipment has had a risk assessment (there are instructions for this).
- The equipment is having regular preventative maintenance (preventative maintenance ensures that the equipment is in good condition).
Government Decree 1139/2016 §27 sets out transition requirements for old equipment
This law came to effect on 1st January 2017. Equipment that has been launched prior to this that fills the conformity requirements according to the regulations that were valid at the time, can continue to stay on market once this Decree comes to effect. Certificates of conformity of this equipment will continue being valid.
Government Decree 576/2003 §11 comes to effect on 1st September 2003.
Tools that were in used in potentially explosive areas before this Decree can continue to be used after this Decree comes to effect, if the employer has stated in a written risk assessment or an explosion protection document (that conforms to §8 in this Decree) that these tools can continue to be used safely in a potentially explosive atmosphere and that they meet the requirements regarding tools in Attachment 2 section A.
Tools that will be taken to use for the first time in potentially explosive areas after this Decree has come to effect must conform to Attachment 2 sections A and B, which sets out requirements for tools.
It is also important to note that new equipment must also fill out the requirements set out for old equipment, except risk assessment.
New equipment must be:
- Suitable for potentially explosive areas and atmospheres
- Suitable for the zoning classification of the area (0, 1, 2, 20, 21, 22) – zoning must be done.
- Suitable for hazardous substances in the premises (T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6 or dust ignition temperature) Most dangerous hazard must be identified.
- Equipment is having preventative maintenance (preventative maintenance ensures that the equipment stays in good condition).