Risk assessment is an essential part of explosion protection. For an explosion to happen, three elements need to be present: flammable material, oxygen, and a source of ignition. If there is a possibility of these three elements being present together at any given time, explosion protection is required.
Below graph demonstrates when explosion protection is needed.
When potentially explosive atmospheres and areas have been identified and zone classifications established, potential sources of ignition within these areas must also be identified. A source of ignition can be for example an electronic device or mechanical equipment, whether these are suitable for explosive atmospheres or not.
Even before the ATEX Directive, there have been potentially explosive atmospheres and legislation to regulate the equipment within these areas. Equipment that were acquired prior to 2003 can be risk assessed to determine whether it creates a risk, whether it should be replaced with equipment that is ATEX classified and suitable for potentially explosive atmospheres, or whether it can be continued to be used safely.
Risk assessments are everyday work for Exvira Oy – whether we are determining the requirement for area classification or risk assessing equipment.
If you need help conducting a risk assessment for equipment or an area, contact us.