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Explosion protection in accordance with the ATEX directive

Operators and investors

Explosion protection in Europe is based on the EU ATEX Directive, which has been implemented in national law. The aim of the ATEX directive is to protect workers in potentially explosive atmospheres. To this end, the employer has to develop a measures-based explosion protection concept for avoiding explosive atmospheres, ignition sources or to control explosions, e.g. by designing pressure-resistant installations.

Services

  • Risk assessments
  • Explosion protection concepts
  • Explosion protection documents
  • Ignition risk ratings for non-electrical equipment based on EN ISO 80079-36
  • Support during conformity procedures
  • Advice and expert opinions to address special problems in explosion protection
  • Tests as a competent person according to the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health
  • Computer-aided explosion pressure calculations using recognised calculation models (effects, open foam etc.)
  • Assessment of explosion damage
  • Preparation of expert reports in accordance with Sec. 29b BlmSchG
  • Testing of electrical and non-electrical devices in potentially explosive areas by qualified persons
  • Holding of seminars and in-house training courses on operational explosion protection in accordance with the ATEX directive and much more.
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Explosion protection documents created

In accordance with Sec. 6 (9) Hazardous Substances Ordinance or Sec. 5 Austrian Regulation relating to Explosive Atmospheres (VEXAT), an explosion protection document needs to be prepared for a plant or plant area where hazardous explosive mixtures may arise. The following are the main components of this document:

  • The risk assessment and
  • The explosion protection concept.

How can we support you with explosion protection documentation?

We develop technically and economically optimised explosion protection concepts for you within the scope of plant planning and the approval process. In addition to determining the lowest possible investment costs, the main focus here is placed on simplicity of handling, usability and maintenance.

Directive 2014/34/EU also clearly defines explosion protection for electrical and non-electrical equipment. In addition to checking the suitability of new devices, the employer also needs to check the suitability of devices put into operation before the end of the transition period on June 30, 2003.

What services can we offer you?

We provide you with proof of explosion protection suitability for devices that you already have in use. We carry out an ignition risk assessment in accordance with DIN EN ISO 80079-36 and prepare the technical documentation required. If necessary, notified bodies (e.g. IBExU from Freiberg) are brought it.

The devices and Ex systems are to be tested by qualified persons or an approved monitoring body (AMB) commissioned by the operator. This includes tests before the initial start-up according to Sec. 15 Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV) (or Sec 7 (1) VEXAT) as well as recurring tests according to Sec. 16 BetrSichV (or Sec. 7 (2) VEXAT).

Furthermore, the test periods for electrical and non-electrical devices need to be according to Sec. 3 (6) BetrSichV. This should be done in close coordination between the employer and the inspector so that the individual operating conditions can be taken into account.

What services can we offer you?

We can test all devices and Ex systems for you that are not subject to the approval of Sec. 18 (1) No. 3-7 BetrSichV. Furthermore, we can determine the maximum test periods for all devices and Ex systems in accordance with the BetrSichV. (The maximum test periods in accordance with the BetrSichV can be adjusted by the inspector based on the operating conditions.)

The large number of new laws, ordinances, technical rules and standards that have been introduced in relation to explosion protection force operators to deal intensively with these issues. The operator first has to inform themselves comprehensively, if they want to apply all their rights and obligations in accordance with the rules:

  • Which regulations have come into force for which plant area?
  • What are the specific consequences for equipment, operation and organisation?

But: All tasks that are not your core business tie up time, money and resources.

What task can we take over from you?

We offer in-house training courses where our experts pass on their specialist knowledge in explosion protection in accordance with the ATEX directive. The operator determines the main focus of these courses. The training courses are not led from the front, but take place in the form of a lively discussion where after a short introduction our expert encourages new questions to be asked repeatedly and answered. This makes sure that all individual questions are really answered in full. In addition to benefiting operational engineers and planning engineers, our in-house training courses also benefit those responsible for operational safety.

weyer special: Explosion protection

In recent years, numerous new directives, laws, regulations and technical rules have been issued in the field of explosion protection. The new regulations increase the operational and organisational demands on the operators: they are burdened with a much higher degree of personal responsibility…

Download weyer special here
weyer spezial zum Thema Explosionsschutz

Frequently asked questions

If hazardous explosive mixtures can form in the area of the plant under consideration, it must be regarded as an “Ex plant”. The occurrence of hazardous explosive mixtures must be assessed withoutthe inclusion of protective measures. This means that even if no hazardous areas (Ex zones) are defined in a plant because of (explosion) protection measures (technical ventilation, inerting, etc.) that prevent the formation of explosive mixtures, this plant is an Ex plant and these protection measures must be checked accordingly.

When handling hazardous substances, a risk assessment (GBU) must always be carried out. The Ordinance on Hazardous Substances (GefStoffV) does not mention “de minimis limits”. In this GBU, however, it can be concluded on the basis of TRGS 510 “Storage of hazardous substances in portable containers” that, depending on the classification of the hazardous substance (H-phrases), no special protective measures that go beyond the general requirements of a hazardous substance storage facility are necessary. This is the case, for example, with extremely flammable liquids (H224) in quantities ≤ 10 kg. For ≤ 200 kg, even extended requirements for the hazardous substance storage facility are sufficient. However, for > 200 kg, special protective measures (explosion protection) must be implemented.

Yes, according to §14 (2) GefStoffV, employees must be instructed verbally about all hazards that occur and the corresponding protective measures, this also includes hazards due to explosions. The instruction can take place within the framework of the occupational health and safety instruction.

The risk assessment for hazards from explosions must be presented in the explosion protection document. All risk assessments must be reviewed regularly in accordance with §6(10) GefStoffV and updated immediately in the event of significant changes.

For systems in which hazardous explosive atmospheres can occur, the minimum inspection intervals are specified in the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (BetrSichV) Annex 2 Section 3 No. 5. This BetrSichV has been in force since 2015. For installations that were commissioned before 1 June 2012, a transitional period applied until 01 June 2018, by which time these installations had to be inspected on a recurring basis.

In the case of hazardous explosive mixtures, test intervals are to be specified in the GBU; they are not bound to the test intervals of the BetrSichV, although these are generally useful as a reference value.

No, the explosion protection document is the risk assessment (GBU) according to §6(9) GefStoffV and only considers hazards due to explosions. The GBU according to §3 BetrSichV considers all hazards that can occur during use with work equipment and therefore includes other hazards. However, reference can be made to the explosion protection document for the item “Hazards due to explosions”.

No, it is not mandatory to graphically illustrate the Ex zones identified in the explosion protection document in a plan. However, it is a very helpful means of displaying the Ex zones clearly and at a glance, thus making it easier to implement them in the operational process.

It is basically up to the employer how he wants to organise this. Here, too, there are no specifications. Depending on the size of the enterprise, it may be clearer to consider parts of the site in a partial explosion protection document and to draw up a superordinate document for all partial documents in which measures and basic principles are defined that apply to all.

If measurement and control technology is used to monitor explosion protection measures, it must be carried out in accordance with TRGS 725. TRGS 725 thus replaces the former classification of EMSR technology according to VDI 2180 Part 6.

Our Team

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Anna Schöllhorn

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Franz-Josef Kipshagen

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Peter Nöldeke

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Ralf Schiffel

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Reinhard Felleitner

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Tobias Brandes

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