Checklist for Explosion Protection

We have been asked to provide a checklist that could be used to determine if enough measures are in place to ensure explosion protection at workplace and wanted to provide it to you free of charge. This checklist is quite extensive so each section may not be applicable for every workplace, but it should be a useful tool when evaluating the safety measures and ensuring that documentation is up to date at a workplace.

Explosion Protection Documentation must be up to date.

If the Explosion Protection Documentation was created in 2006 and it has never been updated, it is likely out of date and must be updated.

  • Explosion Protection Documentation must be up to date, meaning that if there have been any changes in operation, facilities, raw material, equipment, or persons in charge, it must be revised. 9§ Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)

ATEX EU Directive 34/2014 was last updated in 2014, and both the ATEX Act on the Conformity of Equipment 1139/2016 (Finland) and the Government Decree on Conformity of Equipment 1439/2016 (Finland) were last updated in 2016.

SFS Standards 59 was last updated in 2012 and it has new interpretations on e.g. the area classification of LPG piping systems.

Causes of Danger of Explosion

Does the Explosion Protection Document consider all flammable liquids, flammable gasses, and flammable dusts that are being stored and used in production or maintenance work? As directed by Attachment 2A in the Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland).

  • Has the Explosion Protection Document specified all hazardous substances?
  • Is the list of hazardous substances up to date?

Hazardous Area Classifications (Risk assessing the danger of explosion)

  • Is there an up to date Hazardous area zone classification document, and when necessary a hazardous area floor plan?
  • Can one unambiguously identify where the potentially explosive atmospheres are located, or why some operations do not create potentially explosive atmospheres although they could? 7§ the Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)

List of Equipment (electrical and mechanical)

SFS EN 60079-14 Standard on Electrical Installations, which TUKES (the Finnish safety and Chemicals Agency) sees as an essential safety standard, sets special requirements for equipment in potentially explosive atmospheres.

When supplying equipment, equipment suppliers must provide enough information to ensure safe installation, use and maintenance of equipment. Marking on equipment, safety information and instructions must be written in both Finnish and Swedish. 12§ ATEX Act on the Conformity of Equipment 1139/2016 (Finland)

If the equipment is in categories 1G, 2G, 1D or 2D (Ga, Gb, Da, Db) the Act of Conformity requires an EC type examination from which the notified body will provide a type examination certificate. If the equipment has special conditions for safe use, these will be included in the certificate. If the equipment is in category 3G or 3D (Gc, Dc) then a declaration of conformity from the manufacturer is adequate.

Persons in Charge

  • Has the Explosion Protection Document clearly identified persons in charge?

This can mean stating the person’s name or job role, as long as it is clearly stated. The Occupational Safety and Health act 738/2002 (Finland) and Section 1.2 in Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)

Authentication of Explosion Protection Measures

  • Have the staff who work in potentially explosive atmosphere received enough training? Attachment 2A Section 1.1 in Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)
  • When have the staff last received training?
  • Have the staff who engineer or install electrical equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres, and the supervisors in these areas received training that meets the requirements set in SFS EN 60079-14 Standard? When were they last trained? TUKES Guideline 20/2018
  • Are mechanical equipment in potentially explosive atmospheres regularly maintained?
  • Have the people who carry out the maintenance work received enough training that is appropriate to their job roles? Attachment 2A Section 1.1 in Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)
  • Does the workplace have a training register? How is the training register kept up to date?
  • Are the work clothes and gear suitable for work in potentially explosive atmospheres? Attachment 2A Section 2.3 in Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)

Working Instructions in EX Areas

  • Do the working instructions consider work undertaken in potentially explosive atmospheres? Attachment 2A Section 1.2 in Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)
  • Do the working instructions consider maintenance work undertaken in potentially explosive atmospheres?

Work Permit Procedure

  • Does the work permit procedure consider potentially explosive atmospheres? Attachment 2A Section 1.2 in Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)


Ventilation

  • Has the efficacy of ventilation been measured and is there a log of results?
  • Does the ventilation in EX areas have negative pressure compared to areas near it? Section 4.1.1 in SFS Standards 59

Ventilation efficacy must keep concentrations of potentially explosive atmospheres in the working areas below 25% of the lower explosive limit. Government Decree 856/2012

  • If vapours or gasses heavier than air are the hazard, does the ventilation extract air from the lower part of the room?
  • If the hazards are lighter than air, such as hydrogen, methane, acetylene, ammonia, does the ventilation extract air from the upper part of the room?
  • Is the flow measurement of the ventilation associated with equipment operation and does it lock the equipment if the ventilation does not operate effectively? How does the flow measurement and locking system operate?


Grounding

  • Are the metal electrical equipment or exposed conductive parts in potentially explosive atmospheres connected to the equipotential bonding system, either with an earth conductor cable or securely fitted to a grounded metal structure? SFS EN 60079-14
  • Do grounding diagrams and measuring transcripts exist?


Verification and Periodic Inspections of Electrical Equipment

  • Have electronic equipment had final inspections, verification inspections and periodic inspections?
  • Is there an inspection log? Managing an inspection log is the responsibility of the owner. Act 1135/2016 (Finland)

The Electrical Safety Act 1135/2016 (Finland) was last updated at the end of 2016 and currently the interval of periodic inspection of electrical equipment in potentially explosive atmospheres is every 10 years.

When fitting new electrical installations both final inspections and verification inspections must be carried out. After the verification inspection, the inspector will provide an inspection certificate to the owner of the equipment and will attach a verification sticker on the main switchboard or equivalent location. Act 1135/2016 (Finland) and Government Decree on Electrical Installations 1434/2016 (Finland)


Maintenance

The equipment in potentially explosive atmosphere must not ignite an explosion, hence preventative maintenance is imperative, whether equipment is electrical or mechanical. Equipment condition monitoring process ensures that the equipment remain safe to use. 36§ Government Decree on the Safe Use and Inspection of Work Equipment 403/2008

  • Does the planned maintenance system show that preventative maintenance has been carried out?
  • Are EX-equipment included in the planned maintenance system?
  • Has preventative maintenance been carried out on the EX-equipment?
  • Does the planned maintenance system show whether piping system checks have been carried out?
  • Has the insulation of the piping systems been checked?
  • Is it clear what was completed in the preventative maintenance?
  • Have the staff who design, engineer or install electrical equipment in potentially explosive atmospheres, and the supervisors in these areas received training that meets the requirements set in SFS EN 60079-14 Standard? When were they last trained? TUKES Guideline 20/2018


Calibrating and testing gas- and other substance detectors

  • Is there a calibration and testing log?


Cleaning practises (documented cleaning system)


Procedure to limit explosions from happening
Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)

  • Are there any pressure release walls within the facility?
  • Are there are pressure release ducts within the facility?
  • Are there fire extinguishing systems?
  • Are there explosion suppression structures?
  • Have these systems and structures been clearly identified, marked and tested?


Marking EX Areas
Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)

  • Are signs and markings located in a way that they clearly indicate where the potentially explosive atmospheres are? Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)

Marking EX Equipment (indicating that the equipment is suitable for EX Area)

  • Do the staff at the workplace understand what the markings on EX equipment mean?
  • Are the categories of equipment (1G, 2G, 3G, 1D, 2D and 3D) safe to use in the hazardous area?
  • Are the temperature categories (T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6) safe for the hazardous area?
  • Is there any equipment not suitable for safe use in a potentially explosive atmosphere, such as sockets or extension cords?


Risk assessing old equipment

  • If there are equipment within the premises of potentially explosive atmosphere that is not ATEX certified, this equipment must be risk assessed, and based on this repaired or replaced. Attachment 2B Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)

Dust build up

Only 1mm layer of fine flammable dust on the surfaces of the room makes the area potentially explosive from flammable dusts.

  • Do the equipment and area categorisation consider the need for regular cleaning?

Are there any excess items or chemicals within the potentially flammable atmosphere?

  • Cleanliness and organisation of the workspace must be taken care of and looked after. Act 738/2002 (Finland)
  • The location of extractor fans and vents within the ventilation system must be appropriate and the vents must be kept clean. Act 738/2002 (Finland)

Workplace with several companies or undertakings

At a workplace where workers from several undertakings are present, the employer holding the main authority must coordinate the variety of functions occurring and document the safety measures taken and the processes to be followed to ensure safe operation, which must be included in the explosion protection document. 9§ Government Decree 576/2003 (Finland)

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