What is a hazardous area?
A hazardous area is an area in which an explosive atmosphere is present, or may be expected to be present, in quantities that require special precautions for the construction, installation and use of electrical equipment. The explosive atmosphere may be caused by the presence of flammable liquid, gas or vapour, or by the presence of combustible dust.

Examples of hazardous areas
Hazardous areas include, but are not limited to: petrol stations, spray-paint shops, refineries and major processing plants, laboratories, sewage treatment, pumping plants, coal handling plants and grain handling facilities.

Obligations and responsibilities
The owner of the hazardous area installation must ensure that:
x the installation is inspected, tested and found to be electrically safe by an accredited auditor before the installation is connected or reconnect to the electricity supply; and
x all requirements, as stipulated by the accredited auditor, are met and are maintained during the life of the installation; and
x the electrical contractor engaged can show competence to conduct the electrical installation work required; and
x all documents relating to the hazardous area, including any written notifications from the accredited auditor, are placed in the ‘Hazardous Area Verification Dossier’.

The owner has the responsibility to:
x accept or reject the design and equipment used in the installation, ensuring compliance with legislative and international standard requirements; and
x accept the use of any particular equipment or method of installation in accordance with, and ensuring compliance with, legislative and internationak standard requirements, and to obtain advice on this from people competent to provide such advice; and
x maintain an up to date and accessible ‘Hazardous Area Verification Dossier’.

What must your approved auditor do?
x Inspect the electrical installation located in the hazardous area, and confirm the installation has been tested to ensure it is electrically safe and is in accordance with the Wiring Rules and other relevant international standards; and
x provide written notification to the owner / occupier of the hazardous area or their representative detailing the outcome of the inspection; and the auditor, or the employer of the approved auditor, must make and keep a copy of the inspection report for at least five years.
It shows a clear request for digitalized data processing and ability to track all actions on site.
EPDS does it all!
EPDS – explosion protection documentation system – http://epds.hu/
EPDS+ – electronic portable documentation system – http://epdsplus.hu/
Various functional modules included:
– ex inspection
– legal frameworks: fire-, work- and environmental protection
– lifetime tracking
– site work
– verification dossier
– asset’s identification
– SAP, … connectivity (interface)
– ex personnel competency
Altogether: full compliance to hazardous area and general industries

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