Inspecting a non-electrical device with Ex h (explosion-proof) protection method in a hazardous environment involves following specific guidelines to ensure safety.
Here’s a general outline of the steps to inspect such an Ex non.electrical device in possible hazardous environment:
– Obtain the necessary qualifications: Ensure you have the required qualifications, training, and certifications for working with hazardous environments and equipment. This may include certifications like CompEx or other relevant qualifications specific to your industry.
– Familiarize yourself with Ex h protection method: Understand the principles and requirements of Ex h (explosion-proof) protection method. Ex h is a protection method where the non-electrical device is designed to prevent the ignition of surrounding explosive atmospheres by containing any potential sparks, heat, or flames within the device.
– Verify device certification: Confirm that the non-electrical device is certified as suitable for use in hazardous areas with Ex h protection method. It should have appropriate certification from recognized bodies like ATEX, IECEx, or other relevant standards.
– Perform a risk assessment: Conduct a thorough risk assessment of the inspection task. Identify potential hazards, evaluate the risks, and establish appropriate control measures to mitigate them. This may involve conducting a formal Hazardous Area Classification (HAC) study to determine the level of explosion risk.
– Use personal protective equipment (PPE): Wear the necessary personal protective equipment, including flame-retardant clothing, safety goggles, gloves, and any additional protective gear required for the specific environment.
– Plan the inspection: Develop a detailed inspection plan, considering the safety measures, potential ignition sources, and specific requirements for the device and environment. Determine the appropriate access points and procedures for inspecting the device without compromising the Ex h protection method.
– Inspect the device: Follow the established procedures for inspecting the non-electrical device. Ensure that the device is not damaged or compromised in any way that could affect its explosion-proof integrity. Check for any signs of wear, corrosion, or potential issues that may impact its safety.
– Verify documentation and labeling: Check the device for proper documentation and labeling, including the Ex h certification marks, identification numbers, and any other relevant information. Ensure that the device’s markings are legible and up-to-date.
– Document findings and observations: Record your inspection findings accurately and thoroughly. Take notes, photographs, or any other relevant documentation to document the condition of the device, potential issues, or safety concerns. Note any maintenance or repairs needed, and ensure they are performed by qualified personnel.
– Follow safety protocols for non-conformance: If any defects or non-conformities are identified during the inspection, follow the established procedures for reporting and addressing such issues. Remove the device from the hazardous area if necessary and coordinate with the appropriate personnel for repairs or replacements.
– Maintain records and report: Keep a comprehensive record of the inspection, including dates, findings, corrective actions, and any other pertinent information. Report the inspection results to the relevant authorities or stakeholders as required.
It is important to note that inspecting devices with Ex h protection requires specialized knowledge and adherence to strict safety guidelines.
Why to talk about?
IEC 60079-14/-17 only address the electrical assets and define a checklist for visual, close and detailed inspections. The same for non.electrical Ex does not exist and not even defined in any standard (in EU the ATEX 137 only defines the ignition source assessment). The ISO 80079-36/-36 only address the manufacturing of the same asset, not their application. EN 1127-1 speaks about non.electrical in general as a possible ignition source, so this is very good indication.
In order to avoid the existence of any ignition source in any possible hazardous environment we have to be on the safe side, and one very logical way to go to create a spreadsheet and customize in each and every case. The good engineering practice does give a similar understanding of IEC 60079-14/-17 for non.electrical Ex installation as well.
Keep up the good work!