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Hazardex 2017 Conference: Safety First – The effective sealing of cables in explosive atmospheres; Barrier type cable gland selection and application in the 21st century

Author : David O’Brien - CMP Products

04 November 2016

In February 2016, the UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) issued a safety notice concerning the selection and application of barrier type cable glands. This action was the culmination of industry dialogue, led by EEMUA and the BSI standards development committee EXL/31/3, with the UK initially voting against publication of IEC 60079-14:2013 (edition 5.0).

The protest by the BSI standards development committee EXL/31/3 was made on safety grounds due to the drastic changes in the selection process of cable entries for Flameproof type ‘d’ enclosures. The BSI standards development committee did not initially succeed in their efforts to reverse the changes to IEC 60079-14:2013 (edition 5.0); however they elected to introduce a National Annex to BS EN 60079-14, offering clarification, which the committee believed would lead to safer installations.

This move was the trigger that caused the UK HSE to release a Safety Notice on 1st February 2016 regarding use of IEC 60079-14:2013, and imploring users to heed the contents of the National Annex in BS EN 60079-14:2014 which now stands the UK market out from the rest of the IEC world.

There have been clear guidelines in IEC 60079-14 (edition 4.0 and earlier) which help to spell out the rules for selection of barrier type cable glands for flameproof type ‘d’ equipment. Possibly one of the most confusing facts to face many contractors and their supply chains however, is that flameproof type ‘d’ (Ex d) cable glands - with or without a barrier seal - can have exactly the same certification ratings, without any real distinction between the two.

The recent changes in IEC 60079-14 do not clarify matters and if anything place more onus of responsibility on users/installers to have more understanding than before which is one of the reasons for the strong stance made by the UK industry.

About the Speaker

David O’Brien
is Technical Compliance Manager at CMP Products and has been with the company for more 20 years during which time he has gained experience from a significant number of major Oil & Gas projects around the world.


He has a sound knowledge of equipment protection methods in explosive atmospheres, and has been well received speaking at conferences in various regions. Since the year 2000, David has spent some of his time exploring business opportunities in South America, Africa, Japan, China, Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East before living in Australia for the last 9 years.


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