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Compex training from ATEC for competency within potentially Explosive Atmospheres

16 September 2015

There are many standards, regulations and recommended practices used around the globe which attempt to define the requirements for equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres. The underlying assumption is that the equipment is selected, installed and maintained by personnel who are familiar with the potential hazards and the methods of protection utilized. 

The fact that there continue to be injuries and deaths related to equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres is a direct indication that not all personnel involved with selecting, installing and maintaining the equipment truly understand how to maintain the protection afforded by the Ex equipment.

Historically, only installation personnel were sent for Ex training, but the requirements as detailed in the IEC 60079-14 standard now consider that those personnel who have an influence on the plant design and operation also need training specific to Ex equipment selection, installation and maintenance.

Since 2007, the IEC 60079-14 standard, and most national standards based on the IEC 60079-14 standard, have the following statement: “The design of the installation, the selection of equipment and the erection covered by this standard shall be carried out only by persons whose training has included instruction on the various types of protection and installation practices, relevant rules and regulations and on the general principles of area classification. The competency of the person shall be relevant to the type of work to be undertaken (See Annex F).”

This statement emphasizes that all personnel who are involved with the Ex equipment are to have an understanding of the aspects of Ex equipment; competency is no longer limited to installation and inspection personnel.

The standard goes further to define the following roles in need of competency to include:
Responsible persons:
• those who are responsible for the processes involved in the design, selection, installation  and/or maintenance of Ex equipment
• typically manage operatives and/or designers
• involved in selection and installation of Ex equipment
• involved in facility or process design
• involved in selection of Ex equipment

Companies, including contractors, who are involved in the design, selection or installation of Ex equipment are required to demonstrate competency based on the tasks undertaken and methods of protection utilized. Personnel within these companies are usually in need of the Ex-specific training to complement their existing skill set.

CompEx® is an internationally-recognized training and competency scheme for personnel involved in the design, selection, installation, inspection and maintenance of Ex equipment, both electrical and non-electrical. ATEC Houston, ATEC Singapore and ATEC Dubai are each a registered CompEx training center.

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