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Ashtead launches intrinsically safe dust monitor

11 March 2019

Ashtead Technology has added TSI’s latest personal aerosol monitor, the SidePak AM520i to its fleet of instruments available for both rental and sale. Applications for this new intrinsically safe personal dust monitor therefore include a wide variety of workplaces within the oil and gas, petrochemical, manufacturing, processing, aerospace, and bulk material handling sectors, as well as those with confined spaces such as mining and wastewater.

“This is a major addition to our equipment portfolio,” comments Senior Sales Manager Josh Thomas. “Many workplaces include areas that contain or produce explosive or potentially explosive atmospheres, and a high proportion of these zones contain risks associated with particulates. So, an intrinsically safe monitor is required to test these areas, and the launch of the TSI AM520i makes that possible with a lightweight instrument that is ideal for personal monitoring.”

Potentially explosive atmospheres exist in locations where work activities create or release flammable gases or vapours, such as petrochemicals, VOCs from paint spraying, or in workplaces handling fine organic dusts such as grain flour or wood. 

Employers are responsible for the classification into zones of areas where hazardous explosive atmospheres may occur. Each zone’s classification and its size and location, depend on the likelihood of an explosive atmosphere occurring and its persistence. Schedule 2 of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) contains descriptions of the various classifications of zones for gases and vapours and for dusts.

DSEAR requires employers to eliminate or control the risks from dangerous substances, so monitoring is essential in ATEX zones, and the AM520i is certified for dust measurements in Zone 0. ATEX is the name commonly applied to the two EU Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres; the 'ATEX Workplace Directive' and the ATEX Equipment Directive' which necessitates the use of intrinsically safe monitoring equipment for example.

The SidePak™ Personal Aerosol Monitor AM520i is a small, single-channel, battery-operated instrument that provides real-time aerosol mass concentration readings of dusts, fumes, mists, smoke and fog within a worker’s breathing zone. Typically, the monitor is fitted to the wearer’s belt, or left in a location of concern. Alternatively, it can be used as a portable monitor providing real-time readings in survey mode.

With a built-in pump and internal datalogger, the instrument can provide continuous measurements, which provide extremely useful temporal information in comparison with gravimetric methods.

Operators are able to select from a choice of inlet conditioners providing size fraction cut points for PM10, PM4 (Respirable), PM5 (China Respirable), PM2.5, PM1 and 0.8 µm Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM).

Summarising, Josh says: “The non-intrinsically safe version of this instrument has been hugely popular for many years, so the technology is well proven, and the launch of this new EX version will mean that anybody with a potential requirement for monitoring in explosive atmospheres, can rent or purchase an instrument that can operate in all areas.

“We are also a TSI Gold Partner, so customers can be assured that we have the resources to ensure that TSI equipment is supplied and maintained in perfect condition.”

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