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60079-14 update for Ex Professionals

Author : Alan Montgomery, CompEx

15 April 2024

In this article, CompEx Certifications Technical Development Manager Alan Montgomery shares his thoughts on the recent updates to the publication dates for IEC 60079-14 and BS EN 60079-14 standards.

As safety remains paramount within hazardous environments, staying updated with the latest changes to key standards is crucial, especially for those who rely on this important document for their Design, Selection and Installation of Ex certified electrical equipment.

Whether you're involved in oil and gas, petrochemicals, food and beverage manufacturing, Water Utilities or Fuel Forecourts or any others potentially explosive atmosphere understanding these standards is essential for ensuring safety and compliance.

For those of you who are becoming fully versed with the changes to the recently updated IEC 60079 - Part 17:2023 (which has now been fully adopted by British & European standards committees to become BS EN IEC 60079-17:2024 Electrical installations inspection and maintenance) – in particular the removal of the term Responsible Persons along with Operatives and Technician and replacing them with an increased alignment to the duties of the Technical Person with Executive Function (TPEF) and the introduction of the term 'Skilled Persons' aligned to the tasks associated with Inspection and Maintenance – you will be ____________ (I will leave a blank space for you to complete your own emotion at this point – I'm sure, like me, you have many words for that blank space!!) to see that both the IEC and BSi have issued revised publication dates for issue of their (what are looking like) 'respective' versions of the latest update to: 60079 - Part 14: Electrical installations design, selection and erection.

I will add an obvious 'note of caution' here to say, of course... that may be subject to change (and has done on several occasions).

Click here to go to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60079-14 Standard page

*RFDIS - Final Draft International Standard received and registered, next stage is to publish the (IS) International Standard.

With my previous comment it would infer that (although still to be confirmed at this point) that we will (in the UK) have a different version of this standard as we have done for the previous 10 years or so and have to contend with a National Foreword and (or) Annexes as before. Time will indeed tell on that point and like most of you I wait with bated breath to see what the new standard(s) will bring in their 'respective' versions, more importantly what differences may cause uncertainty for those organisations who operate across several regions around the world.

Click here to go to the British Standard (BSi) 60079-14 Standards Development page

Interpretation or indeed mis-interpretation of any standard, directive or regulation may cause differences of opinion, confusion or even unsafe practices in installation, inspection or maintenance and they should always aim to be as clear as possible to understand as to avoid this situation. In parallel the reader should always follow current legislation and seek guidance from the site's Technical Authority in terms of which standards are applicable to that particular site.

About the author:

CompEx Technical Development Manager Alan Montgomery is an experienced Electrical Practitioner who has gone on to support and develop Competency Management within Manufacturing and Petrochemical plants. Before joining CompEx, Alan was an instructor and assessor delivering Electrical Safety and CompEx qualifications at Forth Valley College.

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