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ATEX 137-A User's Conundrum!

Author : Justin Ogilby, Solutia and Huw Jones, Dow Corning

02 February 2010

As a derivative of the Framework Directive (89/391/EEC) established in June 1989, ATEX 137 sets out to establish a benchmark for the health safety and protection of all workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.

ATEX 137-A User's Conundrum!
ATEX 137-A User's Conundrum!

Article 4 of ATEX Directive 137 (1999/92/EC) obliges the User to determine the specific risks arising from their individual process actions, taking into account the likelihood and persistence that an explosive atmosphere will occur, the active and effective ignition sources and any possible interactions. The assessment of these reasonably foreseeable risks must then be matched by the competency and work practices of the personnel to deliver a minimum set of requirements for the safe use all new or existing equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres.

This presents the User with a veritable conundrum of legal, logistical, manpower and competency requirements to implement and manage! The majority of these impositions will be required to form an integral part of a company’s Environmental, Safety and Health (ESH) cyclical process of reviews. In conjunction, as engineering and material technology develop, the availability of skilled manpower changes, the scope of each requirement will need to be re-considered to ensure a proportionate response is maintained.

A proportionate response to reduce these foreseeable risks to a tolerable position requires a combination of common, industrial and expert knowledge to be co-ordinated and delivered within an established time scale. This presents an opportunity to deliver a focused management system solution that will ensure the health safety and well being of personnel and the prevention of economic damage from potentially explosive atmospheres. But which development path delivers the greatest value for the User?

This paper will be presented at HazardEx 2010

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