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Standards for developments in inspection maintenance & repair of Ex equipment - to be presented at HazardEx 2012

Author : Ron Sinclair MBE Chair of British & European standards committees for Ex Electrical Equipment

20 December 2011

Over recent years it has become increasingly acknowledged that equipment installed in hazardous areas will be fit for purpose when despatched from the manufacturer and that the problems only start once the equipment is being installed and the plant is running.

Reports on actual incidents, such as those at Buncefield, Bacton and in the Gulf of Mexico, highlight the failure of the management structure for operating, inspecting, maintaining and repairing the plant. The IEC has developed standards in the 60079 series specifically targeted at these activities and the IECEx International Certification System has developed two certification schemes which enable operators and individuals to prove capability and competence in these important tasks.

The paper will highlight the importance of these standards and the way that certification can give confidence in the process.

The scheme for certification of Service Facilities is now reaching a state of maturity, though many repair workshops seem reluctant to embrace all of the latest requirements in the 2010 edition of 60079-19.  Why is this?  IECEx WG10 is meeting in Sydney in October and the paper will highlight issues that arise from that meeting and will affect operators in this field. 60079-17 assists those wanting to put in place a robust inspection and maintenance regime and some of the competency units in the IECEX Scheme for Certification of Personnel Competency are directly targeted at the people responsible.  

CompEx provides a good foundation for the hand-on operatives in this area, but the IECEx Scheme expands this and also looks at the application of the skills in the workplace.  It is particularly appropriate for those undertaking the role of Responsible Person.


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