Risks of mechanical ignition sources

Since 2006, companies working with hazardous substances have to meet the requirements of the ATEX 137 directive,. According to this directive, employees have to be able to work safely in areas with a risk of an explosion.  The employers are obliged to take measurements preventing explosions.

The company has to assess and analyze the security risks and take the necessary action. Purchasing certified equipment alone is not enough. The responsibility for the integral safety has to be guaranteed by the employer, not the manufacturer.

According to the ATEX 137 companies also have to evaluate the risks of non-electrical equipment, mostly mechanical equipment, as a potential ignition source, for example jammed hot bearings of pumps, hot surfaces, static electricity and mechanical sparks.

The ATEX 137 also describes that non-electrical equipment have to meet the requirements of explosion protection. Under certain conditions a manufacturers declaration is sufficient for non-electrical equipment which is already installed in the field. Many users have no experience with this. Therefore the Labour, Health & Safety board (Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment) have published a report called ‘Risico’s van mechanische ontstekingsbronnen’.

Source: Report ‘Risico’s van mechanische ontstekingsbronnen’ of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.