Application of ATEX to non electrical equipment

Understanding the ignition risks associated with mechanical equipment was a new area of work when the ATEX directive was originally written. Alan worked in the relevant CEN standards group (TC 305 WG2) for 18 years, and as convenor of that group for 6 years. This committee eventually published 6 standards as parts of EN 13463 to help manufacturers produce ATEX compliant equipment for the non mining sector. Ongoing development of standards in this field was passed during 2009 to IEC SC31M, working both to IEC TC 31, and also to ISO. This has resulted in the publication in 2016 of standards ISO 80079-36 and ISO 80079-37, which cover basic requirements, and also protection by constructional safety, liquid immersion and control of ignition sources. These are cross referenced in turn into the mining equipment standard ISO 80079-38. These publications open the door for mechanical equipment to be granted IEC Ex certificates, though extremely little mechanical equipment requires independent testing and certification under European legislation.

Alan also has practical experience in assessing the risks associated with existing mechanical equipment, where users wish to establish in a risk assessment under DSEAR that it remains fit for purpose.

Belt drives like this can overheat if the belt slips, and there are requirements for the belt properties to reduce the risk from static and fire.