ATEX Regulations

What are the ATEX regulations for explosive atmospheres?
Explosions have the potential to cause loss of life, severe injuries and serious damage to property, so designers and manufacturers of relevant machines such as electric motors have a responsibility to adhere to the ATEX directive.
What is ATEX?
The ATEX directive combines two EU regulations:

ATEX Product Directive 94/9/EC, for product design and construction
ATEX 99/92/EC, covering hazardous environments.

ATEX was introduced in 1996 on a voluntary basis and become complusory from 1 July 2003.
What does ATEX stand for?
ATEX takes its name from the French title of the 94/9/EC directive Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères Explosives.
How is ATEX equipment graded?
Equipment to be used in potentially explosive atmospheres (i.e. where there is gas, vapours or dust present) is graded as follows:

Group I (mines)

M1 – For use above and below ground where equipment must remain operational should an explosion occur
M2 – As with M1 but designed to disconnect in the event of an explosive atmosphere.

Group II (surface)

Category 1 – The highest level of protection, for permanently explosive atmospheres
Category 2 – For equipment used where an explosive atmosphere is likely to occur.
Category 3 – Providing protection where explosive atmospheres are unlikely or infrequent.

What are the ATEX zones?
ATEX classifies zones in three categories:

Zone 0 (gas) / 20 (dust) – Permanently explosive atmosphere requiring Category 1 equipment
Zone 1 (gas) / 21 (dust) – Occasional explosive atmosphere requiring Category 2 equipment
Zone 2 (gas) / 22 (dust) – Explosive atmosphere occurs during abnormal conditions and requiring Category 3 equipment.

Fire Extinguishers

The NSAI with consent from the Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation have revoked IS 291:2002 “The use, siting, inspection and maintenance of portable Fire Extinguishers ”

IS 291:2015 “Selection, commissioning, installation, inspection and maintenance of portable Fire Extinguishers ” has been declared to be a “Standard Specification”

please see link below:

IRIS August 18th 2015

Electrical Fatality Statistics – Health and Safety Authority

Source: Electrical Fatality Statistics – Health and Safety Authority

Each number shown above represents a person killed due to electricity.

The actual occurrences that led to the deaths are set out in the enclosed table of Elec_Fatalities_2014. This table gives a brief description of each fatal incident (though details of certain recent fatalities have not yet been included).

The Electro Technical Council of Ireland (ETCI), and in particular, their Technical Committee dealing with Safety (TC5), monitors all aspects of electrical safety in the country and also issue several publications on the entire area of electrical safety.

– See more at: http://www.hsa.ie/eng/Topics/Electricity/Dangers_of_Electricity/Electrical_Fatality_Statistics/#sthash.2P0NNoxP.dpuf

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Which home appliances most likely to catch fire?

Are some appliance brands more dangerous than others?
Which? reveals the home appliances most likely to catch fire

We found that 175 Hoover washing machines caught fire between January 2011 and March 2014 – 12% of the number of fires recorded for washing machines overall (excluding models where the brand wasn’t identified). Based on our market intelligence, we think Hoover’s market share is probably less than 12%, making its number of fires for this appliance type disproportionately high.

In another example, Hotpoint accounts for 38% (410) of dishwasher fires recorded where the brand could be identified. We think Hotpoint’s share of the dishwasher market is likely to be less than 38%, meaning more Hotpoint dishwashers caught fire than we would expect.

Hotpoint told us it doesn’t agree with our market-share figures and believes it’s inaccurate to draw conclusions from a relatively small number of incidents where the cause of fire is not always investigated. Hoover said it cannot establish conclusions from the data we provided.

Click to read the full article: Are your appliances dangerous?
Do product recalls work?
The products we buy must be safe and, if they’re not, manufacturers must recall them. But we believe it’s possible for some manufacturers to drag their feet when issuing a recall.

Beko recalled around 480,000 of its fridge freezers after it was established that they contained a faulty component – but not before one of its fridge freezers started the blaze that caused the death of Mr Santosh Benjamin Muthiah in November 2011.

At the inquest into Mr Muthiah’s death, it came to light that independent risk assessors highlighted the issue two years and five months before Beko publicly recalled the products.
When product recalls fall short
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘It’s shocking that […]

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Electric shocks put cinema operator in court



A cinema operator in the UK has been fined after two employees received electric shocks from a popcorn machine.

Manchester Magistrates Court fined Cineworld Ltd. £9,000, plus costs, after two members of staff at its Didsbury multiplex received electric shocks from a machine that keeps popcorn warm.

After one employee received a shock, management were alerted, but failed to isolate the machine or post warning notices to stop staff using it. Later the same day, a second worker was shocked when he turned the machine off.

An investigation by Manchester City Council found the machine had a faulty switch and a panel missing, meaning a live circuit board was exposed. Neither worker was seriously injured by the shocks, but the court heard that they could have been fatal.

Cineworld Cinemas pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

For more log onto www.ipat.ie


Visual Inspection in Maintaining the Safety of Electrical Equipment

The Role of Visual Inspection in Maintaining the Safety of Electrical Equipment
02 February 2015
Current health and safety guidance on the use of workplace equipment puts even greater emphasis on effective visual inspection, says Willie Cody of IPAT Ltd

There has long been considerable evidence that faulty electrical appliances in the workplace consistently pose a serious threat to people and property through accidents, injuries and fire hazards. There is also indisputable evidence that the periodic in-service inspection and testing of electrical equipment prevents injuries, saves lives and avoids workplace fires that would otherwise be devastating for those involved.

This situation has not changed – but the clear message from organisations such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the IET (through its Code of Practice for the In Service Inspection and Testing of Electrical Equipment) is that electrical equipment maintenance regimes should be based on a more focused and robust approach to assessing the safety risks posed by appliances.

The sentiment behind the recent guidance follows concern that the implied legal requirement for maintaining the safety of electrical appliances was being applied too broadly and disproportionately, resulting in situations of costly over compliance, particularly in more benign working environments.

As a result, the clear message now is that only when the extent of the potential hazard associated with a particular item of electrical equipment has been assessed and understood can it be managed through a programme of inspection and testing.

Minimising the risk

The legal requirements relating specifically to the use and maintenance of electrical equipment are contained in the Health and Safety at Work Act. These Regulations apply to all work activities involving electrical equipment. They place duties on employers, the self-employed and employees (subsequently referred to as ‘dutyholders’) to control […]