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August is the month of Maintenance

Thursday, 1 July 2010 PDF icon August is the month of Maintenance
August is usually the month of scheduled maintenance. During this month, the plants are shut down in order to proceed with the control of efficiency and safety of machinery and equipment. A regular maintenance is essential to maintain equipment, machineries and work environment safe and reliable. The lack of maintenance or improper maintenance operations can cause extremely dangerous situations, accidents and health problems. Maintenance itself, however, is a high-risk activity because some of the dangers arising from the nature of work. It runs in all sectors and in all workplaces. Consequently, maintenance workers may be exposed to various dangers more than other employees.

Lighting of places with risk of explosion

Tuesday, 1 June 2010 PDF icon Lighting of places with risk of explosion
The correct lighting of work places is a growing concern in order to guarantee the safety of people who works on plants. In particular, in electrical plants installed in hazardous area, lighting features are considered as a means to reduce risks of explosion. About 80% of our sensorial perception is visual and needs light as a vehicle of information, to interpret information from visible light reaching the eyes. A good illumination helps to see and recognize things, but also improves working performances and physical wellness, since it increases concentration and reduces tiredness. Equipment installed in classified zones, hence, have to guarantee the ex-proof protection and a good light stream in order to guarantee work operations in safety conditions.

Ex “d” protection mode

Monday, 1 March 2010 PDF icon Ex “d” protection mode
Without retracing the whole theory about how an explosion occurs, we just remind you that three factors are necessary: the combustible material, the combustion agent and the ignition energy. The combustible material and the combustion agent, called explosive mixture, must be present in percentage defined within two limits to be triggered by a spark or an electric arc. Beginning from this theory, all the different modes of protection have been studied. Over time, they led to the various standards on how to design and manufacture safe equipment which can be used in areas with potentially explosive atmospheres.

The new classification of hazardous areas

Monday, 1 February 2010 PDF icon The new classification of hazardous areas
In each area in which there is a process that causes a raising of temperature of flammable substances and their evaporation, such as hydrocarbons, can produce a leak of gas or of vapor which, in contact with flames or sparks caused by electrical processes, may explode. This event can happen both during normal operations and in case of breakdown or accident. Talking about these events, it is usually to cite a refinery as an example because it is, perhaps, the place where an explosion can easier happen. But the same conditions can occur in other chemical plants, or even in simple and seemingly innocuous places, such as, a painting room or a room where charge forklift batteries.

The correct use of sealing fittings

Friday, 1 January 2010 PDF icon The correct use of sealing fittings
A conduit system should be provided with sealing fittings, through which run the electrical conductors, outside each enclosure containing equipment that can spark. Once completed the assembly, the sealing fitting must be completely sealed with a special resin in order to prevent that a possible explosion occurred inside the enclosure can be propagated to the whole system of interconnected pipes, causing a devastating explosion. Too often in plants, the sealing fittings are open, not sealed or sealed incorrectly.

2012 - Harmonised standards ATEX

2012 - Harmonised standards ATEX
PDF icon 2012 - Harmonised standards ATEX