Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Confined Space Cleaning - Management and Equipment

Explosive Confined Space Cleaning, Maintenance and Inspection Services

Under what conditions can an explosion occur?

There is a risk of explosion when several elements are present:

           An oxidant: Oxygen over 23% in the air, for example......  

A fuel: Gas or vapors: hydrocarbons, solvents, varnishes, gas, alcohol, chemical products, agents for manufacture of plastics, powders and dust: magnesium, flour, aluminum, sulfur, cellulose, cereals, carbon, wood, milk, resins, sugars, starch, polystyrenes, fertilizer, etc...... a hot spot or a source of combustion

For example, when filling a grain silo, the concentration of dust is very high. The environment then is dangerous: a rise in temperature, or even a spark, can trigger an explosion.

If a risk of explosion is identified in an environment (gas or dust), a safety requirement is imposed for the use of equipment that is specifically designed to function without becoming a potential source of combustion. ATEX equipment offers different types of protection designed to diminish the risk of explosion.

The ATEX standard (Ex)

What is the ATEX?

The ATEX regulation is a European directive which requires all heads of organizations to fully understand the risks related to certain explosive environments. To do this, an evaluation of the risk of explosion in a company is required in order to identify any locations where explosive environments could form, and then to put in place the means to avoid explosion.

How do you choose equipment that is adapted for an environment at risk of explosion?

ATEX environments are subdivided into three zones:

  • zones 0, 1 or 2 for gases
  • zones 20, 21 or 22 for dust  

Our equipment is rated to Ex ATEX zones 0, 1 & 2 and all IP zones 20, 21 and 22.

Zone classification ATEX classification required for equipment
(for Group II, above-ground industry)
Zone 0 (gas)
Zone 20 (dust)
Category 1
The explosive mix is present constantly or for a long period of time
Zone 1 (gas)
Zone 21 (dust)
Category 2
An explosive mix may form under normal working conditions
Zone 2 (gas)
Zone 22 (dust)
Category 3
An explosive mix has a small chance of forming and would exist only for a short period


We have over 8 years experience in working in Safe Working in Confined Spaces with Rescue