International (IEC) and European (CENELEC) committees set the series of standards for the designation of hazardous areas and the placement and use of electrical equipment in them. The IEC series 60079 are transposed into CENELEC equivalents EN 60079 and adopted by British Standards as the BS EN 60079 range.
The British Standard BS EN 60079 Part 17 covers Inspections and Maintenance of Electrical Installations in Hazardous Areas.
In order to comply with the standard, the Dutyholder – essentially the employer, more often than not an appointee – must establish a hazardous area inspection regime. The regime is the basis for upkeeping protection against ignition sources in the hazardous areas. It demonstrates good intent and is a core defence should one be needed. Within that regime every single ignition source must be accounted for, and inspection protocols put in place to demonstrate due diligence.
There are a number of inspection protocols detailed in BS EN 60079 Part 17. It refers to four inspection types – Initial, Periodic, Sample and Special (for movable apparatus); three inspections grades Visual, Close and Detailed; and a variety of inspection schedules for flameproof, intrinsically safe etc.
Inglewood are leading exponents of inspection practice and can advise you on the protocols and regime that are sufficient for your installation. Sometimes there is room for latitude, other times not. For example before a new or modified plant is used for the first time a competent person must verify its explosion safety, now a legal requirement. On the other hand informed judgement may be exercised regarding the grade and frequency of continued inspections.
Inglewood site inspection and documentation is completed in line with BS EN 60079 guidelines to ensure that the client can prove compliance to the relevant authorities. Every piece of equipment within the hazardous area is subject to the installation and documentation checks that are detailed in the standard.
The inspection process can generate a prodigious amount of data and we report this faithfully for your records, but the real trick is to make sense of it all. So we give you a simple summary and we also brief you on the options available for tackling any non-conformances, which are singled out and categorised for your attention by criticality.