|Q.||What is the relevance of ATEX in food and pharma industry ?|
In 2003, two European directives came into force concerning ATEX legislation. Directive 94/9/EC is concerned with equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentionally explosive atmospheres, while the second, 99/92/EC is concerned with the health and safety of workers potentially at risk for exposure to explosive atmospheres.
Lock Inspection Systems have been awarded ATEX approval for Zone 21 and 22 following a comprehensive and auditing process from an approval notified testing body. Lock is the first UK metal detection manufacturer to comply with the new directive on explosion protection.
Food Pharmaceutical, Bakery and Snack manufacturers are facing mounting pressure to comply with the regulations, now they can turn to Lock for inspection solutions of all incoming bulk raw materials in granular and fine powder form.Potentionally explosive conditions are common in many areas of the food and pharmaceutical production plants where airbourne dust from materials such as flour, cocoa, rice, grains and powders can create environments which could become explosive.
Hitesh Hirani, Technical Director of Lock Inspection System comments, "Compliance with international performance and safety standards is a priority of Lock. More and more manufacturers are required to confirm to ATEX regulations to demonstrate due diligience and to secure themselves against explosion risks. By investing significant funds and resources into this certification, Lock can assist the customer to meet the required standards."
A risk assessment is the first step needed to determine whether ATEX compliance is required. This establishes whether there are any dusk risk areas within the plant and then classifies these areas into Zones according to the level of risk. Zone 20 represents a continuous risk, Zone 21 occassional risk and Zone 22 minimal risk of explosion.Hazardous places are classified in terms of zones on the basis of the frequency and duration of the occurrence of an explosive atmosphere.
Gases, vapours and mists
For gases, vapours and mists the zone classifications are:
For dusts the zone classifications are: