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ATEX - The legal framework for controlling explosive atmospheres and standards of equipment and protective systems used in them Go to photo
ATEX - The legal framework for controlling explosive atmospheres and standards of equipment and protective systems used in them

ATEX lift truck audits - Accept no imitations

ATEX lift truck users are being reminded that only fully trained Pyroban engineers can provide the annual safety audit known as the Ex-ASA. “Pyroban trains customer engineers to fix and maintain explosion protected handling equipment safely,” says Karolina Kurzawa, Aftersales Service and Training from Pyroban. “However, the training does not prepare them to conduct the detailed systems audit needed to ensure safety in potentially explosive atmospheres.”

An explosion protection conversion of a lift truck is a complex process which involves reengineering the mechanical and electrical systems. Pyroban turns lift trucks into highly specialised, ATEX compliant machines, that are safe for use within Zoned hazardous areas. Typical users include chemical, pharmaceutical, waste management, and food and drink manufacturing businesses where an explosion could occur if a spark or hot surface on the lift truck ignited an explosive atmosphere.

Pyroban’s customers for audits are end-users and lift truck dealers, who take responsibility for the maintenance and ongoing ATEX compliance. The service engineers are not experienced or qualified to conduct an Ex-ASA on Pyroban’s ATEX compliant equipment.“We have reports of lift truck engineers offering safety audits, claiming they are qualified as they have been on a Pyroban training course,” she says. “This is cause for concern as the engineers do not have the knowledge or experience to inspect the integrity of Pyroban ATEX compliant equipment. Pyroban conversions incorporate many explosion protection concepts including ex d, ex e, ex i, ex m, and much more, requiring specialist knowledge.”

“These engineers may have been trained by Pyroban, but they are only trained to maintain certain aspects of the equipment - the courses do not cover inspections. So, any interventions, or unseen issues, may prove dangerous for the driver, other staff, the brand and supply chain,” she says. “If you have an explosion proof truck, you need to know it is safe, there can be no compromise.”

Pyroban’s Ex-ASA inspects and records all safety critical components of the complete explosion protection system. The inspection, which can be carried out at any location only by one of Pyroban’s specialist auditors, checks for any irregularities. If none are found, the truck can be declared safe for use and a certificate will be issued to support the Explosion Protection Document. If any irregularities are identified, repairs can be scheduled and carried out by a Pyroban trained engineer, and then re-inspected.

“Pyroban safety audits help businesses comply with ATEX* 1999/92/EC by demonstrating that equipment has been maintained with ‘due regard for safety’,” confirms Karolina. “These inspections should not be considered as another revenue stream by lift truck suppliers, as fake audits put lives at risk. Pyroban conversions are not a commodity or an attachment sale. They will always remain a highly regulated, specialist safety solution requiring the appropriate management and aftercare.” Pyroban has taken steps to update its training courses to ensure this message is even clearer to engineers, and to service managers who are setting their business strategy.

Source: Pyroban; MOLOKINI MARKETING LTD

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