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What is explosion protection?

Mines and industries where explosive gas, vapour or dust atmospheres may form must be equipped with explosion protected electrical, electronic and mechanical equipment, ie equipment that has an acceptable low risk of creating an ignition source. Since 1950, testing of explosion protected apparatus has been conducted in South Africa by independent laboratories as required by law.

Typical aspects to be considered in such mines and industries include

  • classification of potentially hazardous locations (determining the risk of creating an explosive atmosphere);
  • selection of appropriate explosion protected equipment (balancing the above risk with the risk of causing an ignition and therefore an explosion); and
  • inspection, maintenance and repair of explosion protected apparatus (keeping equipment in a condition that will not increase the ignition risk).

Legal requirements

Requirements for explosion protection as found in South African laws and regulations are summarised below.

Industry: Mines
Law: Mines Health and Safety Act (Act 29 of 1996)

Regulation

Aspect

Standard

Who is responsible

R10.1(2) (a)

Area classification

SANS 10108

Mine Management (except compulsory hazardous locations)

R10.1(2) (c)

Selection of Ex equipment

SANS 10108

Delegated by Plant Management to technical staff

R10.1(2) (b)

Certification of Ex equipment and systems

SANS 10108
ARP 0108

Accredited Test Laboratory (ATL)

R10.1(2) (d), (f)

Ex installations

SANS 10086-1
SANS 10086-2

Delegated by Plant Management to technical staff

R10.1(2) (f)

Use, inspection and
maintenance of Ex equipment

SANS 10086-1
SANS 10086-2

Delegated by Plant Management to technical staff

R10.1(2) (e)

Repair of Ex equipment

SANS 10086-3
(SANS 10242-1,
SANS 10227 etc.)

Accredited Repairer, or re-test by ATL

 

Industry: Surface
Law: Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993)

Regulation

Aspect

Standard

Who is responsible

EIR Definition of specialized electrical installations.

EMR 9(1).

Area classification

SANS 10108

Delegated by Plant Management to Technical team including specialist

EIR Definition of specialized electrical installations.
EMR 9(2).

Selection of Ex equipment

SANS 10108

Delegated by Plant Management to technical staff

EIR Definition of specialized electrical installations.
EMR 9(3).

Certification of Ex equipment and systems

ARP 0108

Approved Test Laboratory (ATL)

EIR 9(1) and definition of registered person.
EMR 9(4) and 9(7).

Ex installations

SANS 10086-1
SANS 10142-1

Delegated by Plant Management to technical staff, Certificate of Compliance must be issued by Master Installation Electrician (MIE)

EIR Definition of specialized electrical installations.
EMR 9(5), 9(6), 9(8) and 9(9).

Use, inspection and
maintenance of Ex equipment

SANS 10086-1
SANS 10142-1

Delegated by Plant Management to technical staff

EIR Definition of specialized electrical installations.
EMR 9(4).

Repair of Ex equipment

SANS 10086-3

(SANS 10242-1,
SANS 10227 etc.)

Accredited Repairer, or re-test by ATL

EIR = Electrical Installation Regulations          EMR = Electrical Machinery Regulations

 

Free Poster :

An Explolabs poster on "Explosion Protection in SA" is available for download.

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