Are You Using Atex Weighing Equipment?

Are You Using Atex Weighing Equipment?

You have a duty of care towards your employees Price often dictates what you buy when it comes to industrial scales. But if you’re looking for specialist industrial weighing equipment, for use in environments that have been judged to be potentially explosive or flammable, then you need to consider the wider implications of what you are buying in terms of ATEX certification, how it’s installed, maintained, calibrated etc. UK employers have a duty of care towards their employees in terms of minimising the risk of accidents, by using ATEX approved scale equipment. Make sure your supplier is not just a sales or marketing business with little understanding of UK Law on ATEX The fact is, buying scale equipment is just a part of the process when it comes to purchasing ATEX scales. That’s why it’s essential to work with a supplier that not only sells equipment, but also understands the wider legalities, safety and maintenance issues. A brief re-cap on ATEX ATEX is the name commonly given to two European Directives for controlling potentially explosive atmospheres. Employers must classify areas where hazardous explosive atmospheres may occur, into zones. Once you have a zone classification, you can then look for scale equipment suitable for use in that type of environment. A risk assessment will determine the nature of the environment The classification given to specific areas where manufacturing, weighing and other processing takes place, is determined by a detailed risk assessment. This may be done by an approved third-party, in cooperation with your own staff. The classification process is designed to highlight areas within your business that are a risk when it comes to potentially explosive activity. These areas will require special precautions to be taken when it comes to use of equipment that could create a source of ignition, thus preventing serious fire or explosion. This includes the use of industrial scales. Understanding the zones Equipment is categorised: 0, 1, 2 for gases, vapours and mists; dusts are: zone 20, 21 and 22. Please note that Category 1 equipment can also be used in zones 1 and 21 and Category 1 and 2 be used in zones 2 and 22. Zone categories and corresponding equipment When selecting industrial scale equipment, you need to know your zone classification. The official zone classifications and corresponding equipment categories are: Zone 0 or zone 20 – Category 1 equipment
Zone 1 or zone 21 – Category 2 equipment
Zone 2 or zone 22 – Category 3 equipment For full guidance, and a complete breakdown of what is involved with risk assessments, equipment selection and zones, we suggest that you visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/zoning.pdf Look out for website data on ATEX approval and scale equipment labelling To help identify ATEX approved equipment (category and grouping) there is a standard marking/labelling scheme. Labels have to be fixed to the product, but any reputable scale equipment supplier/distributor should also be able to provide evidence of approval (a test certificate) before you purchase. Look out for the yellow hexagonal label (marked with the EX symbol) as this confirms that the scale is fit for its intended purpose and suitable for use in the appropriate ATEX zone/category (as defined).
For further clarification of approval and certification granted, speak to your supplier. You need to be compliant with ATEX and DSEAR Don’t forget that it is a legal obligation under The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) and EU directive ATEX 137 to protect your workforce against explosive environments in the workplace – and that means using scale equipment that is fit for purpose.
Be sure to work with an industrial scale supplier that can supply, advise, maintain and calibrate your ATEX approved weighing equipment. By doing so you will not only be protecting your employees today, but safeguarding their long-term welfare.

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