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process safety consulting

Chilworth are experts in the terms of reference for HAC and helping to understand and meet your obligations and responsibilities under new and existing regulations.

Under current ATEX/DSEAR safety legislation, any industry from chemical manufacturing, paint spraying to food processing utilises flammable gases, vapours or dusts in their process, is under legal obligation to undertake a Hazardous Area Classification (HAC).

Flammable atmospheres are generally mixtures with air of flammable gas, vapour, aerosol (mist) or dust. For example, the head space in a tank containing a flammable solvent and the space surrounding the tank may both be classified as hazardous areas, but their classification would be different on grounds that a flammable atmosphere could be continually present in one but rarely in the other.

Most people would agree that safety is significantly enhanced if it is known where flammable atmospheres could occur on their plant. In fact HAC is growing in importance. Originally HAC was used simply tonable process companies to make the correct choice of electrical equipment - to prevent electrical ignition of the flammable solvent atmosphere by the equipment. Now HAC
is being applied to help in wider risk assessment work and to help counter other ignition sources occurring such as electrostatic sparks. Also, HAC is not only applied to areas where solvent vapours, gases or mists may be found, but also where flammable dust clouds can occur. For this reason HAC is needed not only in chemical plant but in a whole range of other industries from food processors topower generation.

HAC and methods of performing HAC have been around in various national standards for a long time already - which brings with it a pressure to conform. In some European countries (e.g. Belgium) HAC is required under existing law. In all European Union countries HAC is to become mandatory as the ATEX Directives** are incorporated into the national laws of all member states for instance.

Chilworth are experts in both the terms of reference for HAC and your obligations and responsibilities under new and existing regulations, identifying those areas in a plant where flammable atmospheres can be found and their frequency.

Contact us for more information today.