EXPLOSIVE ATMOSPHERE

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Mixture of a flammable substance in the air under the form of gas, vapour, mist or dust, in normal atmospheric conditions, in which, after the ignition, the combustion proceeds until the mixture runs out.

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Inflammable substance: a substance that is inflammable or able to produce an inflammable gas, vapour or mist

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Inflammable liquid: a liquid able to produce an inflammable vapour, under any kind of predictable operative condition

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Inflammable gas or vapour: a gas or vapour that, if mixed with air in certain proportions, originates an explosive atmosphere

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Inflammable dusts: only those flammable dusts that react with the oxygen from air are to be considered; these therefore exclude those dusts that, containing a combustive agent themselves, might explode in the absence of atmospheric oxygen.

Some causes of ignition can be as follows:

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Hot surfaces

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Hot flames or gases (exhaust fumes)

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Electric material (arcs, sparks, temperatures)

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Electrostatic charges

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Mechanical sparks

When all of three elements are present, the triangle is complete and an explosion can accour. The skill is to find the most effective way of keeping these elements apart.

What is Discretionary Safety?

Additional control and mitigation measures applied to facilities over and above the provisions that maybe required by:

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International Best Practice

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Company design specifications or industry codes of practice

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Regional or National regulations

Where should Discretionary Safety be applied?

Additional requirements maybe considered necessary as a result of:

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Recent incidents or events

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Intolerable levels of residual risk

In terms of explosion protection this may involve:

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Protection: elimination of one or more components comprising the combustion triangle

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Hazardous Area: a place in which there is or could be an explosive atmosphere due to the presence of gas, in such a quantity as to require particular measures for the realization, installation and use of the structures.

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Machine Directive 2006/42/EC: the machine must be planned and built in order to avoid any kind of explosion risks caused by the machine or by gas, liquids, dusts, vapour and other substances used by the machine.

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