Operating in Combustible Dust Environments

As demonstrated in the case of the Bosley Mill Explosion in 2015, combustible dust can present a significant danger in processing environments.

Up until quite recently, ignorance of these risks had led to a degree of complacency across many manufacturing sectors. This position is now changing. The risks posed by gases and vapours have been well-understood for some time. Now, many more companies are now appreciating the safety concerns presented by dust.  Since 2009, the EU ATEX directive is the primary regulation for combustible dust risk. In the UK, this is enforced under DSEAR.

Denca’s experience with ATEX is extensive.  We have carried out a wide range of projects within ATEX designated areas over many years. Additionally, we carry out ATEX inspections, providing report and compliance documents. We also undertake remedial services for existing system installations within ATEX zones.   

Members of the Denca team responsible for carrying out ATEX rated work are qualified under CompEx. CompEx is the only Certification Body that offers UKAS accredited certification for personnel who work in explosive atmospheres. Working with experienced and competent partners, we can also assist you with the classification of ATEX-rated zones within your operating environments.

The importance of dust

Until mid-2017, much of Denca’s ATEX work was under our CompEx 01-04 certifications.  These cover delivering services in ATEX Zones 0, 1 and 2 relating to the explosive risk from gases and vapours.  As part of some of these projects, dust protection was starting to become more significant.

We recognised the importance of ensuring that we deliver our services and solutions effectively in projects where ATEX Zones 20/21/22 (Risk of dust/powder explosion) are present.

Denca has been working with leading CompEx training provider TTE since 2000. In August 2017, members of the Denca team returned to TTE to the first CompEx 05-06 course for installations in areas with risk of combustible dust. All Denca staff taking part passed the practical and written exams across the challenging 3-day course. 

Even with their broad experience of working within Zones 0, 1 and 2 (Gas/Vapour) our staff commented on the significant additional knowledge required to properly understand the differences in how work is to be carried out in Zones 20, 21 and 22 (Dust/Powder). 

However, all Denca staff attending the course hold current CompEx 01-04 qualifications and they all reported that their existing CompEx training and experience with gas/vapour control in real-world environments was extremely beneficial when it came to progressing through the new combustible dust course. 

If you have any questions relating to our ATEX services, please get in touch.

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