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Posted By Topic: Haz Area Question - historical

Oct 27 2019 13:47

Got a question for any Haz Area gurus that have been around for a while:

I'm at an installation where the inspections are done to IEC-60079, not AS/NZS. The installation was built around 2006-2007, and has a lot of ATEX certified equipment. In the IEC standard from that era you can't specifically use ATEX certified gear, it generally needs to comply with the various IEC standards. At times you can look at the ATEX cert and the various EN standards are quoted to show it complies with them, and therefore with the ATEX directive. The standards have 60079 type numbers, which according to info on the IECEx website are basically identicsal to the IECEx standards. But, because of the age of the installation, many of the ATEX certs refer to older EN standards such as EN 50014:1997 (General Requirements) or EN 50018 (Flameproof 'd').

Now, my question is: were those older, differently numbered, standards also copies, more or less, of the IEC standards of that time. I know the IEC standards were also renumbered a while back, but it's before my time, and I am not able to find much info on what the older numbers were, and how EN and IEC standards matched up in the late 80s, 90s and early 00s.

Help from anyone woulkd be most welcome.

Oct 28 2019 12:07

when you say:
"the inspections are done to IEC-60079, not AS/NZS";
do you mean inspections of high risk PEW, or do you mean periodic assessments?

Oct 29 2019 12:11

I suspect he may mean inspection as referred to in the standards (Pt 17) rather than the regulatory version. He mentioned its an existing installation also, so shouldn't be HRPEW inspection.

tspoon - as far as I remember the older EN standards were not copies of the IEC standards, the layout and wording was significantly different although some of the requirements may have ended up being the same. Some EN standards in relation to hazardous areas predate the first IEC standards publication. The first equipment certificate issued by IECEx was 2003 so the construction standards for that would not have been too long before.

Similarly the AUS/NZ standards of the time were stand alone versions, again containing similar content but delivered in a much different format; eg: 2381, 2380 and 2430 series.

So for your installation that begs the question: If they were to comply with IEC60079.14 but had ATEX equipment installed which isn't specifically permitted; then who authorised the use of ATEX equipment and what standard was it installed to? It may be that the only option at the time was ATEX equipment so the scope of the "inspection" needs to be clear as to what standards the installation is being inspected to.

If it is inspected to IEC standards then all the ATEX equipment needs to written up as defect items??


Nov 12 2019 20:23

Thanks for the replies. The inspections in question are periodic verification (3 yearly under IEC).

The installation is an FPSO, which was outfitted in Singapore. Quite likely the engineers in charge had much more familiarity with ATEX certified equipment, and as well the local suppliers would mainly have had that to offer, as many FPSOs are outfitted there for international clients. The standard specified was IEC in the 'basis of design' document, but in many ways that was only one of the things they didn't pay much attention to.

I really need to find copies of the standards cited, but good luck doing that now, I'm not even sure you can buy old copies anymore. The nearest I can get to a clue that there is some amount of harmonisation is the fact that the 2009 version of AS/NZS 60079:14 allows use of ATEX gear in New Zealand, indicating that those familiar with both thought that gear available at that time, which would include the type of gear I'm doing verifications on, was designed to standardss fairly close in content to the IEC standards. But, as a clue, it's far from definitive proof.

Nov 13 2019 17:07

SAI Global Online Store has a number of standard form all sorts of jurisdictions available (including withdrawn and superseded ones).

You can search with the "current" filter not checked to get a list of everything. Might be worth a look if you need a specific reference regarding use of ATEX equipment.

I had a quick look and BS-EN60079.14-1997 and IEC60079.14Ed.03-2002 are both available so there is hope you can find the right reference.

No idea the costs, just book it to the job.

Nov 13 2019 17:24

The question then becomes, why is there another regime of inspections on top of the ESRs-mandated one?
What purpose can it really serve?

But as long as it is required - presumably by the customer - yes it will have to be to the original Standards.
Whereas the ESR 75 one MUST be to (currently-cited) 60079.17.

Nov 14 2019 16:56

tspoon just my 2 cents,

From my experience, safety and compliance go hand in hand but as time goes on, you can't always stay "compliant" as standards change but installations don't necessarily change with them... hence, the grandfather clause.

Now if you are replacing something like for like, you only require an ESC, and updated dossier, as for inspections, the periodic inspection should only be looking at the installation under the standards it was installed under. This is where a lot of electricians/ inspectors get it wrong, they alway say it needs to be according to such and such standard:2018 or whatever.

In regards to ATEX, we are actually allowed to use this... but I'm unsure for how much longer.. this will depend on BREXIT. See NZ has a lot of "agreements" with the EU through Great Britain that Australia necessarily doesn't hence why Australian Inspectors and tutors will say, you can't use ATEX equipment... rule of thumb/best practise is to use IECEx equipment and if there's no IEC equivalent you can refer to ATEX as well, then you're certainly covered.

The reason the other standards and ATEX are mentioned is that they have been around a lot longer than the IEC ones

Nov 14 2019 16:57

He did say it was a FSPO.. Essentially a big fat boat for storing oil.

Is that even covered in ESRs? Like it would be unlikely to need to connect to "the Grid" at any stage.

Nov 14 2019 17:06

ESR 3 excludes (almost)all ships from coverage.
Ships are covered by Maritime Rules set by Maritime NZ.

Which is causing problems on the Cook strait ferries, with refrigeration systems on trucks often not being compatible with the ship's supply system.


Nov 15 2019 21:00

That is the reason for the different standard used. Ships are wired to various standards and would be unlikely to comply with all the places they call into. This one is (as I understand) fairly typical, the voltage is 440V 3~ 60Hz, IT configuration as opposed to the multiple earthed neutral system of the ASNZS standard.
Anyway, I'll have to check the SAI website mentioned and see if I can get my hands on some of the older standards/