An Explosion Protection Document (EPD or ESD) lays down the hazards and risks with respect to the occurrence of explosions within companies.
The Explosion Protection Document must contain at least the following information:
Summarised, this means that the explosion protection document must describe the explosion risks within the company, where they may be present and what specific measures have been or will have to be taken, in order to adequately control explosions.
An explosion protection document is an obligation, and in Europe based on Directive 1999/92/EC. This Directive aims to provide safe working conditions for employees and indicates the obligations of employers in particular. The drawing up of an Explosion Protection Document should actually always be done as soon as one of the situations below occurs. Often, the general Risk Inventory and Evaluation will also say something about whether or not to draw up an EPD. It is not always possible to specify a clear lower limit for the quantity of flammable substances present, but national guidelines can specify minimum quantities. These limits are not very strict, because the employer remains responsible for safe working conditions at all times.
The following principles are guiding principles with regard to the need to draw up a EPD.
The step-by-step plan for drawing up the explosion protection document is as follows:
a. Inventory of workplaces, work equipment and installations:
b. Determining the ATEX danger zones
Examples of standards that can be applied are the European standard EN-IEC 60079-10 series, the EI15, API500, NFPA 497, BGR 104 or specific standards for e.g. spray booths, battery loading areas or wood dust extraction.
We often use the software tool Hazcalc for the area classification of flammable liquids and gases.
c. Defining measures to limit the zones / hazardous areas
d. Performing a risk analysis (ignition analysis)
e. Defining control measures
The costs of an explosion protection document (EPD) depends entirely on the amount of work to be done. It is understandable that an EPD for a woodwork shop or paint shop involves less work than drawing up an EPD for a chemical plant.
Ask for a an estimations of the cost or quotation without obligation!
On the other hand, employers should not be blinded (entirely) by the costs of drawing up an EPD. A cheap EPD is often drawn up in less time than a more expensive one. As always, it is the quality of the EPD that matters: a quick and cheap assessment often leads to fairly wide hazardous areas / ATEX zones. The reason for this, is that such an assessment (especially the determination of the zones) will be based on more assumptions and therefore “safe margins” will be maintained. This can lead to unworkable situations after the EPD has been drawn up, or too many costs being incurred in order to meet all the requirements (e.g. replacement of electrical installations, drawing up work procedures and instructing employees). By spending more time on a proper assessment and determination of the zones, unrealistic measures and excessive costs can be avoided in the follow-up phase.
In the past 15 years, we have made assessments and Explosion Protection Documents (EPD’s) for many companies in various branches. Examples include water waste treatment plants (biogas), paint shops, pharmacy, wood processing, chemistry, automotive, bulk storage and transport, animal feed industry, etc.
Our working method is characterised by a practical approach with clear and unambiguous assessments. We are particularly critical in determining the hazardous areas. This is the first important step in determination of the potential explosion hazards. When hazardous areas can be avoided (or can be prevented with relatively simple measures!), no further measures (and therefore no costs) need to be taken to reduce explosion risks.
In drawing up the explosion protection document, we assess the work processes on site:
With the experts of Pol-Safety, the EPD is always drawn up and/or checked (and signed) by an IECEx 05 certified Senior Explosion Safety Expert.
For more information or a more detailed explanation, please contact us without obligation. We can often give you an estimate of the necessary work and costs after a telephone call.