Hazardous Area - Assurance of conformity of equipment

Petroleum and gas safety alert no. 89 | 28 May 2019 | Version 1

What happened?

An inspection at a ‘Drill Rig’ Operating Plant identified electrical motors installed within a hazardous zone that were not ANZEx or IECEx (International Conformity Assessment Scheme) certified.

There was no evidence that a conformity assessment, by a qualified assessor, had been undertaken for the equipment certifying that the devices had met the basic requirements for an ANZEx or IECEx certificate.

The ‘Operating Plant’ safety management system did included detailed requirements for electrical installations within a hazardous zone to comply with relevant Australian Standards.

Hence

  • The installation did not conform to the requirements of the safety management system implemented for the Operating Plant.

  • An acceptable level of risk has not been met.

Comments

The relevant Australian standard for the Installation of electrical equipment in hazardous areas is AS/NZS 60079.14: 2017 Explosive Atmosheres – Design selection, erection and initial inspection.

Key issues

  • The IECEx Scheme is an international Conformity Assessment Scheme covering Electrical Equipment for Explosive Atmospheres, and is the internationally accepted means of demonstrating conformity with IEC Standards.

  • The ANZEx Scheme is the national Conformity Assessment Scheme covering Electrical Equipment for Explosive Atmospheres, and is an accepted means of demonstrating conformity with the AS/NZS 60079 series of Standards.

  • Australian Standard AS/NZS 60079 is harmonized with IEC 60079, so that the national certificate of conformity (ANZEx) is accordingly fully harmonized with the international certificate of conformity (IECEx).

  • Equipment certified to IECEx can therefore be used almost without exception in Australia without the need for further testing or hazardous area approvals.

  • Generally, Australia does not recognize the North American system of Classes and Divisions and any usage of equipment certified to North American standards must have a Conformity Assessment Document completed for each device type.

Check with the Electrical Regulator in your State for further information.

Recommendations

Operators must ensure that an acceptable level of risk is achieved when installing and using electrical equipment within a hazardous area.

References and further information

Further information can be found in AS/NZS 60079.14 or by engaging with an accredited hazardous area auditor.


Authorised by Daryl Brooker - Deputy Chief Inspector
Contact: John Wright, Regional Inspector, +61 7 4936 0146 john.wright@dnrme.qld.gov.au

Issued by Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy


Safety: This information is a guide only and is issued to promote safety through experience. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.; General: This information is a guide only. It is not to be taken as a statement of law and must not be construed to waive or modify any legal obligation.; Placement: Place this announcement on noticeboards and ensure all relevant people in your organisation receive a copy.

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