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Non-electrical equipment is commonly used in the handling and processing of flammable liquids, gases and powders across the process industries.
As mechanical equipment can cause frictional heat or sparks during routine operations or equipment-upset conditions, it is necessary to identify and eliminate or control these specific ignition sources. The objective of the assessment known as a Non-Electrical Equipment Ignition Risk Assessment (NEIRA) is undertaken to complete this objective.
Our dedicated process safety specialists have years of industry experience and can apply NEIRA risk assessments across a range of industries and businesses. Whether it’s a new design or a review of existing processes or control measures, our team of specialist consultants are committed to helping you ensure and maintain compliance without the exorbitant fees and delay to your operations.
The NEIRA assessment undertakes a systematic review of potential ignition sources, then determines the likelihood of them becoming an effective ignition source (i.e., having sufficient energy to ignite an explosive atmosphere).
Measures are then proposed to minimise/eliminate the possibility of effective ignition from each source. Practical recommendations, such as updates to maintenance procedures are also given to ensure existing equipment are ‘safe’ and comply with ATEX certification levels referred to as Equipment Protection Level (EPL).
The NEIRA assessment aims at identifying all ignition sources available:
Normal operations – ignition sources which could occur when the equipment is operating within its normal operating parameters
Expected malfunctions – ignition sources which could occur due to expected failure modes, operational errors or maintenance errors
Rare malfunctions – ignition sources which could, in theory, occur even if they haven’t yet occurred in the site
Non-electrical equipment can cause an explosion by friction, impact, static, hot surfaces and many other methods. All equipment designed to be used in explosive atmospheres should be assessed for risk to ensure that explosions can be mitigated.
NEIRA, is therefore limited to equipment or locations where flammable atmospheres (gases/ vapours/ combustible dusts and powders) could occur.
Typical equipment may include fans, rotary airlocks, pumps, reactor agitators, screw conveyors and bucket elevators. Such equipment can be at risk of generating sources of ignition for dangerous substances in flammable atmospheres.
Equipment in hazardous zones must be suitably ATEX certified, either by purchasing ATEX replacement equipment or as a much cheaper alternative, the existing equipment can be re-certified by conducting a NEIRA assessment. This assessment follows the guidelines set out in BS EN 80079-36 and if the equipment is found to be suitable for the hazardous zone that it is in, then this can save a tremendous amount of money in terms of capital and operating expenditure.
There are 2 methods of achieving conformity with ATEX legation (ATEX Directive – 2014/34/EU – ATEX 114) for equipment in hazardous areas; a Risk Assessed based approach (e.g., by conducting a NEIRA) or a certification based approach, in collaboration with the equipment manufacturer. The certification based approach with an equipment manufacturer is usually very expensive with long lead times, that can delay in production at a facility. A NEIRA, on the other hand is non-intrusive to the operation of the facility, cost effective to conduct and beneficial for the facility staff.
Protect business, people, workplace and the environment from potentially unsafe equipment in hazardous zones and comply with explosive atmospheres regulations. Learn more about how we can assist you today.
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