Intrinsically safe two-way radios are essential for certain environments.
Environments such as gas installations, where there is a potential risk of explosion.
Explosive atmospheres in the workplace include flammable gases, vapours, and flammable dust.
An example of where vapours can be dangerous is in a ships battery room.
Vapour emitted from charging batteries, produces potentially flammable vapour.
Vapour can ignite, causing damage and potential loss of life.
Conventional walkie talkies pose a small potential risk of causing a spark.
A spark could result in an explosion.
The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) places duties on employers to eliminate or control the risks from explosive atmospheres in their workplace.
What is an explosive atmosphere according to DSEAR?
DSEAR defines an explosive atmosphere as a mixture of dangerous substances mixed with air, under atmospheric conditions, in the form of gases, vapours, mist or dust in which, after ignition has occurred, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture.
Atmospheric conditions are commonly referred to as ambient temperatures and pressures. That is to say temperatures of –20°C to 40°C and pressures of 0.8 to 1.1 bar.
What is ATEX?
ATEX is two European directives on controlling potentially explosive atmospheres.
1) Directive 99/92/EC (also known as ‘ATEX 137’ or the ‘ATEX Workplace Directive’) covers the minimum requirements for improving the health and safety protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.
2) Directive 94/9/EC (also known as ‘ATEX 95’ or ‘the ATEX Equipment Directive) on the approximation of the laws of Members States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
The EU ATEX directives still currently apply to the UK.
ATEX intrinsically safe radios are available to meet the directive requirements.
ATEX radios are specially sealed to stop the risk of a spark causing an explosion.