Health and safety is paramount in project management. Due consideration of ATEX should be given right from the commencement of a project. Too often, organisations only think of ATEX halfway through a project and sometimes not until orders have been placed on new equipment.
This can result in non-compliant process equipment or expensive retrospective design work. In this article, we describe how an ATEX Route Map approach can be used to help project managers navigate their way through a typical project where ATEX applies.
The ATEX Directives comprise two EU directives relating to equipment and activities located in an explosive atmosphere. The ATEX Directives are transposed into national regulations in Ireland as follows:
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The EU published guidelines on Directive 2014/34/EC in April 2016 and these are available at the EU website. For the Directive 99/92/EC, the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) issued a guidance document on the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Part 8: Explosive Atmospheres at Places of Work.
The life cycle of projects can be illustrated in the figure below. We can simplify most projects into three main phases: