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Act now to avoid contravening
New workplace exposure limits

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Safety & Security
3M Gas & Flame Detection
Picture: 3M Gas & Flame Detection

3M Gas & Flame Detection is advising businesses or public services that do not comply with updated workplace / occupational exposure limits to chemical agents, could potentially face stern consequences, including prosecution. August 2018 saw the deadline pass for compliance with the revised EU Directive 2017/164/EU. However, for businesses that remain concerned, 3M Gas & Flame Detection is offering guidance to ensure the regulations are met.

Indicative occupational exposure limit values (IOELV) are health-based, non-binding values which are derived from recent scientific data and take into account the availability of reliable measurement techniques. For any chemical agent with an IOELV set at EU level, Member States are required to establish a national occupational exposure limit. In the UK, for example, EH40 Workplace exposure limits from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been updated directly in line with EU Directive 2017/164/EU. In the latest revision of EH40, which was introduced in August 2018, new limits have been introduced for 31 substances.

“The updated regulations set out the latest IOELV limits. These have been established in relation to a reference period of 8 hours and are referred to as long-term exposure limit values. In addition, for certain chemical agents, shorter reference periods exist, typically 15 minutes, and these are referred to as short-term exposure limit values. In line with the ongoing desire to create safer workplaces, IOELV limits have consequently been reduced in the updated regulations. This means any business that believes it was working safely to previous limits, may now be exceeding them.”

Neil Gwinnutt, UK & Ireland Sales Manager, 3M Personal Safety Division – Portable Gas Detection

By way of example, consider carbon monoxide (CO), which is an extremely common by-product of many industrial processes such as wastewater treatment, steelmaking, forging, chemical production, and oil and gas extraction. The 8-hour exposure limit for CO has been reduced from 30ppm to 20ppm while the 15-minute exposure limit has been tightened from 200ppm to 100ppm.

Another common gas, hydrogen cyanide (HCN), which is found widely in the plastics manufacturing industry, has seen a new 8-hour exposure limit introduced at 0.9ppm while its 15-minute exposure limit has been reduced from 10ppm to 4.5ppm.

“New limits have also been introduced for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO), which are commonplace in the rail industry and generated by diesel locomotives,” says Mr Gwinnutt. “As a result, rail companies need to ensure that engineers working in maintenance depots or in tunnels are not exposed to levels beyond those stated.”

The long-term effects on health resulting from exposure to chemical agents are well documented. Employers contravening the new exposure limits could not only be risking the health and safety of their team, but find themselves subject to prosecution. To help avoid this situation, any concerned employer is urged to contact 3M. The Application Engineering group offers complete end-to-end consulting, from design, through to equipment specification, installation recommendations, maintenance and service.

Plant Construction, Engineering & Components Safety & Security Videos

From Upstream to Downstream
Smart Safety Applications

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Hima Industry Smart Safety Applications App

Find out how Hima customers use our safety solutions in offshore and onshore applications. The video depicts the path of a raw material ranging from exploitation to transformation across the different processing stages. These critical processes involve risks to people, the environment and assets, which can be controllable using standardized Hima solutions.

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Safety & Security

IEC standards development convention
Leading the way in explosion protection

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CAG members from R. Stahl (left to right) Falk Thürmer, Manfred Kaiser, Otto Walch and Brad Zimmermann. They will document and draft proposals, regarding standards, which will then be approved via a majority at the IEC TC 31's plenary session.
CAG members from R. Stahl (left to right) Falk Thürmer, Manfred Kaiser, Otto Walch and Brad Zimmermann. They will document and draft proposals, regarding standards, which will then be approved via a majority at the IEC TC 31's plenary session. (Picture: R. Stahl)

R. Stahl, a manufacturer and technologist in Explosion Protection has been appointed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to organise the IEC/TC 31 Conference in Waldenburg from 25th March 2019 to 5th April 2019. This is the first time a manufacturer has entrusted with the responsibility to conduct the IEC/TC 31 Conference.

There the technical committee will draft the new international explosion protection standards and update the existing ones. Alongside the Atex directives, which apply throughout the EU, these IEC standards set out essential requirements for manufacturers of electrical and non-electrical equipment that are designed for use in hazardous areas and for operators of systems installed in these areas. TC 31 members hail from 40 different nations across the globe.

For many years now, the firm has devoted itself to participate in numerous national and international committees and panels focused on achieving the IEC’s objective of establishing explosion protection standards globally. The manufacturer draws on its exceptional strength and prowess in the development and production of innovative, explosion-protected products. R. Stahl puts this expertise to good use to ensure that, from a technical perspective, new and existing regulations and standards can always be implemented effectively in practice whilst striving to ensure that test procedures are rigorous, safe, and as efficient as possible.

At the convention, the company will contribute by appointing eight of its senior most experts to various working groups tasked with the responsibility to amend the existing explosion protection standards for electrical equipment and installations. The Chairman’s Advisory Group (CAG) will also be present at this conference to oversee the progress. This group draws up all proposals regarding standards and working groups; these proposals are then voted on in the TC 31’s plenary session.  Membership to the CAG is limited to convenors of the sub-committees, maintenance teams and working groups. CAG participants from R. Stahl are Manfred Kaiser, Brad Zimmermann, Falk Thürmer and Otto Walch. The standards drawn up by the TC 31 are used at IEC level by the IECEx system for conformity assessment. Prof. Dr. Thorsten Arnhold, in charge of Technology at R. Stahl, has been the IECEx system chairman since 2014. In addition, due to R. Stahl’s extensive expertise it belongs to a small number of companies that, in collaboration with TÜV Rheinland, are authorised to provide specialist personnel active in the field of explosion protection with training in line with the IECEx competency certification scheme (CoPC).

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Safety & Security

Emerson and Weidmüller
Safety relay for use with DeltaV DCS-safety systems

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This safety relay is tailored for use with Emerson DeltaV DCS systems. Weidmüller
This safety relay is tailored for use with Emerson DeltaV DCS systems. (Picture: Weidmüller)

Emerson, providers in the area of process automation, has included four safety relays from Weidmüller in its DeltaV Alliance product range. The range now features the following four relays: “SCS 24VDC P1SIL3DS M”, “SCS 24VDC P1SIL3DS”, “SCS 24VDC P2SIL3DSES” and “SCS 24VDC P1SIL3DS I”. The DeltaV Alliance product range is made up exclusively of products by market leaders. With the product certification programme, Emerson is able to support its customers in the implementation of the various products, which in turn helps to ensure the stability of the implemented solutions while also reducing both the functional risk and the costs that are incurred during the implementation period.

Weidmüller has developed its safety relays for use with the DeltaV control systems from Emerson. Extensive integration testing has shown that the safety relays work accurately together with the DeltaV control systems. The Weidmüller safety relays have also undergone and successfully passed the relevant testing and approval processes performed by Emerson. The corresponding proof of compatibility is available. For globally active customers, this provides increased reliability while simultaneously helping to reduce costs.

The safety relays from Weidmüller were certified by TÜV-Nord Group as “Approved Safety Function”. This means that they meet the requirements of EN 61508 up to SIL (Safety Integrity Level) 3 as well as the international requirements. The safety relays are also UL-listed.

The following safety relays are approved without restriction by Emerson:

  • “SCS 24VDC P1SIL3DS M”, order no. 1303760000 – with monitor circuit
  • “SCS 24VDC P1SIL3DS”, order no. 1303890000 – without monitor circuit

Both safety relays are used in areas that require functionally safe deactivation, i.e. in back-up systems or as overfill protection in tank systems.

  • “SCS 24VDC P2SIL3DSES”, order no.1319270000 – this relay offers the following functions: “energize to safe” safe activation and “de-energize to safe” safe deactivation.
  • “SCS 24VDC P1SIL3DS I”, order no. 2500980000 – this relay is tailored for use with Emerson DeltaV DCS systems.

The safety relays are used for the safe deactivation of systems in the processing industry (DTS = de-energised to safe), i.e. functional safety. The goal of functional safety procedures is to reduce risks for people and the environment to a tolerable level. The safety relays from Weidmüller boast tried-and-tested technology and sophisticated features.

Weidmüller supports operators of processing systems in the processing industry with certified components for low and high requirement levels up to safety integrity level 3 in accordance with EN 61508.

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