Safety company, Pyroban, confirms it is possible for cranes, telehandlers and other plant equipment to be converted for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. Pyroban says there are various options to ensure the staff and site remains safe from explosion, no matter how briefly the plant equipment is on site.
“Most companies with potentially explosive atmospheres have addressed the explosion protection requirements for equipment used regularly on site, such as forklift trucks,” said Matthew Shirkie, global sales manager at Pyroban.
“However, during temporary works where cranes or other plant is rented on a short-term basis, risks are often overlooked, which has to be addressed through the supply chain.
“There is sometimes the misconception from plant hire companies that it is not possible to apply explosion protection to a crane or telehandler, or that it will take too long to do so. This is simply not the case,” Shirkie continued, explaining that some safety conscious hire companies have already introduced explosion protection systems to their equipment very effectively.
“We have found that some plant hire companies have used their explosion protection units to win new business, particularly in refineries, large chemical facilities and other manufacturing and logistics operations,” he said.
In a Zone 2 area, where a release of flammable gas or vapour is possible but not likely during normal operation, it is a typical requirement for equipment with Category 3G explosion protection to be used. Mobile cranes, telehandlers and an array of other plant equipment can undergo a full ATEX 2014/34/EU compliant conversion for safe operation in Zone 2 by Pyroban.
“This is equally important whether the equipment is owned outright and onsite on a permanent basis, or if the equipment has been hired and will only be used for a short time, for example during building work or maintenance,” he said.
Pyroban’s most popular solution for Zone 2 environments is system6000 which combines gas detection with other explosion protection methods such as restricted breathing enclosures and surface temperature monitoring to ensure the engine, motors, brakes, electrics and other components remain below the auto-ignition temperatures of flammable materials. Gas detection continuously monitors the direct environment around protected equipment and automatically shuts it down where necessary, eliminating the risk of an explosion.
This unique system is available with either a pellistor or infrared based gas detection system, meaning it is suitable for use in a variety of different applications. It can be used with diesel or electric equipment and most types and brands of crane, telehandler, tractor or other plant.
“Plant equipment used in so-called ‘safe’ areas located adjacent to Zone 2 environments can also still carry a risk of ignition,” said Shirkie, suggesting that safety devices such as Gascheka duo from Pyroban could be supplied and fitted quickly for use in these areas for added peace of mind.
The Gascheka duo system ensures that in the event of gas or vapour release and subsequent detection, an audible and visual warning alerts the equipment operator and if necessary, the system safely shuts off the equipment. Gascheka duo can be added simply to any brand of LPG, diesel or electric equipment.
Shirkie continued, “Plant hire companies are often surprised to learn that this system can be fitted locally within a matter of hours. They can also transfer the system to other units in their fleet as needed.”
“It is not necessary for hire companies to deliver a crane or telehandler – a potential source of explosion risk – for use in a Zone 2 environment or adjacent area without adequate protection,” he concluded.