Explosion risk from hand pallet trucks

Businesses may be unaware that hand pallet trucks operating in potentially explosive atmospheres have the potential to cause ignition, warns safety company Pyroban.

Many types of diesel or electric powered materials handling equipment, such as lift trucks, frequently undergo specialist explosion protection conversion by Pyroban for use in ATEX* classified Zone 1, 2, 21 or 22 areas. As flammable gases, vapours, dusts or powders may be present in these areas, these conversions are completed in line with legislation such as EN1755:2015** to maximise safety.

However, this particular standard applies only to powered industrial trucks and does cover safety requirements around hand pallet trucks used in explosive atmospheres.

"Hand pallet trucks are commonplace in warehouse, production and logistics environments where flammable materials are frequently handled, from pharmaceutical and chemical applications to food and drink operations," says Rob Vesty, Sales Manager for Pyroban. "However, we see far fewer requests to convert this type of equipment than we would expect."

Rob continues "Companies do not seem to be aware that although EN1755 does not apply, hand pallet trucks pose an ignition risk and must comply with ATEX 2014/34/EU, as well as two other important and relevant standards."

To provide explosion protection, Pyroban converts many brands of hand pallet trucks to the requirements of EN80079-36:2016, titled "Explosive Atmospheres. Non-electrical equipment for explosive atmospheres. Basic method & requirements" as well as the EN80079-37:2016 standard, "Non-electrical equipment for explosive atmospheres. Non-electrical type of protection constructional safety 'c', control of ignition sources 'b', liquid immersion 'k'".

"It only takes one source of friction from a hand pallet truck to cause ignition and lead to potentially devasting consequences," continues Rob. "To safeguard their people, site and supply chain, companies must consider the potential risks of every type of equipment in their operation."

For advice on explosion protection conversions for all types of materials handling equipment, call Pyroban on +44(0)1273 465825, email sales@pyroban.com or visit www.pyroban.com

*ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

**EN1755: 2015. Industrial Trucks. Safety requirements and verification. Supplementary requirements for operation in potentially explosive atmospheres

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