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Mechanical & Non-Electrical Equipment Ignition Risk Assessment

Non-electrical equipment is commonly used in the handling and processing of flammable liquids, gases and powders in process industries. Typical equipment includes fans, rotary airlocks, pumps, reactor agitators, screw conveyors, bucket elevators, etc. Such equipment items can generate sources of ignition for flammable atmospheres. Hazardous Area Classification traditionally only addresses the ignition hazard of electrical equipment and is used to manage selection and installation methods of electrical devices. However, mechanical equipment as mentioned above can cause frictional heat or frictional sparks during routine operation or due to equipment-upset conditions. To identify and to eliminate or to control these types of ignition sources, an analysis method that is described as a “Mechanical Equipment Ignition Risk Assessment” (MEIRA) can be used which is also called as Non-electrical Equipment Ignition Risk Assessment (NEIRA).

Non-electrical equipment can cause an explosion by friction, impact, static, hot surfaces and many other methods – therefore all equipment designed to be used in Explosive Atmospheres should be risk assessed to ensure that such an explosion can not happen. MEIRA/ NEIRA is limited to equipment or locations where flammable atmosphere (gas/ vapour/ combustible dust) could occur. The study aims at identifying all ignition sources available:

  1. Normal operation – ignition sources which could occur when the equipment is operating within its normal operating parameters.
  2. Expected malfunctions – ignition sources which could occur due to expected failure modes, operational errors or maintenance errors.
  3. Rare malfunctions – ignition sources which could, in theory, occur even if they haven’t yet occurred in the site.

Sigma-HSE experts have vast experience in carrying out Mechanical/ Non-electrical Equipment Ignition Risk Assessment for various industries. We can offer assistance in carrying out non-electrical equipment ignition risk assessments based on our specialist qualitative risk assessment methodology or to provide training to your team on understanding how to carry out MEIRA/ NEIRA studies.

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