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AS/NZS 3800 - Electrical Equipment for Explosive Environments

The use of contemporary safety management, requiring fit-for-purpose equipment, competent personnel and appropriate procedures

AS/NZS 3800 defines requirements for repair and overhaul of electrical equipment used in hazardous areas, which are defined for:

  • AS/NZS 60079.10 for gases
  • AS/NZS 61241.10 for dusts

Various organisations such as electrical, coal mining and workplace regulatory authorities within each state, and the insurance industry in Australia and New Zealand are concerned with the safety of electrical installations in hazardous areas. A common theme of contemporary safety management includes:

  • Fit for purpose equipment
  • Competent personnel
  • Appropriate procedures
  • Within a controlled work environment – supported by a systematic approach

The consequence of an explosion can be very serious, with multiple fatalities and significant damage to plant, and loss of production and public confidence. A major source of energy is electricity in the majority of industrial and mining facilities. Where there is a potential for explosive atmospheres to occur in such installations, a key risk control to prevent an explosion from an electrical source of ignition is the use of explosion-protected (Ex) electrical equipment.

It has been accepted that, because of its high-risk nature, a high degree of confidence in the Ex properties of electrical equipment must be maintained throughout the life cycle. As there is significant potential to compromise Ex properties of electrical equipment at the overhaul, repair or modification phase of the life-cycle, a high degree of confidence in those activities needs to be established. The NSW Coal Mining Legislation requires workshops that repair and overhaul Ex electrical equipment to be certified and licensed as per Recognised Service Facilities Program.

The Recognized Service Facilities Program provides the means for facilities that overhaul, repair or modify Ex equipment to demonstrate they have the premises, tools, equipment, management systems, work practices and competencies necessary to restore Ex electrical equipment to a condition that complies with any approval or certificate of conformity (CoC) and to demonstrate compliance with the relevant Ex Product Standard, AS/NZS 3800, and AS/NZS 2290.1, where applicable.

DNV has the specialist capability to certify workshops and businesses that repair and overhaul electrical equipment in explosive environments, such as in the mining industry, to the requirements of AS/NZS 3800.