New standard for forklifts
03 November 2016
The new EU standard EN1755:2015 (mandatory from November 2017) is set to impact the design of materials handling equipment intended for use in Zone 21 and 22 hazardous areas, where powders and dusts are present. Food production and storage operations, the chemical industry and many other manufacturing and logistics operations will be affected.
“A spark from unprotected electrical equipment on a forklift, excess heat from the engine, motors, brakes or other components can ignite a layer or cloud of powder in the workplace,” says Steve Noakes, engineering manager for explosion protection conversion company Pyroban.
Powders and dusts are found throughout industry as raw materials or as waste, the by-product of a production process. The majority are combustible such as flour, cocoa, milk, polymers and sugar, however, carbon black, aluminium and other metals are conductive.
A risk assessment will define whether an area where powders or dusts are present needs to be classified as Zone 21 (higher risk) or 22. In classified Zone 21 or 22 areas specially protected equipment should be used, categorised as either 2D or 3D respectively. Forklifts are no exception.
EN1755:2015 is the standard by which conversion companies, like Pyroban, convert forklift trucks so that they are safe for operation in hazardous areas and comply with the ATEX 2014/34/EU Directive.