As ever-stricter Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) legislation comes into force throughout the world, the tank cleaning and oil recovery industries are regarding safety as a top priority. The deadline for compliance with the stringent European Union ATEX Directive is 30 June 2006. Relating to both the workplace and equipment in all areas where explosive atmospheres are potentially present, the directive has created an urgent need for tank cleaning service providers and tank owners to comply.
Oreco, the leading developer of solutions for non-man entry cleaning of oil storage tanks and systems for recovery of waste oil, is one of the first automated tank cleaning developers to produce equipment that fully complies with ATEX.
ISO 9001:2000-certified Oreco has always prioritised safety, ensuring that its industry-leading technology exceeds even the most demanding HSE standards and contributes to best environmental practice. This focus has swiftly put Oreco in the forefront when it comes to compliance with stringent regulations such as ATEX.
Protecting workers in explosive areas
The ATEX Directive aims to minimise or eliminate the risk of ignition in explosive areas, and to limit harmful effects in case of an explosion. The ATEX Directive is actually comprised of two European directives, which refer to both equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres (Directive 94/9/EC) and to workers’ health and safety (Directive 1999/92/EC).
The directive requires tank cleaning service providers and tank owners to carry out work safely in areas where an explosive atmosphere could occur. This is done by identifying potentially hazardous areas, also known as zones, and preparing workplace assessments for the affected zones.
BLABO® - designed with HSE in mind
With a combination of automated technology and specialist industry know-how, Oreco solutions are among the cleanest and safest solutions available in the industry today. The company’s BLABO® tank cleaning and oil recovery system plays a central role.
Constructed to operate safely in explosive areas, BLABO® complies fully with ATEX. BLABO® equipment for installation on tank roofs, such as tank cleaning nozzles, is certified as category I equipment (approved for Zone 0). Zone 0 refers to areas where an explosive gas atmosphere is present continuously or for long periods. Only equipment with a very high level of safety and protection can be used here. The BLABO® process modules are certified as Category II equipment, which means they are approved for Zone 1. This covers areas where explosive gas atmospheres are likely to occur occasionally. BLABO® also complies with the EU Machine Directive and the EU Pressure Equipment Directive.
Non-man entry systems
The safety measures in Oreco’s systems are not only limited to design and construction, but also deal with personal safety. Oreco’s automated systems support non-man entry, so no workers are present inside the tank during the cleaning operation, which minimises injury risk and exposure to harmful substances.
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