COMMON POSITION (EC) No 13/1999
with a view to adopting Council Directive 1999/ ... /EC of ... on
minimum requirements for
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(1), submitted after consultation with the Advisory Committee on safety, hygiene and health protection at work and the Safety and Health Commission for the mining and other extractive industries,
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee (2),
Acting in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 189c of the Treaty('),
(1) Whereas Article 118a of the Treaty provides that the Council
shall adopt, by means of Directives, minimum requirements for encouraging
improvements, especially in the working environment, to guarantee a
better level of protection of the health and safety of workers;
(3) Whereas the improvement of occupational safety, hygiene and health is an objective which should not be subordinated to purely economic considerations;
(4) Whereas compliance with the minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres is essential if workers' safety and health protection is to be ensured;
(5) Whereas this Directive is an individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work(4); whereas, therefore, the provisions of the said Directive, in particular those relating to worker information, to the consultation and participation of workers and to the training of workers, are also fully applicable to cases in which workers are potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres, without prejudice to more restrictive or specific provisions contained in this Directive;
(6) Whereas this Directive constitutes a practical step towards the achievement of the social dimension of the internal market;
(7) Whereas Directive 94/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the
Council of 23 March 1994 on the approximation of the laws of the Member
States concerning equipment and protective systems
(1) OJ C 332, 9.12.1995, p. 10 and OJ C 184, 17.6.1997, p. 1.
(9) Whereas the establishment of a coherent strategy for the prevention of explosions requires that organizational measures complement the technical measures taken at the workplace; whereas Directive 89/391/EEC requires the employer to be in possession of an assessment of the risks to workers' health and safety at work; whereas this requirement is to be regarded as being specified by this Directive in that it provides that the employer shall draw up an explosion protection document or set of documents which satisfy the minimum requirements laid down in this Directive and keep it up to date; whereas the explosion protection document includes the identification of the hazards, the evaluation of risks and the definition of the specific measures to be taken to safeguard the health and safety of workers at risk from explosive atmospheres, in accordance with Article 9 of Directive 89/391[EEC; whereas the explosion protection document may be part of the assessment of the risks to health and safety at work required by Article 9 of Directive 89/391/EEC;
(10) Whereas an assessment of explosion risks may be required under other Community acts; whereas, in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of work, the employer should be allowed, in accordance with national practice, to combine documents, parts of documents or other equivalent reports produced under other Community acts to form a single „safety report".
(11) Whereas the prevention of the formation of explosive atmospheres also includes the application of the substitution principle;
(12) Whereas preventive measures must be supplemented if necessary by additional measures which become effective when ignition has taken place; whereas maximum safety can be achieved by combining preventive measures with other additional measures limiting the detrimental effects of explosions on workers;
(13) Whereas Council Directive 92/58/EEC of 24 June 1992 on the minimum requirements for the provision of safety and/or health signs at work (ninth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC)(') is fully applicable, in particular to places immediately contiguous to hazardous areas, where smoking, crosscutting, welding and other activities introducing flames or sparks may interact with the hazardous area;
(14) Whereas Directive 9419/EC divides the equipment and protective systems which it covers into equipment groups and categories; whereas this Directive provides for a classification by the employer of the places where explosive atmospheres may occur in terms of zones and determines which equipment and protective systems groups and categories should be used in each zone,
HAS ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:
2. This Directive shall not apply to:
3. The provisions of Directive 89/391/EEC and the relevant individual Directives are fully applicable to the domain referred to in paragraph 1, without prejudice to more restrictive and/or specific provisions contained in this Directive.
(1) OJ L 245, 26.8.1992, p. 23.
OBLIGATIONS OF THE EMPLOYER
Prevention of and protection against explosions
1. With a view to preventing, within the meaning of Article 6(2) of Directive 89/391/EEC, and providing protection against explosions, the employer shall take technical and/or organizational measures appropriate to the nature of the operation, in order of priority and in accordance with the following basic principles:
- the prevention of the formation of explosive atmospheres, or where
the nature of the activity does not allow that,
These measures shall, where necessary, be combined and/or supplemented with measures against the propagation of explosions and shall be reviewed regularly and, in any event, whenever significant changes occur.
Assessment of explosion risks
1. In carrying out the obligations laid down in Articles 6(3) and 9(1)
of Directive 89/391/EEC the employer shall assess the specific risks
arising from explosive atmospheres, taking account at least of:
2. Places which are or can be connected via openings to places in which explosive atmospheres may occur shall be taken into account in assessing explosion risks.
Duty of coordination
Where workers from several undertakings are present at the same workplace, each employer shall be responsible for all matters coming under his control.
Without prejudice to the individual responsibility of each employer as provided for in Directive 89/391/EEC, the employer responsible for the workplace in accordance with national law and/or practice shall coordinate the implementation of all the measures concerning workers' health and safety and shall state, in the explosion protection document referred to in Article 7, the aim of that coordination and the measures and procedures for implementing it.
Places where explosive atmospheres may occur
1. The employer shall classify places where explosive atmospheres may occur into zones in accordance with Annex 1.
2. The employer shall ensure that the minimum requirements laid down in Annex 11 are applied to places covered by paragraph 1.
3. Where necessary, places where explosive atmospheres may occur in such quantities as to endanger the health and safety of workers shall be marked with signs at their points of entry in accordance with Annex 111.
Explosion protection document
In carrying out the obligations laid down in Article 4, the employer shall ensure that a document, hereinafter referred to as the 'explosion protection document', is drawn up and kept up to date.
The explosion protection document shall demonstrate in particular:
The explosion protection document shall be drawn up prior to the commencement of work and be revised when the workplace, work equipment or organization of the work undergoes significant changes, extensions or conversions.
The employer may combine existing explosion risk assessments, documents or other equivalent reports produced under other Community acts.
Special requirements for work equipment and workplaces
1. Work equipment for use in places where explosive atmospheres may occur which is already in use or is made available in the undertaking or establishment for the first time before 30 June 2003 shall comply from that date with the minimum requirements laid down in Annex II, Part A, if no other Community Directive is applicable or is so only partially.
2. Work equipment for use in places where explosive atmospheres may occur which is made available in the undertaking or establishment for the first time after 30 June 2003 shall comply with the minimum requirements laid down in Annex II, Parts A and B.
3. Workplaces which contain places where explosive atmospheres may occur and which are used for the first time after 30 June 2003 shall comply with minimum requirements set out in this Directive.
4. Where workplaces which contain places where explosive atmospheres may occur are already in use before 30 June 2003, they shall comply with the minimum requirements set out in this Directive no later than three years after that date.
5. If, after 30 June 2003, any modification, extension or restructuring is undertaken in workplaces containing places where explosive atmospheres may occur, the employer shall take the necessary steps to ensure that these comply with the minimum requirements set out in this Directive.
Adjustments to the Annexes
Purely technical adjustments to the Annexes made necessary by: the adoption of Directives on technical harmonization and standardization in the field of explosion protection and/or technical progress, changes in international regulations or specifications, and new findings on the prevention of and protection against explosions, shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 17 of Directive 89/391/EEC.
1. Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and
administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive not
later than 30 June 2003. They shall forthwith inform the Commission
2. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the provisions of domestic law which they have already adopted or adopt in the field governed by this Directive.
3. Member States shall report to the Commission every five years on the practical implementation of the provisions of this Directive, indicating the points of view of employers and workers. The Commission shall inform thereof the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Advisory Committee on safety, hygiene and health protection at work.
This Directive shall enter into force on the day of its publication in
the Official Journal of the European Communities.
This Directive is addressed to the Member States.
CLASSIFICATION OF PLACES WHERE EXPLOSIVE ATMOSPHERES MAY OCCUR
The following system of classification must be applied to places where precautions in accordance with Articles 3, 4, 6 and 7 are taken.
1. Places where explosive atmospheres may occur
A place in which an explosive atmosphere is not expected to occur in such quantities as to require special precautions is deemed to be non-hazardous within the meaning of this Directive.
Flammable and/or combustible substances are considered as materials which may form an explosive atmosphere unless an investigation of their properties has shown that in mixtures with air they are incapable of independently propagating an explosion.
2. Classification of hazardous places
Hazardous places are classified in terms of zones on the basis of the frequency and duration of the occurrence of an explosive atmosphere.
The extent of the measures to be taken in accordance with Annex II, Part A, is determined by this classification.
A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.
1. Layers, deposits and heaps of combustible dust must be considered as
any other source which can form an explosive atmosphere.
The obligations laid down in this Annex apply to:
- places classified as hazardous in accordance with Annex 1 whenever required by the features of workplaces, workstations, the equipment or substances used or the danger caused by the activity related to the risks from explosive atmospheres,
- equipment in non-hazardous places which is required for, or helps to ensure, the safe operation of equipment located in hazardous places.
1. Organizational measures
1.1. Training of workers
The employer must provide those working in places where explosive atmospheres may occur with sufficient and appropriate training with regard to explosion protection.
1.2. Written instructions and permits to work
Where required by the explosion protection document:
- work in hazardous places must be carried out in accordance with
written instructions issued by the
- a system of permits to work must be applied for carrying out both hazardous activities and activities which may interact with other work to cause hazards.
Permits to work must be issued by a person with responsibility for this
function prior to the commencement of work.
2. Explosion protection measures
2.1. Any escape and/or release, whether or not intentional, of
flammable gases, vapours, mists or combustible dusts which may give rise
to explosion hazards must be suitably diverted or removed to a safe place
or, if that is not practicable, safely contained or rendered safe by some
other suitable method.
2.2. Prevention of ignition hazards in accordance with Article 3 must also take account of electrostatic discharges, where workers or the working environment act as charge carrier or charge producer. Workers must be provided with appropriate working clothes consisting of materials which do not give rise to electrostatic discharges that can ignite explosive atmospheres.
2.3. Plant equipment, protective systems and any associated connecting devices must only be brought into service if the explosion protection document indicates that they can be safely used in an explosive atmosphere. This applies also to work equipment and associated connecting devices which are not regarded as equipment or protective systems within the meaning of Directive 94/9/EC if their incorporation into an installation can in itself give rise to an ignition hazard. Necessary measures must be taken to prevent confusion between connecting devices.
2.4. All necessary measures must be taken to ensure that the workplace, work equipment and any associated connecting device made available to workers have been designed, constructed, assembled and installed, and are maintained and operated, in such a way as to minimize the risks of an explosion and, if an explosion does occur, to control or minimize its propagation within that workplace and/or work equipment. For such workplaces appropriate measures must be taken to minimize the risks to workers from the physical effects of an explosion.
2.5. Where necessary, workers must be given optical and/or acoustic warnings and withdrawn before the explosion conditions are reached.
2.6. Where required by the explosion protection document, escape facilities must be provided and maintained to ensure that, in the event of danger, workers can leave endangered places promptly and safely.
2.7. Before a workplace, containing places where explosive atmospheres may occur, is used for the first time, its overall explosion safety must be verified. Any conditions necessary for ensuring explosion protection must be maintained.
Such verification must be carried out by persons competent in the field
of explosion protection as a result of their experience and/or
B. CRITERIA FOR THE SELECTION OF EQUIPMENT AND PROTECTIVE SYSTEMS
If the explosion protection document based on a risk assessment does not state otherwise, equipment and protective systems for all places in which explosive atmospheres may occur must be selected on the basis of the categories set out in Directive 94/9/EC.
In particular, the following categories of equipment must be used in the zones indicated, provided they are suitable for gases, vapors or mists and/or dusts as appropriate:
- In zone 0 or zone 20, category 1 equipment,
- in zone 1 or zone 21, category 1 or 2 equipment,
- in zone 2 or zone 22, category 1, 2 or 3 equipment.
Warning sign for places where explosive atmospheres may occur, pursuant
to Article 6(3)
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