Jones M.,3rd Floor Redwither Tower |
Bennett P.,EEMUA Engineering Equipment Material Users Association
Record of Conference Papers - Annual Petroleum and Chemical Industry Conference | Year: 2016
With the increasing acceptability of the International Electrotechnical Commission system for certification to standards relating to equipment for use in explosive atmospheres (IECEx) for electrical equipment being utilized in the United States, competency validation of responsible electrical persons, operatives/technicians and designers as laid out in the standard IEC 60079 Part 14 Annex A is an important feature in enhancing workplace safety and to assist in protecting the capital asset from total loss or large scale downtime. In the United States the National Electrical Code (NEC) 500 Article, American Petroleum Institute (API) 14F and 14FZ provides guidance for safe electrical working in hazardous locations. No matter what standard, regulation, directive or code of practice is in place in a particular region of the world, an explosive atmosphere will ignite in the presence of an incendive spark. This paper considers the development of competency validation for these staff in the aftermath of the North Sea Piper Alpha offshore disaster in 1988, how the concept of measuring competency was developed, achieved and integrated into major users training matrix for staff worldwide. Furthering these developments have given rise to a safety chain approach, that identifies and then continuously improves the weakest link in the electrical competency chain and promotes that Competency Validation can be achieved by utilizing a certification body that is accredited to the International Standard Organization ISO/IEC 17024: 2012 - Conformity Assessment - General Requirements for bodies offering Certification of Persons, as this allows an internationally accepted uniform approach for major users in the oil, gas and chemical sectors. © 2015 IEEE.