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Explosion risk from hand pallet trucks

Wednesday, 8 Aug 2018 ( #884 ) - Shoreham, United Kingdom
News Story
Hand pallet trucks may be at risk
Safety company Pyroban has warned that hand pallet trucks operating in potentially explosive atmospheres have the potential to cause ignition.

Many types of diesel- or electric-powered materials handling equipment, such as forklifts, frequently undergo specialist explosion-protection conversion by Pyroban for use in ATEX-classified Zone 1, 2, 21 or 22 areas.  As flammable gases, vapours, dusts or powders may be present in these areas, these conversions are completed in line with legislation such as EN1755:2015 to maximise safety.

However, this particular standard applies only to powered industrial trucks and does not cover safety requirements around hand pallet trucks used in explosive atmospheres.

"Hand pallet trucks are commonplace in warehouse, production and logistics environments where flammable materials are frequently handled, from pharmaceutical and chemical applications to food and drink operations," says Rob Vesty, sales manager for Pyroban. "However, we see far fewer requests to convert this type of equipment than we would expect.

"Companies do not seem to be aware that although EN1755 does not apply, hand pallet trucks pose an ignition risk and must comply with ATEX 2014/34/EU, as well as two other important and relevant standards."

"It only takes one source of friction from a hand pallet truck to cause ignition and lead to potentially devastating consequences," he explains. "To safeguard their people, site and supply chain, companies must consider the potential risks of every type of equipment in their operation."
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