On several occasions we have dealt with Atex and Explosion Proof protections in our magazine. In this article we would like to introduce a theme that often becomes an urgent need for Companies possessing Explosion Proof equipment: training and updating of its operators dealing with Atex machines.
To answer some of our curiosities we relied on Miretti Group
, for many years a reference guide in the Explosion Proof sector around the world, posing our questions to Matteo Stefanini, Global Sales and Marketing Director. In fact, for many years Miretti Group, as well as carrying out Explosion Proof conversions, has been organizing training sessions considered as being moments of discussion on this specific topic.
Q. All equipment intended to be used in environments with a potentially explosive atmosphere must comply with current regulations In Europe, in general, the current regulation that is most frequently known is the ATEX Directive 2014 34 /UE What can be learnt in the dedicated courses that make up the Miretti Group's training offer?
Speaking specifically of training, Miretti provides maintenance courses for vehicles Ex protected by them. During Miretti courses, participants have the chance to explore various aspects with regard to the Explosion Proof issue. It starts from the Definitions, useful for ordering and laying the foundations for the subsequent topics, to move on to the Legislative Provisions up to the Regulations. Then it deals more specifically with the Hazardous Area's Classification, Inflammable Gas and Dust Classification reaching the different Protection Methods provided by the Legislation. Particular attention is given to the analysis of possible Intervention Points on machines (for example, on forklifts).
At these meetings we try to encourage a practical and operational slant together with an educational method as interactive as possible, so that even the theoretical part becomes an opportunity to stimulate a debate among the participants who are always invited to bring to the classroom questions, curiosities, practical cases, real life experiences.
Q. Is the training held by Company employees or External Trainers?
The training can be defined as specialized because it has been provided by our company trainers for over 25 years now. We can confirm that their experience on Explosion Proof Protections is at 360° as it ranges from design to construction, from research and development of Explosion Proof products and solution to on-site assistance.
Therefore, a teaching that favours a hybrid approach in order to find the best way to mix theory and practical cases, and to adapt to the participants profile. In this sector, the experience and expertise acquired in the field by our trainers are decisive qualities and give added value to our classrooms by combining the most didactic explanation with concrete examples of Atex applications and actually experienced related problems.
Q. Some more practical information... Generally speaking who are the "students" accessing the course? How long is it? In summary, the benefits of Miretti training...
Over recent years the participants' profiles have varied from Operators, Engineers, Service Managers, to the Sales workforce. Courses can be held in English and other languages if necessary with the help of simultaneous translation. Participants do in fact come from all over the world: from European and non-European countries.
Our trainers adapt each course taking into consideration the composition of the classroom as well as the participants' profile involving when necessary different professional figures and their expectations.
To optimize the Participants and Companies time, the standard course generally lasts 8 hours of which a high percentage is practical (about 35%). A tour of our production plant is also a part of the course itself. The visit to workshop is always highly appreciated because it gives participants the opportunity to experience and directly see the application of what is explained in the classroom. Not only theory, therefore, but also a lot of practice.
Miretti is clearly not a training institution. Miretti is a company specialized for more than 45 years in Explosion Proof Protections with International know-how. Participating in International Work Groups on regulations and standards and possessing many offices around the world allow us to have a global view on the subject. Being experts in the field, we have decided to offer our customers specialized training to stimulate a real "Explosion Proof product education".
Therefore, we have thought of providing our customers with a training service focused on maintenance courses for Explosion Proof vehicles, Ex protected by our Group. In addition, customers who rely on Miretti as their Ex proof supplier know that they can also take advantage of the proven experience of our trainers.
From our point of view, this is also a way to demonstrate reliability in the Atex world by offering a service to our customers or to those who have a vehicle Ex protected by Miretti. We give the customer solid, continuous and multitasking support on the Explosion Proof system provided by us: from servicing when necessary to the supply of spare parts up to training.
Even during the most critical phase of the pandemic, still unfortunately in progress, Miretti has always remained operative. Like the entire factory, training courses haven't really suffered major setbacks. They have adapted to this particular moment in history with new ways of providing information (online, streaming, remotely), that continue to be aimed at those customers specifically requesting them.
Q. About numbers. How many Atex certifications are issued annually? And how many people receive a certificate over a period of 12 months? For how long is the certification valid?
We carry out around 50 sessions per year, training an average of 140 people. The course has a 2 year validity with a certificate issued to all the participants.
Q. Could you tell us an anecdote related to the training that you remember with greater satisfaction/astonishment/a smile?
We are convinced that the activity of an Explosion Proof Partner should not end with the Atex Protection of the vehicle, but it must go beyond. This vision also includes the intention of raising awareness as much as possible among those involved in the development of what we can call an "Atex culture", a concept connected to the broader and more general "safety in the workplace".
Where there is Atex safety there is always safety for employees and the surrounding environment. In this process, it also becomes important to acquire an even greater awareness of what having to do with an Explosion Proof protected vehicle actually means.
This belief is carried forward through our social network (Linkedin
and Twitter) with the publication of content, posts, and success stories that "describe " the Explosion Proof sector in Italy and around the world. Training days are organized with the same spirit. Our main goal is to ensure that the staff (be it the operator driving the forklift, the service engineer or the salesperson selling an Atex vehicle) become more aware of the product.
The feedback received from our participants are a tremendous source of satisfaction. The participants often stay in contact with our trainers even after the training is over either by exchanging opinions, ideas or even photos taken in the most convivial moments. The feeling is that a sort of "network" is created and that in itself is extremely pleasing.
The positive feedback on the training front encourages us to continue the path we have undertaken because the goal is always one: safety and protection of the workers in the working environment. And safety must not have any sort of compromise, breaks or limitations because in Atex classified areas a small spark is enough to cause an explosion that might seriously endanger workers, equipment, as well as the production facility.
In this scenario, correct information and increased awareness can certainly be useful.