Explosion safety

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Is there a potential explosion hazard on your company premises? You must protect your employees and take measures to optimise safety.

General rules

You should take the following actions to prevent danger:

  • Make sure there are no flammable substances present
  • If this is not possible, make sure explosives cannot come into contact with potential ignition sources
  • If an explosion occurs, ensure that the impact stays limited and that it does not cause another, bigger explosion.

Preventing explosion risk

Under the Working Conditions Act (Arbeidsomstandighedenwet, Arbowet) you must have a policy in place to protect your employees from explosion risk. You must comply with European Directive 1999/92/EC. This directive contains the minimum requirements to prevent explosion hazard.

Hazard zones

You must classify working areas that may have an explosion risk as hazard zones. This way you can take preventive measures and protect your employees. You should put up warning signs in every working area where an explosion risk is identified.

Explosion protection document (EPD)

You have to draw up an explosion protection document (or have one drawn up for you) before work starts. The explosion safety document is part of the risk inventory and evaluation. The safety document must include:

  • the identification of explosion risks
  • the assessment of explosion risks
  • the measures to prevent explosions and explosion hazards
  • the division into explosion hazard zones
  • a description of the design, operation and maintenance of equipment and work areas
  • the way employees are informed about risks

You must modify the document in the event of a change in your work areas, equipment or working procedures.

Machinery and safety systems

If you manufacture machines or safety systems that are used at locations where there is a danger of an explosion, this equipment must meet the requirements laid out in European Directive 92/94 (ATEX 114). Read more in the ATEX guidelines.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO