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These guidelines cover the inspection of Ex electrical equipment located in hazardous areas (other than mines) where the risk arises from flammable atmospheres. They are worded for direct application to Ex electrical equipment used in hazardous areas arising from liquids, vapours or gases, but could be easily transposed to Ex electrical equipment used in hazardous areas arising from combustible dusts. It is applicable to petroleum production, storage and processing installations, both onshore and offshore e.g. offshore production installations, petroleum refineries, bulk storage installations, etc. Whilst it covers maintenance as part of the life cycle of Ex electrical equipment, these guidelines are not a maintenance guide.

These guidelines have been developed for implementation on electrical, instrumentation and communication equipment only; hereafter referred to as 'Ex electrical equipment'. Risks due to process and human failure (except maintenance induced human failure) are excluded from these guidelines. They do not cover the details of inspection and testing requirements of BS 7671 and BS 6626 of associated LV and HV electrical systems respectively (e.g. earthing, cabling and overload protection devices); however, they recognise the possibility of efficiencies in carrying out such inspections as for any UK electrical installation, alongside Ex inspections.

These guidelines do not specifically cover the competency of personnel inspecting and maintaining certified electrical equipment, UK Health and Safety Legislation requires this work to be carried out by competent persons. Competency requirements are detailed within IEC 60079-17.

The principles of these guidelines could also be applied to other types of Ex equipment e.g. the inspection of mechanical equipment in hazardous areas (other than mines).