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Making sure your thermal fluid system adheres to statutory requirements

If you have a thermal fluid system in place, it is important to make sure you are complying with statutory requirements to ensure that risk is reduced or eliminated.






Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23/EC (PED)

All systems must comply with this regulation. Particular consideration should be given to heaters, pressurised tanks and users.


ATEX Directives

ATEX is the name commonly given to the two European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres:

1. Directive 99/92/EC on minimum requirements for improving the health and safety protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres. Explosive atmospheres in the workplace EC (also known as the 'ATEX Workplace Directive').

In the UK, the requirements of Directive 99/92/EC were put into effect through regulations 7 and 11 of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR). The requirements in DSEAR apply to most workplaces where a potentially explosive atmosphere may occur and also covers a number of other issues relating, for example, to the safe use of chemicals in the workplace. All systems that circulate the heat transfer media above its closed cup flash point must comply with this regulation. A Risk Assessment must be undertaken and documented evidence must be available to demonstrate that steps have been taken to reduce and/or eliminate the risk with a hierarchy of measures in place. Information, instruction and training must be identified on the various components of the system such as control systems, tanks, containers and distribution system.

 2. Directive 94/9/EC concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (also known as 'the ATEX Equipment Directive').

This directive has subsequently been re-written as Directive 2014/34/EUon the harmonisation of laws relating to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (recast). The principles behind it are essentially the same. In the UK, the directive is implemented via the Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996. EPS regulates the supply (but not the subsequent safe use) of products intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. However, EPS does require the supplier (responsible person) to provide instructions for the safe operation of the equipment. A number of UK regulations are relevant to the safe use of such products:

  • The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act),
  • the Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995 (PFEER),
  • the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER),
  • the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR)
  • the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 (EAWR)

Consideration should be given if the distribution system and users are in hazardous areas. Intrinsically safe components can be used. High temperature distribution systems can often be considered a source of ignition so additional insulation and protection may be required.


Clean Air Act 1993 - Sections 14 & 15 (note 1) chimney heights

The act allows local authorities to control the heights of chimneys serving industrial processes. The height of the chimney will be dependent on the fuel and heater capacity. An indication of the allowable height can be taken from the 3rd edition of the 1956 Clean Air Act Memorandum.


Safety at Work Act 1974

All systems must comply with the safety at work act.


Other standards and regulations such as gas, fuel storage and electrical will apply


To find out more about the statutory requirements for a thermal fluid system, contact Thermal Fluid Solutions on +44 (0)1298 815862.