Why audits are important


Under the Electrical Safety Act (QLD) the requirement is for all “new” Hazardous Area installations to have a Hazardous Area audit completed by an accredited Hazardous Area auditor and the installation found “compliant” prior to energisation. Details of audits (both compliant or non-compliant) are required to be submitted to the Electrical Safety Office (ESO).

To become accredited, the auditors need to go through a process to display skills, knowledge, training, and experience to show suitability for the role. Audits ensure that all hazardous area installations are safe and compliant to AS/NZS 3000 and AS/NZS 60079 suite of standards.

” Outcomes of audits could range from the following; –

• A simple verbal notification to fix minor discrepancies
• An official “Improvement Notice” being issued
• Penalties that can be imposed through the ACT
• In extreme cases plant closure “

On request, Coex Training can give your hazardous area a “general health check” to ensure that your hazardous areas have all the necessary requirements as required by the Electrical Safety Act and relative standards to display compliance. Our InspExion© software dossier is also available and ensures that all relative Verification Dossier information is stored in a central place with ease of access and a streamlined method of electronic hazardous area inspections.

The following is an example of information that may be found in the Verification Dossier and what a “General Health Check” may consist of in the process of achieving compliance.

  • Looking through the Verification Dossier to ensure that all information that is required for that site or installation to be included is accurate, current and relevant to the installation
  • Ensuring that the Hazardous Area Classification is still true for the installation, over time many changes can occur on-site that may have an effect on the classification; –
    • Structures that are built or removed that may change ventilation
    • Equipment changed out that may affect sources of release
    • Process changes that may affect sources of release
    • Introducing or changing chemicals that may have different flammable properties
    • Combustible dust areas that may not have been picked up in previous classifications
  • All relevant Safety Data Sheets (from the supplier) are available and current for all chemicals on site
  • Checking the Ex register to ensure complete and concise entries for all installed certified equipment and circuits in relation to; –
    • TAG numbers
    • Equipment details
    • Certification
    • Location
    • Area details
  • Ensuring the correct issue of Certificates of Conformity for each item of installed certified equipment on site
  • Ensuring a Conformity Assessment Document in place for any equipment that is not appropriately certified for use in Australia that may be installed on-site
  • Ensuring that any necessary calculations are in place for the following; –
    • IS loop calculations
    • Ex e power distribution details
    • Ex d thermal distribution details
    • Ex p and Ex v purge and pressurisation details
  • Ensuring all operator manuals from the OEM is available
  • Ensuring all General Arrangement drawings and equipment drawings showing dimensions etc. are available
  • Ensuring all cable schedules, line diagrams and electrical schematic drawings are available and accurate
  • Ensuring all relevant process diagrams such as P&ID’s and process flow sheets are in place and accurate
  • Ensuring all Mandatory AS/NZS 3000 tests and checks from the initial installation has been filed with acceptable results
  • Ensuring commissioning plan with all ITP’s, ITR’s and ITC’s are in place from original commissioning
  • Ensuring that inspection sheet templates are available and all previous inspections have been filed with evidence of actions carried out for all non-compliances found
  • Ensuring that mandatory audit reports are available for all electrical installations on-site from an accredited auditor
  • Ensuring that Competencies of all personnel responsible for classification, design, installation etc for the hazardous areas are available
  • Ensuring that there is a maintenance schedule in place outlining maintenance and inspection activities, this may consist of; –
    • Asset management plans
    • Job plans
    • Work instructions etc.
  • Ensuring that all overhaul and repair documentation is available for any equipment that has been sent out for overhaul or repair as it can only be completed by workshops accredited to AS/NZS 3800.
  • Any photographs that may have been taken of the installed equipment
  • Any other information that may be relevant to the installation

Coex Training is experienced in carrying out full Hazardous Area Strategies for clients with these installations areas on-site to ensure that they can be confident that they have compliance and a high level of safety.

We have the capability of carrying out the following; –

• Hazardous Area Classification
• Hazardous Area electrical design
• Installation of Hazardous Area installations
• Inspection of Hazardous Area installations
• Auditing of Hazardous Area installations (Electrical Safety Office accredited)
• Developing maintenance strategies for Hazardous Areas

Our Hazardous Area department also holds CompEx competencies allowing us to work on Hazardous Area Installations worldwide.

We look forward to assisting you with your Hazardous Area issues.

In the State of Queensland, the Electrical Safety Act requires that all “new” hazardous area installations within Queensland require to have a Hazardous Area Audit completed on the entire installation after the installation has been completed.

The audit is required to be carried out prior to the energisation of equipment and circuits within the hazardous area.

The auditor needs to be accredited by the Department of Justice, Electrical Safety Office to carry out electrical hazardous area audits for that category; –

  • Category A – flammable gases and liquids
  • Category B – combustible dusts
  • Category C – flammable gases, liquids and combustible dusts

The audit will be carried out looking at classification, design, installation, maintenance strategies and information held in the verification dossier.

Learn more about the Hazardous Area Services we provide here or chat with our Hazardous Areas Specialist, Brad Guy, now. 

Chat to Brad Guy about your free desktop audit.