Flameproof Forklift Rentals (FLP) was established in 1998 to supply (flameproof) explosion protected (Ex) forklift trucks to the South African market. FLP bridges the gap where companies want to be Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSACT) compliant and implement Ex forklift trucks, but do not want the capital investment – or do not have the serving infrastructure capability – so prefer to rent new or rebuilt Ex forklift trucks.
Forklift trucks, both diesel or battery electric, must be Ex compliant where flammable products are manufactured or stored. LP Gas or petrol powered forklift trucks cannot be converted to Ex so cannot be used in hazardous (zone 1 / 21) or potentially hazardous (zone 2 / 22) areas.
FLP supplies the Ex forklift trucks fitted with Pyroban EPE explosion protection systems utilising refurbished or new forklift trucks depending on the needs of the customer and affordability.
Since inception, FLP has provided customers with flexible options including short and long – term rental contracts. FLP customers have peace of mind as the FLP forklift trucks are serviced and maintained by experienced Ex trained technicians, thus ensuring the safety and compliance of the forklift truck is not compromised.
FLP is the only company in South Africa that has Ex trucks in stock and can provide a replacement Ex truck at very short notice, depending on mast requirements.
This unmatched service and commitment ensures the customer has minimum downtime
The FLP motto is ‘Be safe – be Ex compliant.’
Diesel and battery electric powered industrial vehicles are widely used at factories and sites where flammable liquids, gases, and dusts are processed or stored.
Such processes include the production, storage and distribution of solvents, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, gas cylinder and aerosol filling and the manufacture of solvent based products such as paints, plastics, perfumes and cosmetics.
What is an ‘explosive atmosphere?’
Mixture with air, under atmospheric conditions, of flammable substances in the form of gases, vapours, mists or dusts, in which, after ignition has occurred, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture and explosive atmospheres may be present either as a result of an incident, or during normal operation and may be ignited by industrial vehicles.
Example of ignition sources
Battery electric vehicles may cause ignition from high surface temperatures on motors and brakes, sparks from static electricity, leakage currents, mechanically generated sparks from forks or brakes, arcing and sparking of electrical components.
Diesel engine powered equipment may in addition have ignition sources such as high engine and exhaust surface temperatures, flames or sparks from the exhaust or air inlet and engine over speed.
Classification of hazardous areas
* Zone 1 or Zone 21 area definition:
Typically, a process area in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air or flammable substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.
* Zone 2 or zone 22 area definition:
Typically, an area in which a hazardous explosive atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation, and if it does, it will exist for a short period only. For example, flammable liquid storage / storage of packaged goods. The storage of flammable chemicals inside a warehouse or in the open is considered potentially hazardous. These areas would be classified as zone 2 regardless of the quantities and the fact the flammable product is in sealed containers.
Types of forklift conversions to be used.
All manufacturers of flammable solvent based products including paint manufacturers must by law use ‘fit for purpose’ materials handling equipment including forklift trucks that comply with OHACT regulations. To be absolutely compliant any flammable product in sealed containers should be in a separate dedicated area, and the storage facility clearly marked as a potentially hazardous zone 2. If the flammable product is being moved by a forklift truck that has to enter the zoned area, the forklift truck must be zone 2 compliant. When transporting flammable product in sealed containers, loading the product onto a truck would also be considered a zone 2 application.
As soon as you decant the product in the defined zone 2 area the area classification becomes zone 1.
You may never predict a gas cloud, an escape of heavier than air flammable gas that under the right conditions will explode. The days of taking chances are long gone. The advice FLP give to potential clients is that they should have their factories and storage areas classified by a competent company or individual who will examine each operation and give them a major hazard installation inspection and report defining area classification. These competent persons / companies are not only looking at forklift truck applications, they are also concerned with the electric motors, switches, lighting etc. This is to see that all relevant equipment is compliant for the application.
The final report will clearly state what you should or should not be doing.
Flameproof (Ex) forklift trucks must carry an inspection authority certificate (IA) that is valid for 10 years from date of conversion, provided the truck receives an annual safety audit (ASA) ensuring it is always in an Ex condition.
Non sparking tools
FLP Non-Sparking tools are mainly used in hazardous environments where flammable and combustible vapours, liquids, gas and dust are present. They are non-sparking and non-magnetic.
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