What is continuous supervision in EEHA management?
In a previous blog we discussed the reasons we think introducing continuous supervision into your EEHA inspection practices as a prerequisite to embarking on a full RBI strategy makes sense. To further develop that thought, in this blog we , explore how we think you could best implement Continuous Supervision (CS). Considering the definition of Continuous Supervision in IEC60079.17: “Frequent attendance, inspection, service, care and maintenance of the electrical installation by skilled personnel who have experience in the specific installation and its environment in order to maintain the explosion protection features of the installation in satisfactory condition.”
Many operators of HA installations would argue that continuous supervision is already implemented at their facility, and likely rightfully so as it’s a maintenance crew’s job to ensure the installation is in safe, physical and operational condition This is the primary basis behind our suggestion that CS should be implemented before RBI. In many cases the key missing element is well documented evidence that the CS program is operating effectively.
Maintenance records and work orders may be being kept which proves equipment is being fixed when damaged (and inspected at the end of the repair process), but the void in documentation exists with all the equipment that is walked past every other day or week and doesn’t need repair. Without the paper trail it can be difficult to prove devices, that have remained in safe and sound condition without any work, have been “continuously supervised”.
With certified, industrial tablets becoming commonly available in recent years, they are increasingly becoming part of maintainers’ tool kits. These devices can provide access to the information and tools needed to quickly and easily complete a visual inspection at any time. With that in mind, maintenance and repair tasks can now also include efficient continuous supervision checks of nearby devices. These convenient checks can greatly reduce the time and cost of setting up and sending inspectors into the field for the sole purpose of inspection campaigns. It’s quite likely that the majority of a site could be covered with this approach over a four-year period, potentially eliminating the need for 4-yearly inspection almost entirely.
If you’d like to discuss how to implement continuous supervision for EEHA management at your site we’d love to hear from you.