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Safety Procedures And Training

The following of safety procedures and training of professional personnel involved in the handling of hydrogen systems are probably the most important of prevention measures to reduce the occurrence of and potential consequences of incidents or accidents. Such procedures and training exist today in the chemical industry where hydrogen is produced, handled, stored and transported. Similar procedures are therefore to be developed for new applications of hydrogen such as transport or energy conversion, for professionals who come into contact with hydrogen. For the public, specific education courses are needed to address the specific properties of hydrogen, compared to other more familiar fuels such as natural gas or gasoline. Having a basic understanding of how hydrogen behaves when accidentally released into the environment is a prevention measure that all stakeholders of hydrogen must follow.

All measurements described in this paper would not be enough to prevent and protect the industrial installations from the electrostatic risk if the personnel were not trained accordingly and if technical improvements were not checked periodically. This step fits fully in the logic of the risks analysis required by 1999/92/CE European Directive transposed in each member state of the EU. The taking into account of the electrostatic risk is explicitly required there (1999/92/CE Directive, Annexe II 2.3), as well as the staff training concerned with ATEX risks (1999/92/CE Directive, Annexe II, 1.1).

Knowledge, gaps and recent progress

The electrostatic charge and discharge phenomena are well-known for the majority of the combustible materials as for the various manufacturing processes and were briefly detailed above. But the risks related to the intrinsic data of hydrogen (low MIE, low conductivity for liquid hydrogen) have not been studied in detail yet. The risks related to the accidental leak of compressed hydrogen is, a priori, one of the most probable sources of ignition for the ignition of air-hydrogen ATEX (Astbury and Hawksworth, 2005), but that remains to be shown.

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Page last modified on February 23, 2009, at 11:31 PM