Some Compliance Services are Inexpensive – Others Are Priceless!
ATEC has without a doubt, been the go-to company for hazardous area compliance services around the world
We have been able to achieve this by providing a no-nonsense range of compliance services, driven by an experienced staff with intimate experience of international standards.
Like most companies engaged in “Ex” (Potentially Explosive Atmospheres), the impact of the oil and gas downturn in 2014 was still fresh, when 2020 came along and hit the industry with not only another downturn but also a global pandemic. The uncertainty in the air is palpable, and many are asking, what happens next?
So, what have we learned since 2014 & how can that help us post-2020?
Since 2014 most if not all service-related companies in the oil & gas sector have lost significant market revenue. This forced many companies to add new service offerings to their catalog. Many however with little to no experience. Some of these “new services” being offered are the only thing keeping critical infrastructures in compliance and safekeeping the lives of hundreds of hard-working employees.
The current dire economic situation is causing some recruitment agencies and manufacturers to desperately offer inspection services that were completely outside their expertise not long ago. With the sprawling of new opportunistic companies jumping into the Ex industry, it is troubling to think of the potential consequences.
As former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld once stated:
“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones.
As Mr. Rumsfeld stated, there will always be some unknown unknowns, but only through experience, transparency, and accountability can a company aim to remove those cases as much as possible. In recent months, ATEC has been called into distressed projects to “troubleshoot” after so-called experts have provided a 100% non-compliance list. Shockingly, some of these companies do not understand or even have a copy of the international standard for which they are inspecting and. Furthermore, many of them consist of just a single worker freelancing under a newly incorporated company but portraying themselves as a large organization in social media.
To this effect, safety has been ignored and neglected
In a time of economic turmoil, some people may erroneously think it’s time for taking shortcuts. Quite the opposite. We are living through a downturn combined with a worldwide pandemic, for most companies that have survived this far, an incident due to neglect could be the straw that broke the camels back.
So, you may be asking yourself who you should trust to ensure your company is in compliance. There are a few things you could check in order to make sure you’re getting good reputable, compliant service:
- Hazardous area compliance is not just about conducting “Ex” Inspections – there must be an overall strategy in place that documents compliance levels, allows non-compliance actions to be carried out, and acts as a bridge to on-going periodic inspection & maintenance programs.
- Inspectors should be able to demonstrate not only that they have a competency certificate but they should also have documented suitable experience, skills, and aptitude levels to be able to practically interpret the requirements of the standards they are complying with.
- A “Responsible Person” should be appointed and able to demonstrate they have suitable certification, experience, skills, and aptitude levels to be responsible for ensuring compliance with the overall compliance strategy & being responsible for providing an evidence dossier with exacting details of area classification, equipment protection methods & rationale on compliance.
- To ensure the integrity of any “Ex” inspection service an external verification is advised to confirm procedures are being followed, site-specific evidence (dossiers) are available & the correctly certified experienced staff are in place.
That’s a good start, but to go beyond the basic requirements, ATEC has gone the extra mile to become one of the first IECEx certified service facilities in the world for inspection services.
This means ATEC is externally verified annually by the IECEx international body
The IECEx verification includes a full audit of:
- Inspection documentation vs compliance with any overall compliance strategy (details of which must be kept for 10 years)
- Current & new staff inspectors & responsible persons evaluations
- Test equipment calibration to ensure it is current
- Liability & professional indemnity insurance
More than ever the industry is seeing enforcement and claims for non-compliant “Ex” Inspection, so having an independent IECEx service facility status, along with professional insurances can provide assurance and show due diligence that clients are engaging in Best Available Technique.
That’s why some compliance services are inexpensive – others are priceless!
Do you need help making sure your company is in compliance? Contact us today!
About ATEC Services
We are a group of companies focused on services related to Hazardous Area Awareness and Asset Integrity. We provide specialized safety training and inspection services for companies who deal with the world of Potentially Explosive Atmospheres. From our inception over 11 Years ago, ATEC has without a doubt, been the go-to company for hazardous area compliance around the world.
With Office’s, Training and Inspection Centers in Houston and Singapore, the group is dedicated to the safety of personnel and asset protection by supplying International NEC / IEC Electrical Cables & Hazardous Area Accessories, Atex, IECEx competence training, including CompEx assessments, facility compliance and equipment inspection services.