02 | 2006

Personal safety under control in explosive work environments

VTT has recently started a two-year project to develop a new operating model and educational material for ensuring personal safety in explosive environments. In different businesses there is a risk of explosion in the work environment if flammable liquids, gases, dusts or explosives are handled. The current guidelines, regulations and directives set for explosive work environments do not guarantee personal safety as a whole. The regulations are largely based on reviewing the safety of the environments and the equipment.

The operating model ensuring personal safety includes risk management and safe procedures, and ensuring the safety of protective equipment and clothing, as well as providing guidelines. In addition to the above, training material and operating guidelines are being produced and the companies' employees trained. The results of the research can be widely used in different industries and in unclassified explosive environments.

Many industries have explosive work environments

There are explosive work environments in the chemical, wood, food and pharmaceutical industries, as well as in the agricultural industry. There is a risk of explosion in energy production, sewage handling, gas distribution and metal working as well.

Personal safety

There are many factors that affect personal safety, including the employee's actions and the instructions for the action, the protective clothing, the employee's equipment, the safety of the environment and the equipment, and the behaviour and clothing of the visitors.

Cooperation and financing

In addition to VTT, the Finnish Work Environment Fund, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and the Tampere University of Technology are also co-operating in the project. The business partners are Borealis Polymers Oy, Centaurea Oy, EURENCO Vihtavuori Oy, Oy Forcit Ab, Image Wear Oy, Kemira GrowHow Oyj, Kiilto Oy, Lindström Oy, Nammo Lapua Oy, Neste Oil Oyj and Raikka Oy.

The project is being financed by the Finnish Work Environment Fund, VTT and the participating companies.


Additional information

VTT is an impartial expert organisation. Its objective is to develop new technologies, create new innovations and value added thus increasing customer's competencies. With its know how VTT produces research, development, testing and information services to public sector and companies as well as international organisations.