PLANT SAFETY & DESIGN There are often potential hazards in powder handling systems, either due to the nature of the equipment required to handle the products or the characteristics of the products themselves. Hoppers constitute confined spaces that may contain inert gases, valves are capable of crushing or amputating fingers and many powders will form explosive mixtures when suspended at the right concentration in air, requiring only the presence of a spark to trigger an event. It is also possible for large quantities of powder to spontaneously ignite under the right temperature conditions. In order to maximise safety, Techno Links carries out risk assessments for all systems and components to ensure potential issues are identified at the design stage, at which time the appropriate mitigation measures are put in place. Equipment is designed, installed and commissioned in accordance with the relevant local and international standards, e.g. IECEx, NEC, FM, UL, CENELEC, ATEX. Minimising the likelihood of a deflagration is commonly achieved by inert gas blanketing of internal spaces or by fitting equipment with detection devices and suppression/containment systems. In the unlikely event of an explosion both plant and personnel can be protected by releasing the generated pressure through purpose-designed venting panels to either flame arrestors within a building or ducts that vent directly to the exterior. To ensure Techno Links systems are able to be safely operated and maintained, comprehensive manuals are supplied and warning signs are placed where appropriate to alert personnel to potential hazards.