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The explosion is provoked by a fast gas expansion due to a chain chemical reaction, whose products are heat, a shockwave and a pressure peak. If the combustion reaction is slower than the speed of sound, it is called deflagration, if it is faster, it is called detonation. Generally speaking, explosions are produced by very volatile liquids. An explosion takes place when an exploding agent is concentrated in the air at a specific value. Explosive limits define the area in which the exploding agent and oxygen ratio is such to cause an explosion. The wider this area is, the higher the probability of explosion.
An EU directive determines the procedures of protection and prevention from explosions and the evaluation of the level of risk. Article 5 of this directive provides for correct safety work conditions wherever a high risk of explosion is, and for adequate controls during working time with adequate technical means. The employer is bound to keep a “Document on protection against explosions”.