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Hazardous Area Classification

Ensure the utmost safety in hazardous environments with our Hazardous Area Classification services. At Wire Consultancy, we specialize in evaluating and classifying areas with potentially explosive atmospheres, helping businesses mitigate risks and comply with regulatory requirements. Our team of experts will conduct thorough assessments of your facility, identify hazardous zones, and recommend appropriate safety measures and equipment.

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Hazardous Area Classification

Hazardous Area Classification (HAC) is a systematic process used to classify and define areas within industrial facilities where the presence of potentially flammable or explosive atmospheres could occur due to the presence of hazardous gases, vapors, liquids, or dusts. These hazardous areas are categorized based on the likelihood and extent of the presence of such materials. The purpose of hazardous area classification is to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to prevent and mitigate the risks associated with potential ignition sources in these areas.

Hazardous Area Classification area can be defined as any location where there is risk of an explosion. But every hazardous area is different and each has specific requirements depending on the nature of the atmosphere and the elements that are present. Where there is potential for an explosive atmosphere, special precautions are needed to prevent fires and explosions. Electronic equipment, including lighting, needs to be purpose designed for use in hazardous areas to prevent a spark occurring and igniting any flammable substances.

The purpose the Hazardous Area Classification study is to undertake the structured and systematic review to recognize potentially hazardous areas and consequent employment of electrical equipment. 

Key steps in the hazardous area classification process include:

1) Identifying Hazardous Substances: Determine the hazardous substances present or likely to be present in the facility. These substances could be flammable gases, vapors, liquids, combustible dusts, or other materials that pose a fire or explosion hazard.

2) Assessing Hazardous Atmospheres: Analyze the potential for hazardous atmospheres to form due to the release, leakage, or accumulation of hazardous substances. This involves considering factors such as ventilation, process conditions, and potential sources of leaks.

3) Classifying Zones or Divisions: Based on the assessment, classify the areas into zones or divisions, each indicating the likelihood and duration of the presence of a hazardous atmosphere. Zones are commonly used in the IEC system, while Divisions are used in the North American system.

    • IEC System (Zone Classification):
      1. Zone 0: An area where a flammable atmosphere is present continuously or for long periods.
      2. Zone 1: An area where a flammable atmosphere is likely to occur in normal operation.
      3. Zone 2: An area where a flammable atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation but may occur for short periods.
    • North American System (Division Classification):
      1. Division 1: An area where a flammable atmosphere is present under normal operating conditions or where it may occur frequently due to repair, maintenance, or other temporary situations.
      2. Division 2: An area where a flammable atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation, but if it does, it will be for a short duration and infrequently.

4) Defining Equipment and Measures: Determine the types of electrical and non-electrical equipment that can be safely used in each classified zone or division. This includes selecting suitable explosion-proof or intrinsically safe equipment and implementing appropriate measures to prevent ignition sources.

5) Documentation and Signage: Document the hazardous area classification results and communicate them through appropriate signage, labeling, and documentation to inform personnel and contractors about the potential hazards and safety requirements.

Hazardous area classification is essential in industries such as petrochemicals, oil and gas, chemical processing, mining, and more, where the risk of fire or explosion due to flammable substances is significant. Proper classification helps ensure that equipment and safety measures are appropriately designed, selected, and maintained to minimize the risk of ignitions and maintain a safe working environment.

Hazardous Area Classification (HAC) is guided by various international standards and guidelines that provide methodologies, criteria, and best practices for classifying and managing areas where potentially explosive atmospheres may occur. These standards ensure a consistent and systematic approach to minimizing the risks associated with hazardous environments.

Here are some key hazardous area classification standards:

  1. IEC 60079-10-1: Explosive Atmospheres – Part 10-1: Classification of Areas – Explosive Gas Atmospheres:
  2. IEC 60079-10-2: Explosive Atmospheres – Part 10-2: Classification of Areas – Combustible Dust Atmospheres
  3. NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC):
  4. NFPA 499: Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas:
  5. API RP 500: Recommended Practice for Classification of Locations for Electrical Installations at Petroleum Facilities Classified as Class I, Division 1 and Division 2:
  6. EN 60079-10-1: Explosive Atmospheres – Part 10-1: Classification of Areas – Explosive Gas Atmospheres:
  7. EN 60079-10-2: Explosive Atmospheres – Part 10-2: Classification of Areas – Combustible Dust Atmospheres:

These standards provide comprehensive guidelines for hazardous area classification in various industries, helping organizations implement appropriate safety measures, select suitable equipment, and mitigate the risks associated with explosive or combustible atmospheres. Organizations should select the standard that is most relevant to their region and industry to ensure compliance with regulations and best practices.

Wire Consultancy offers comprehensive Hazardous Area Classification​

Wire Consultancy is a highly rated Engineering, Risk management, EHS & Sustainability Solutions Consultancy that offers Hazardous Area Classification. Wire consultancy consists of a diverse team of experienced auditors and professionals who have been working in the Hazardous Area Classification field for over 20 years and have a deep understanding of Hazardous Area Classification.

Our Hazardous Area Classification service is a comprehensive, accurate and cost-effective solution to your hazardous area classification requirements.

We will provide you with a full report outlining the risks of working in your workplace and advise on how these can be managed with the use of suitable equipment and safety precautions.

Benefits of Hazardous Area Classification
  1. NFPA 497: Recommended Practice for the Classification of Flammable Liquids, Gases, or Vapours and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas.
  2. IEC 60079-10 Guideline- Electrical Apparatus for Explosive Gas Atmosphere
  3. NFPA 70 National Electric Code

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