by OMS Admin

Any industry that processes, uses, or manufactures material that can produce a flammable atmosphere could potentially have an explosive atmosphere. An explosion can occur when there is a fuel such as gas, an oxidizer, and a source of ignition such as a hot surface. The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) relate to the protection of people within a workplace. This is protection against risks such as fires, explosions, and other similar events due to dangerous substances.

A Hazardous Location (HAZLOC) is a place where a controlled quantity of the substance is kept. For instance, flammable gases, mists, vapours, or combustible dust are located for a specified amount of time. Explosions within these areas can cause death, serious injury, and damage. To conform to DSEAR, any workplace where explosive atmospheres may occur, need to be classified into hazardous zones. Given the nature of an explosion, there are certain certification schemes that need to be adhered to. All to control the setup, control, design, and certification of equipment for the relevant atmospheres.

HAZLOC Area Classifications

ATEX is the name commonly given to the two European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres.  It relies on the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) classification system. This sets out zones to classify hazardous locations:

  • Zone 0, Zone 1, and Zone 2 with gas or vapor
  • Zone 20, Zone 21, and Zone 22 with dust

The classification of each zone represents the likelihood of explosive or flammable material in that area. The main difference between ATEX and the IEC standard is that ATEX is a legal requirement for equipment that is used in hazardous locations. On the other hand, IEC is only a certification of safety.

Gas Zones

  • Zone 0: an area where unwanted hazardous substances are present all the time. Present over 1000 hours/year or more than 10% of the time.
  • Zone 1: an area where vapor or gas is present, under normal conditions, during long periods. Present in a space of 10-1000 hours/year or during 0.1-10% of the time.
  • Zone 2: you can find the presence of gas or vapor in abnormal conditions. The dangerous gasses or vapor are low in presence. Present less than 10 hours/year or under 0-0.1% of the time.

Dust Zones

  • Zone 20: a high explosion hazardous area where a cloud of combustible dust is present continuously or for long periods of time or frequently present.
  • Zone 21: an area where the cloud of explosive dust is likely to occur during routine operations.
  • Zone 22: an environment where a cloud of combustible dust is not likely to occur in normal operation. But if it does will only occur for a short period of time.

HAZLOC Certifications

Within all HAZLOC areas, the equipment used must be designed in a particular way to reduce risk and establish safety. Certified electrical equipment reduces risks and prevents explosions and fires.

Manufacturers of electrical equipment that is going to be used within a potentially explosive atmosphere must be certified and have the required ‘certifications’.

The specific process of equipment classification in categories is based on the equipment protection level. In this classification, category 1 represents the highest safety level and category 2 is the lowest.

  • Category 1 equipment can be used in zone 0, 1 or 2
  • Category 2 equipment can be used in zone 1 or 2
  • Category 3 equipment is only used in zone 2

The equipment must be labelled and is required by law to confirm the certification. Therefore, permitting the equipment to be used in the hazard areas.

Explosion-Proof Vehicles For HAZLOC

ePower explosion-proof trucks are all tested and certified following strict regulations. Our certified electric explosion-proof vehicles are able to operate in various hazardous areas. Built and developed for the most demanding working conditions across various industries. For instance, petrochemical, mineral oil, mining, gas plants, and tunnel construction.

Our range includes the ATX 340EX model with load capacity up to 1.205 kg, tow up to 4.500 kg, and have an autonomy level of up to 90 km with a single recharge. In addition to, the ED version, ATX 340EDX, has a twin cab, so it can accommodate 4 people. Both of which have an air-conditioning system designed to work at up to 55°C, and an electric heating system.  Contact ePower Trucks today to find out more about our services.