With proven experience delivering a range of specialised engineering services and hazardous area documentation, we can help ensure compliance and reduce risk on your facilities – allowing you to focus on operations.
Hazardous Area Classification
Hazardous area classification is mandatory for facilities with potentially explosive atmospheres, as noted in the Australian wiring rules (AS/NZS 3000) under section 7.7. The requirements and methods for hazardous area classification are outlined in the standards AS/NZS (IEC) 60079-10.1 ‘Explosive atmospheres Part 10.1 Classification of areas – Explosive gas atmospheres’ and AS/NZS (IEC) 60079-10.2 ‘Explosive atmospheres Part 10.2 Classification of areas – Explosive dust atmospheres’.
The purpose of hazardous area classification is to analyse and classify environments where explosive atmospheres may develop, dividing them into zones based on frequency and duration of occurrence. Classification also considers the ignitability of the explosive substances. The outcome of these studies enables the correct selection and installation of equipment that is safe for use in the area. The equipment protection level (EPL) must be appropriate for the area in which equipment is installed.
Hazardous area classification should be considered in the early stages of plant design and documented as a plant is constructed. Once a plant has been classified, any modification to equipment, changes to operating procedures, or maintenance activities may influence classification and could give cause for further assessment. Accordingly, classification should be reviewed throughout the life of the plant.
Our experienced engineers can carry out hazardous area classification (HAC) studies to help you manage ignition risks on your facilities and maintain regulatory compliance. The output of these studies includes HAC drawings and classification reports indicating the type and extent of zones, applicable gas group, temperature class, and EPL required for each area.
Conformity Assessment Documents (CADs)
Understanding international and Australian requirements for EEHA can be a minefield, and selecting and sourcing appropriately certified equipment can be difficult.
The Australian and New Zealand standard AS/NZS (IEC) 60079-14 ‘Explosive atmospheres Part 14: Design selection, erection and initial inspection’ requires that equipment selected for use in hazardous areas be provided with ‘assurance of conformity’ with the requirements for hazardous areas, as described in the AS/NZS (IEC) 60079 series of standards. The simplest way to provide this assurance is to select equipment with an IECEx or ANZEx certificate.
The standard also states that ‘where equipment with suitable certification is not obtainable’, equipment without an IECEx or ANZEx certificate can be used but must be accompanied by a conformity assessment document (CAD), compiled by a qualified assessor, demonstrating the equipment provides an ‘equivalent level of safety’.
If you’re having difficulty with an imported piece of equipment, certified under a foreign Ex certification scheme, such as ATEX, UKCA, NEC, UL, FM or CSA, we can assist by providing a conformity assessment document.
Our expert electrical engineers undertake conformity assessments and, where possible, will allow foreign Ex certified equipment to be used in Australia while maintaining compliance. If certain issues cannot be overcome through the assessment process, we’ll provide a report with recommendations to resolve them.
Our experienced electrical engineers can provide expert explosion protection design support, including equipment selection, statements of opinion, and intrinsic safety and heat dissipation calculations. If you need assistance with a hazardous areas project, get in touch to discuss how our team can assist yours and find a cost-effective, compliant, and safe solution.