An area in which an ignition source and explosive atmosphere is or could be present is known as a hazardous area.
To ensure the safety of personnel and equipment, a number of hazardous area standards have been adopted here in Australia and overseas to ensure electrical equipment is safely designed, manufactured and installed in hazardous areas.
AS/NZS: Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand are the respective nation's peak non-government Standards organisations. Together they have created a range of hazardous area standards that clearly set out the requirements for the design, selection and installation of electrical equipment in hazardous areas. When electrical equipment is to be installed in areas where dangerous concentrations and quantities of flammable gases, vapours, mists or dusts may be present these standards outline all of the vital safety components required by law.
The AS/NZS 60079 series standards are direct adoptions of the IEC 60079 series. Some standards in this series are adopted with national deviations (AS/NZS 60079.14, AS/NZS 60079.17 and AS/NZS 60079.10.1).
In most states and territories of Australia the relevant Electricity Safety Act and Regulations will require compliance with the AS/NZS 3000 (known as the wiring rules). AS/NZS 3000 Section 7.7 requires that a hazardous area be classified in accordance with AS/NZS 60079.10.1 or AS/NZS 60079.10.2 as applicable. Additionally the wiring rules require that electrical equipment for use in hazardous areas be selected and installed in accordance with AS/NZS 60079.14.
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 60079 series of explosive atmosphere standards covers a wide range of vital considerations when it comes to the installation of electrical equipment in potentially explosive atmospheres.
The IEC 60079 series deals with general equipment requirements, gas detectors, a variety of different methods of equipment protection, and moving on to the classification of areas, material characteristics, selection, installation and maintenance requirements and manufacturer quality management system requirements.
The primary objective of the IEC 60079 hazardous area standards series is to facilitate international trade in equipment and services for use in explosive atmospheres, while maintaining a standardised level of safety.
ATEX Standards: Ex products that are sold on the European market must meet the essential health and safety requirements set out in Directive 94/9/EC. This is primarily achieved by compliance with harmonised standards, primarily the EN 60079 series which are “parallel voted standards”. Products designed in accordance with harmonised standards are deemed to comply with the EHSRs.
The term ‘parallel voted standard’ relates to a process of adoption of the IEC standards as EN standards through a concurrent voting program for acceptance known as parallel voting. These ‘parallel voted standards’ do not contain any variations to the original IEC standard but could contain a small amount of additional local information. The result of this process is effectively identical to the process of adoption of IEC standards as AS/NZS.Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand are the respective nation's peak non-government Standards organisations. Together they have created a range of standards that clearly set out the requirements for the design, selection and installation of electrical equipment in hazardous areas. E-x Solutions have the best available advice on the application of all current AS/NZS standards.
Below is a list of the current Australian Standards that we apply as part of our range of Ex services:
The objective of this series is to clearly set out the requirements for the design, selection and installation of electrical equipment in hazardous areas. These requirements are in addition to the standard requirements for the installation of electrical equipment in non hazardous areas.
The objective of this standard is to provide guidance for the set-up of assessment programs applicable to the Units of Competency needed for work associated with electrical equipment for hazardous areas
AS/NZS 3000 provides uniform essential elements that constitute the minimum regulatory requirements for a safe electrical installation and also outlines best installation practices that achieve certainty of compliance with the essential safety requirements