What Is IECEx and ATEX Regulation and Why Is it Necessary for Duress Alarms and Personal Safety Alarms?
The ATEX regulation and IECEx certification regulate the propensity for onsite explosions within certain segments of the industrial sector. IECEX and ATEX regulations are the European and USA standards that control minimum requirements for ensuring the safety protection of workers and plant working in an environment where there is the risk of explosion. These standards regulate equipment and protective systems.
ATEX Regulation and IECEX-Rated Devices
Safety regulations require employees to eliminate or control the risks from dangerous substances onsite. Explosive atmospheres environments include paint and chemical factories, pharmaceutical manufacturing, oil and gas rigs, underground mining, sewage plants and timber and flour mills. Risks may result from materials used onsite but may also arise when using electronic or electrical equipment, including equipment with batteries or equipment that can generate static electricity.
Areas where hazardous explosive atmospheres may occur as described as “zones”. A zone is categorised depending on the likelihood of an explosion occurring and its persistence if it does. Zones must be protected from any sources of ignition. Equipment and protective systems used in zoned areas must meet the IECEX and/or ATEX regulation requirements and employees working in zoned areas must wear anti-static clothing and before commencing initial work, workers must confirm that the area is safe from any explosive risk.
IECEx certification ensures that equipment used in zones categorised by risk of explosive atmospheres is fit for its intended purpose and that adequate instructional information is provided to ensure safe operating procedure. Certification must be undertaken for all goods that enter a country adopting these standards. Certification includes compliance with health and safety requirements and involves testing by a third-party certification body, accredited by the IECEx. In general, the IECEx safety standards are more stringent than ATEX regulation and Australia, New Zealand and most European countries align to IECEx standards.
The IECEx body maintains a single global database for certified explosive equipment thereby ensuring international confidence in equipment certified by IECEx standards.
Protect Your Employees
IECEx and ATEX are the necessary standards that guarantee safety in environments that are characterised by risk of explosive events. The IECEx and ATEX standards apply to all personal safety devices including lone worker duress alarms and even mobile phones.
Devices that adhere to the standards are safe to use in explosive environments and will be safe when they are switched on or off, if they are accidentally dropped or if the batteries get damaged. Your company and your workers must understand and apply IECEx rating to all electronic equipment that is carried, used or even located within explosive zones of a site.
For more information about duress alarms, lone worker and IECEx and ATEX safety zone ratings for your site, please feel free to phone us on 1300 765 543.