Work sites are prone to different hazardous content, and that is why certain areas require specific equipment before they can be accessed in order to eliminate exposure of the workers to such elements. The health and safety risks that these elements present are often taught beforehand to workers, and to follow up a good safety policy inside, different safety signages are also put in place to notify every single employee to always wear their protective suit and to make the level of hazardous content inside that area known to all workers.
Area classification is a method of analyzing and classifying the environment where explosive gas atmospheres may occur. The primary purpose is to facilitate the proper selection and installation of the apparatus to be used safely in that environment, considering the properties of the flammable materials that are present. In this post, we will discuss the different zones that one should be familiar with when entering a hazardous prone facility.
Hazardous Area Classification
An industrial area is considered a hazardous area when it contains three fundamental components:
- Flammable Substance – This particular hazard can be classified as gas, liquid, or solid. Most chemicals that are flammable evaporates quickly and are continually giving off vapors. The rate of evaporation varies significantly from one fluid to another and increases with temperature.
- Oxidizer – This is usually just the oxygen present in the area, wherein different harmful chemicals blend in like airborne stimulants that can affect the state of breathing of a worker when not equipped accordingly with protective equipment.
- Ignition Source – The source of ignition can be something obvious like a spark or open flame, or something seemingly more innocuous like excessive heat which can cause spontaneous combustion of certain materials.
Hazardous areas are classified into zones based on a worksite risk assessment of the frequency of the occurrence and duration of an explosive material:
- Zone 0 – This particular area has an explosive gas atmosphere which is continuously building up for long periods.
- Zone 1 – This area has a flammable atmosphere which can affect most of the people present in the facility during regular operating hours.
- Zone 2 – This area has the existence of a flammable atmosphere but is not likely to occur in regular operation hours, but when combustion occurs it will take a short period to exist.
As we can observe on the above statement on how dangerously a facility can be with its different areas, it is essential to align, detect, and create a risk assessment that can give you proper knowledge about how you can make your work environment safe. Protection concepts are also advisable for use since it presents effective safety processes for areas to be explosion-proof, intrinsic safety, and pressurized for the means of proper management of your equipment and assets.
Organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration offers risk control measures that sustain knowledge for your workers to control flammable substance emissions, ignition sources, and static electricity. Make use of the available resources and partners that you can get to eliminate the increasing number of accidents that also affects the well-being of the community near you.
Contact Progressive Safety Equipment today if you are interested in learning more about how we can help make your facility compliant with various safety standards and more conducive for your workers.