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White Paper: One World, One “EX” Language?

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HES 200x150 07 19 enews imageCould the recent inspections in China looking at hazardous chemicals, mining and fire safety bring about more local standards and regulations? With so many to navigate globally already, is there instead scope to for creating a common ‘EX’ language?

Nowadays, the task of selecting an electrical system destined for use in a hazardous location can lead to a time consuming navigation through a myriad of approval certificates with different acronyms, product labelling details and an investigation into what the markings on the label(s) actually represent. This article will provide an overview of the various national and regional regulations governing hazardous area certified products, take a brief look at the standards against which they are assessed and examine if there is any scope for creating a “common language” for users of hazardous area equipment that may facilitate a future in which class leading hazardous area equipment, regardless of origin, is acceptable to the relevant regulatory body of the country in which the hazardous area operator is located.

In the U.S. the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for ensuring safe working conditions for employees in the workplace through demonstrable compliance with its Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) which are U.S. law.

In the European Union, the “ATEX 95” Directive, 94/9/EC now superceded by 2014/34/EU, is a legally binding requirement on manufacturers and users of equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) itself runs its own certification system for hazardous area equipment and it is called the IECEx scheme of hazardous area equipment certification.

If there is any likely route to the convergence of an internationally recognised hazardous area product certification “kite-mark” this is likely to be via the IECEx scheme.

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