In a hazardous environment, portable lighting must be engineered to prevent a spark from occurring and igniting any flammable vapors or mists in the area. The ATEX and IECEx Zone systems were created to classify the different danger levels in these areas.
Portable lighting must be carefully selected based on the most hazardous environment it may encounter since the situation may quickly change due to an accident, equipment failure, or malfunction. Therefore, it is critical to identify the Zone in which you will be working and the Zone you might find yourself in during an emergency. Let's take a look at the specific characteristics of each Zone.
Explosive atmosphere is always present.
Explosive atmosphere is likely to occur during regular operations.
Explosive atmosphere does not occur during regular operation or for a short period only; this is usually the result of an accident or other unusual operating conditions.
The safest option is to use equipment rated for the Zone you might encounter instead of the one you will be working in. A great example of this is the Nightstick XPP-5422G torch. This ATEX safety-certified Dual-Light™ torch is engineered to not release enough electrical or thermal energy under normal or abnormal circumstances to cause ignition, even in a Zone 0 environment. The Dual-Light feature helps users to regain the lost peripheral vision from a traditional torch, allowing them to see the immediate area below and to their sides, significantly reducing the chances of a slip or trip.
The final thought to consider when purchasing ATEX equipment is the product's manufacturer. A single-source manufacturer ensures consistent quality and safety across an entire product line. This is especially important when buying hazardous environment safety lighting. Nightstick, the original creator of the Dual-Light torch and a global manufacturer of over 50+ intrinsically safe professional, portable LED lighting products sold in 70+ countries, exceeds industry standards in performance, quality, value, and user safety. Focus on completing your job confidently, knowing your equipment was designed and rated for the highest safety levels. Find the certification level you need at www.nightstick.com.
This article can also be found in the Jan/Feb issue.