This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
This Technical Measures Document refers to the classification of plant into hazardous areas, and the systematic identification and control of ignition
The relevant Level 2 Criteria are 188.8.131.52(29)c
. Design of plant, pipework and general plant layout is considered in Technical Measures Documents on Plant Layout
, Design Codes - Plant
, Design Codes - Pipework
, Plant Modification / Change Procedures
, Maintenance Procedures
. The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) provide for the first time a specific legal requirement to carry out a hazardous area study, and document the conclusions, in the form of zones.
Hazardous Area Classification for Flammable Gases and Vapours
Area classification may be carried out by direct analogy with typical installations described in established codes, or by more quantitative methods that require a more detailed knowledge of the plant. The starting point is to identify sources of release of flammable gas or vapour. These may arise from constant activities; from time to time in normal operation; or as the result of some unplanned event. In addition, inside process equipment may be a hazardous area, if both gas/vapour and air are present, though there is no actual release. Catastrophic failures, such as vessel or line rupture are not considered by an area classification study. A hazard identification process such as a Preliminary Hazard Analysis (PHA) or a Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) should consider these abnormal events. The most commonly used standard in the UK for determining area extent and classification is BS EN 60079 part 10 1, which has broad applicability. The current version makes clear the direct link between the amounts of flammable vapour that may be released, the ventilation at that location, and the zone number. It contains a simplistic calculation relating the size of zone to a rate of release of gas or vapour, but it is not helpful for liquid
releases, where the rate of vaporisation controls the size of the hazardous area.
Other sources of advice, which describe more sophisticated approaches, are the Institute of Petroleum Model Code of Practice (Area Classification
Code for Petroleum Installations, 2002), and the Institution of Gas Engineers Safety Recommendations SR25, (2001). The IP code is for use by
refinery and petrochemical type operations. The IGE code addresses specifically transmission, distribution and storage facilities for natural gas,
rather than gas utilisation plant, but some of the information will be relevant to larger scale users.
Hazardous areas are defined in DSEAR as "any place in which an explosive atmosphere may occur in quantities such as to require special precautions to protect the safety of workers". In this context, 'special precautions' is best taken as relating to the construction, installation and use of apparatus, as given in BS EN 60079 -10 1.
it may be addressed by upgrading the specification of equipment or controls over activities allowed within the zone. The most common values used are: Zone 0: Explosive atmosphere for more than 1000h/yr Zone 1: Explosive atmosphere for more than 10. taking into account the properties of the flammable materials that will be present. although the use of fuels handled above their flash point would be a rare event. supported by appropriate reference drawings showing the extent of the zones around (including above and below where appropriate) the plant item. . natural gas. Presence. The main purpose is to facilitate the proper selection and installation of apparatus to be used safely in that environment. The option of writing out an exception to normal instructions to allow a non Ex-protected machine to be used regularly is not recommended. assumed to be present. Zone 1: An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is likely to occur in normal operation. A hazardous area extent and classification study involves due consideration and documentation of the following: The flammable materials that may be present. Instead. If this aspect is important. a more realistic assessment of the zones is needed. as follows: Zone 0: An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is present continuously or for long periods. Similarly the IGE code gives a methodology for natural gas. The zone definitions take no account of the consequences of a release. and shows how both the buoyancy and momentum of the release influence the extent of a zone. This applies to new or newly modified installations. if it occurs. sometimes referred to as 'safe areas'. The results of this work should be documented in Hazardous Area Classification data sheets. and also of equipment. and refinery hydrogen for pressures up to 100barg. gasoline. Dispersion of released vapours to below flammable limits. and mobile equipment that creates an ignition risk. The probability of each release scenario. These factors enable appropriate selection of zone type and zone extent. There is in practice little overlap between the codes. The physical properties and characteristics of each of the flammable materials. The tables of dispersion distances to the zone boundary address in the main quite large diameter deliberate vents. these values are the most appropriate. and illogicalities in respect of control over health effects from vapours site inspection. It tabulates values for an LPG mixture. though the floor needed sweeping regularly. to take into account non-electrical sources of ignition. It proved difficult to obtain a floor-cleaning machine certified for Zone 1 areas. Where occupiers choose to define extensive areas as Zone 1. and special instructions issued for the rare event of using more volatile fuels. and the equipment that may be installed in that zone. Hazardous areas are classified into zones based on an assessment of the frequency of the occurrence and duration of an explosive gas atmosphere. but for the majority of situations a purely qualitative approach is adequate. The IP code gives a methodology for estimating release rates from small diameter holes with pressurised sources. Various sources have tried to place time limits on to these zones. Zone 2: An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation and. but less than 1000 h/yr Zone 2: Explosive atmosphere for less than 10h/yr. DSEAR specifically extends the original scope of this analysis. as it leads to more difficulties with equipment selection. relating the leak rate to the hole-size and the operating pressure. The alternative of specifying the extent of zones more conservatively is not generally recommended. will only exist for a short time. Prevailing operating temperatures and pressures. degree and availability of ventilation (forced and natural). When the hazardous areas of a plant have been classified. but none have been officially adopted. the practical consequences could usefully be discussed during As an example: A proposal was made to zone an aircraft hanger as Zone 1. Where people wish to quantify the zone definitions. but still sufficiently likely as to require controls over ignition sources. the remainder will be defined as non-hazardous.Area classification is a method of analysing and classifying the environment where explosive gas atmospheres may occur. Selection of Equipment DSEAR sets out the link between zones. The source of potential releases and how they can form explosive atmospheres.
Consideration should be shown for flammable material that may be generated due to interaction between chemical species. Standards set out different protection concepts.Identification and Control Ignition sources may be: Flames. Most of the electrical standards have been developed over many years and are now set at international level.Flameproof enclosure Electrical EN 50018 2000 Type 'n' .Special protection Correct selection of electrical equipment for hazardous areas requires the following information: Classification of the hazardous area (as in zones shown in the table above). ° C C T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 450 300 200 135 100 85 >450 >300 >200 >135 >100 >85 If several different flammable materials may be present within a particular area.Powder filling EN 50017.Encapsulation EN 50028. These. 2000 'ib' . Temperature class or ignition temperature of the gas or vapour involved according to the table below: Temperature Classification Maximum Surface Temperature. 1987 's' . Ignition Sources .EN 50021 1999 Non electrical EN 13463-1. ° Ignition Temperature of gas or vapour. 2002 'm' . 1998 'o' . 2002 Zone 1 Category 2 Zone 2 Category 3 'd' . with further subdivisions for some types of equipment according to gas group and temperature classification. 2001 Ex s . the material that gives the highest classification dictates the overall area classification. The DSEAR ACOP describes the provisions concerning existing equipment. while standards for non-electrical equipment are only just becoming available from CEN. The IP code considers specifically the issue of hydrogen containing process streams as commonly found on refinery plants. set out in UK law as the Equipment and Protective Systems for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996.The equipment categories are defined by the ATEX equipment directive.Intrinsic safety EN 50020. Zone 0 Category 1 'ia' intrinsically safe EN 50020. and the letter giving the type of protection are listed below.Increased safety EN 50019. There are different technical means (protection concepts) of building equipment to the different categories. 1998 'e' . .Pressurised EN 50016 2002 'q' .Oil immersion EN 50015. the standard current in mid 2003.Special protection if specifically certified for Zone 0 'p' .
Correct selection of equipment to avoid high intensity electromagnetic radiation sources. e. together with a means of rapid . Electromagnetic radiation of different wavelengths Vehicles.Direct fired space and process heating. Space heating equipment. Hot Oil Systems and Processes Operating Above Auto-Ignition Temperatures A range of petrochemical and refinery processes use direct fired heaters. (See above).g. Electrical equipment and lights Spontaneous heating. and appropriate selection of ATEX equipment is not suitable as a basis of safety for preventing fire and explosion risks. hazardous area classification.g. and systems of work: Using electrical equipment and instrumentation classified for the zone in which it is located. Impact sparks. avoidance of high intensity lasers or sources of infrared radiation Prohibition of smoking/use of matches/lighters Controls over the use of normal vehicles Controls over activities that create intermittent hazardous areas. Instead.g. Provision of lightning protection Correct selection of vehicles/internal combustion engines that have to work in the zoned areas (see Technical Measures Document on Permit to Work Systems  ). Hot process vessels. e. Stray currents from electrical equipment Electrostatic discharge sparks: Lightning strikes. Clearly. Cutting and welding flames. Friction heating or sparks. Use of cigarettes/matches etc. Heated process vessels such as dryers and furnaces. e. Mechanical machinery. New mechanical equipment will need to be selected in the same way. steam crackers for ethylene production. unless specially designed or modified are likely to contain a range of potential ignition sources Sources of ignition should be effectively controlled in all hazardous areas by a combination of design measures. Hot surfaces. any leak must be expected to find a source of ignition. Sparks from electrical equipment. or by a surface heated by a flame. In these circumstances. either directly at the flames. limitations on the power input to fibre optic systems. if the fuel supply to the heater or the pipework carrying the process fluid leaks close to the furnace. tanker loading/unloading Control of maintenance activities that may cause sparks/hot surfaces/naked flames through a Permit to Work System Precautions to control the risk from pyrophoric scale. safety should be achieved by a combination of a high standard of integrity of fuel and process pipelines. Earthing of all plant/ equipment (see Technical Measures Document on Earthing  ) Elimination of surfaces above auto-ignition temperatures of flammable materials being handled/stored (see above). usually associated with formation of ferrous sulphide inside process equipment Direct Fired Heaters.
and for many applications an unprotected type has to be extensively rebuilt. Locations where a large release is possible and the extent of hazardous areas has been minimised by the use of mechanical ventilation should be identified. 1 and 2.g. If this is possible. gas turbine power generation units. Consequently. and more restrictive rules on the equipment used in the store. the inlet and exhaust of any internal combustion engine. but those examples relevant to the representative set of major accidents upon which the ALARP demonstration is based must be included. an assessment is needed of the risk that an ignition within a storage compound will produce a major accident. should be provided. These will include electrical circuits. Controls will be needed to prevent or minimise the release of gas or vapour but controls over ignition sources are also needed. Site rules should be clear where normal road vehicles may be taken. and other moving parts. this may be acceptable.g. about vehicles with gas detection systems.(Code of practice for protection of structures against lightning). Further guidance can be found in BS 6651:1999 1 . including raw materials. Vehicles certified to ATEX requirements are however expensive. area classification is not a suitable means of controlling the ignition risks. At present these are sold without any claim for ATEX compliance. Hazardous areas may be considered to exist during the transfer operation. either directly or because a fire or explosion spreads to involve other materials. Where specialist vehicles (e. electrostatic build up. In some stores. Have all flammable substances present have been considered during area classification. and it is unlikely that such an engine could be built economically. as with fired heaters. Discussions are also ongoing. Discussions have been held with the British Chemical Distributors and Traders Association. Again. final product and effluents? Commonly these will be grouped for the purposes of any area classification study. Factors for Assessor of a Safety Case to Consider Is a full set of plans identifying hazardous areas available? For a large site they need not all be provided in the report. Ignitions caused by lightning cannot be eliminated entirely. Electric powered vehicles can also be built using a combination of this standard and the normal electrical standards. Any such processes should be specifically identified in a safety case. perhaps with limited use of a vehicle.detection and isolation of any pipes that do fail. designed to shut the engine and isolate other sources of ignition in the event of a gas release. but older standards distinguished between electrical equipment suitable for zones 0. No specification is available for vehicles with spark ignition engines. cranes) are needed during maintenance operations. The consequences of the failure of a pipe carrying process materials within the furnace should be considered in any HAZOP study. Does the report identify old electrical equipment still in service in a hazardous area. or a formal permit to work system. Have appropriate standards been used for selection of equipment in hazardous areas? Existing plant will not meet the formula in DSEAR. intermediates and by products. and areas where they must be excluded. measures to mitigate the consequences of a fire should be provided. Other processes (such as hot oil heating circuits) may handle products above their auto-ignition temperature. Many sites will have operations of filling and emptying road tankers with flammable materials. Lightning Protection Protection against lightning involves installation of a surge protection device between each non-earth bonded core of the cable and the local structure. rather than simply apply more conservative zoning. The consequences of a loss of power to the system should be included in any section looking at other consequences of power loss. and what assessment has been made to ensure it remains safe for use? Is there a reference to the impact upon extent and classification of hazardous areas in the section describing plant modification (see Technical Measures Document on Plant Modification / Change Procedures  . For the purposes of COMAH. The conclusions from this exercise will be made available in due course. and the same considerations apply. particularly with floating roof tanks. Some reference to design codes. with the objective of clarifying when storage areas should be classified as zone 2. proper controls and plant isolation may allow the normal zones to be suspended. overheating brakes. Typically these will involve written instructions. Safe systems of work are needed to ensure safety where such 'transient' zones exist. but with the suggestion they may be useful in cases of remote risk. Standard EN 1755 1 sets out the requirements for diesel powdered ATEX category 2 or 3 lift trucks. Vehicles Most normal vehicles contain a wide range of ignition sources. but should not be present once the transfer is complete. it is more appropriate to provide controls to prevent the spread. compressor houses. many employers are likely to try and justify not zoning storage compounds. e. In these circumstances. and commissioning checks to ensure the ventilation achieves the design aim. as specified in DSEAR schedule 1. where lift trucks handle flammable liquids or gases in containers. where vapour is usually present around the rim seal.
Status of Guidance . drums and tankers is the most basic requirement. and the extent of any zone 21 or 22 outside the containment system should be minimal or non-existent. 21 and 22. A local project on Electrical Equipment in Flammable Atmospheres  was undertaken and a report of the project's conclusions completed. but the temperature needed to ignite a dust layer depends on layer thickness and contact time. Are the risks from static discharges controlled properly? Earthing of plant. portable gas detectors. However. but if the particle size distribution varies. Where toxic dusts are processed. oxygen concentration. DSEAR requires that hazardous area classification for flammable dusts should be undertaken in the same manner as that for flammable gases and vapours. Where toxic dusts are handled. The inside of different parts of the plant may need to be zoned as 20. for many years we have used a small-scale screening test. A dust explosion involving a non-toxic dust like polyethylene would not result in a major accident as defined in the regulations. The zone numbers used are 20. depending on the conditions at particular locations. unless it also led to loss of containment of a COMAH substance. Explosion prevention and protection. Basic concepts and methodology). Dust Explosions The COMAH Regulations do not apply to any material if the only risk created is that of a dust explosion. In general. which is an adaptation of the IEC equivalent. and BS EN 1127 part 1 1 (Explosive atmospheres. is there evidence that by design and operation controls. 21 or 22. typical precautions include the use of supplementary ventilation. and a serious dust explosion could cause a major accident. particle size. There is no legally defined test for an explosible dust. replacing 'gas atmosphere' with 'dust/air mixtures'. corresponding to 0. other precautions are described in the references What control measures over ignition sources are adopted in hazardous areas during maintenance. if substantial quantities were held for extended periods hot enough to start self heating or smouldering combustion. Companies able to undertaken such testing are listed in the IChemE's book on the prevention of dust explosions. and take this as the worst case. and inerting of sections of plant. the vertical tube test. it is common to test material that passes a 63-micron sieve. the most likely hazard would arise in drying processes. Factors that could be considered during an on site inspection If there are any large areas of zone 1 on the drawings. The explosibility of dusts is dependent upon a number of factors: chemical composition. For most chemical products it is preferable to test dust taken from the process. Ignition due to a hot surface is possible. in most cases occupiers will need to carry out testing of the product for its explosion properties. Classification of dusts relating to autoignition and minimum ignition current is undertaken similarly to gases/vapours. 2002 1.1 and 2 used for gases/vapours The only relevant standard to help people zone their plant is BS EN 50281 part 3. However. the sources of release and consequently the location and extent of hazardous areas have been minimised? Do any zone 2 areas extend to places where the occupier has inadequate control over activities that could create an ignition source. where ignition sources must be introduced. dusts with a particle size greater than 500 µm are unlikely to cause an explosion. described in HSG 103 2.). or is there any suggestion that the zone boundaries have been arbitrarily adjusted to avoid this? Has ignition protected electrical equipment been installed and maintained by suitably trained staff. releases into the general atmosphere should be prevented. but involves additional complications. Zoning as described above may be applied. For COMAH sites with toxic dusts. Measures to prevent major accidents should address all potential initiators. many toxic materials are handled in fine powder form. The issues about representative samples of dust. A dust explosion could then be an initiator of a major accident. passive items like new walls and buildings can influence this if they obstruct natural ventilation of adjacent plant Have all ignition sources been considered? A check list is provided in the DSEAR ACOP on control and mitigation measures. and other factors that might cause the results to vary are also discussed in this guidance.
The use of BS EN 60079-14 1 and the Institute of Petroleum Code 'Area Classification Code for Petroleum Installations: Model Code of practice in the Petroleum Industry' Part 15 are recommended. HSE. The use of BS EN 60079-10 1 and the Institute of Petroleum Code 'Area Classification Code for Petroleum Installations: Model Code of practice in the Petroleum Industry' Part 15 are recommended. HSE. part 15. 1996. and the Institute of Petroleum Code 'Area Classification Code for Petroleum Installations: Institute of Petroleum Model Code of Safe Practice. BS EN 50281 and BS EN 60529 1 are recommended. The standards detailing selection of appropriate electrical apparatus have been updated to take into consideration ventilation effects. 1999. HSE. including purely national standards may remain in service. Reference Documents HS(G)51 2 Storage of flammable liquids in containers. This is basic level guidance. and other items in this list. to a height 1m above the stack. 1998. LPGA CoP 1 Bulk LPG storage at fixed installations. 1998. 1998. This is aimed mainly at small scale handling.Existing codes of practice provide information with respect to good practice for hazardous area classification. HS(G)176 2 The storage of flammable liquids in tanks. Equipment built to older standards. 2003 HS(G)113 2 Lift trucks in potentially flammable atmospheres. A list of ATEX harmonised standards can be checked on the EU web site  : Equipment built to such a harmonised standard may assume automatic conformity with those essential safety requirements of relevant directives that are covered by the standard. Electrical Equipment Standards produced by Europe in the BS EN 50014 range are gradually being superseded by international standards produced in the range BS IEC 60079 1. These are currently under revision. and the EPS regulations. and COMAH reports should normally reference more specific publications. and gives some typical examples. The same advice appears in HSG 166 and HSG 113 on ignition protected lift trucks. HS(G)186 2 The bulk transfer of dangerous liquids and gases between ship and shore. LPGA codes have not previously drawn a clear distinction between hazardous areas. These should now be seen as rather conservative. Part 1: Design. It suggests all drum stores should be zone 2. European equipment standards may become 'harmonised' when a reference to them is published in the Official Journal of the European Community. Current codes are listed on the LPGA website  . installation and operation of vessels located above ground. The contents of this have been overtaken to some degree by DSEAR. and separation distances required for other reasons. HS(G)71 2 Chemical warehousing: the storage of packaged dangerous substances. 2nd Edition. and will specify hazardous areas. 1997. The EPS regulations describe the conformity assessment procedures that apply to different types of equipment. The guidance describes the requirements for hazardous area classification. HSE. that in most cases will be smaller than the separation distance. Appendix 3 describes the requirements for hazardous area classification. Discussions with industry on the relaxation of this in particular circumstances are ongoing. Appendix 2 describes the requirements for hazardous area classification. Appendix 3 describes the requirements for hazardous area classification. HS(G)166 2 Formula for health and safety: guidance for small and medium sized firms in the chemical industry. and the Institute of Petroleum Code 'Area Classification Code for Petroleum Installations: Model Code of practice in the Petroleum Industry' Part 15 are recommended. with containers of 200 litres or less. HSE. LP Gas Association. 1998. Paragraphs 35 to 39 describe the requirements for hazardous area classification. This contains very limited information on hazardous area classification or control of ignition sources HS(G)103 2 Safe handling of combustible dusts: precautions against explosions. provided it is properly maintained. . HSE. The use of BS EN 60079-10: 2003 1. area classification for installations handling flammable fluids. The IEC range of standards also includes documents on selection. The guidance also recommends that zones be recorded in a plan to prevent sources of ignition being brought in. 2nd edition 2002. installation and maintenance of equipment for use in explosive atmospheres. Model Code of practice in the Petroleum Industry' Part 15 is recommended. The use of BS EN 60079-14. This cross references BS EN 60079-10: 2003 1. HSE. such as the other HSG series books listed. HS(G)140 2 Safe use and handling of flammable liquids. Contains useful information about electrostatic hazards during unloading.
Code of practice for protection of structures against lightning. BS 6651:1999 1.hse. A.2. A Guide to Safety in Aerosol Manufacture. information about selection and maintenance.htm 2.2. British Standards Institution.1. IChemE. BS EN 1127-1: 1998 1 Explosive atmospheres . 5.3(29)c http://www.. electrical and mechanical engineering institutes.2(93)a http://www. and Ang. but provides no new methodology for users. Plant Layout . Section 23 provides guidance on lightning protection.Explosion prevention and protection .1. It was important in the development of ideas.htm 5.P.htm 3. because they contain some useful information not duplicated by the PD. 5. BS 7430:1998 1 Code of practice for earthing.1. 1999.11(63)f http://www. electrostatic risks from clothing. This was a study led by a consortium of the chemical. but was published in the UK as BS PD R044-001 and not as a full standard.uk/comah/sram/index. Further parts of this standard are well advanced and will appear during 2004.hse. For further information on the relevant British Standards. British Standards Institution. It contains much useful advice about limiting pumping speeds. Dust Explosion Prevention and Protection: A Practical Guide. References 1.13 http://www. and many detailed operations. It describes requirements for "Category 3" equipment.hse. Electrostatic ignition risks The most recent general source of advice was drafted by a European standards working group. 1993. Lightning protection. 5. 186. 1997.Electrical installation and maintenance in potentially explosive atmospheres  . Lees.W. F. Page last updated: 22nd September 2004 Link URLs in this page 1. ISBN 0852954107 A practitioner's handbook . Publication No.gov. M..4. 5. BAMA. This gives additional general advice on the many of the issues covered in this TMD.Non-electrical equipment The first standard for explosion protected non-electrical equipment is BS EN 13463 part 1 1. The different parts of this standard set out requirements for construction of equipment for use in atmospheres containing explosive dusts. The two parts of the older BS 5958: 1991 1 Code of Practice for the control of undesirable static electricity remain current.Part 1: Basic concepts and methodology.gov. Third Edition. Further Reading Material Cox.2.uk/comah/sram/index. please access the British Standards web site  and use the search facility. and showed how the subject spanned the traditional divides. 'Classification of Hazardous Locations'.hse. The two parts are: Part 1: 1991 General considerations.gov.gov. British Standards Institution. and BS EN 50281-3: 2002 1 covers the classification of areas where combustible dusts are or may be present.L. The Engineering Equipment and Materials Users Association.htm 4.uk/comah/sram/index. Part 2: 1991 Recommendations for particular industrial situations BS EN 50281 1. Section 9 provides guidance on lightning protection of structures with inherent explosive risks.2.uk/comah/sram/index.
gov.com/index.htm British Standards web site http://www.uk/comah/sragtech/techmeasmaintena. Plant Modification / Change Procedures http://www. 14.uk/comah/sragtech/techmeasplantlay.Pipework http://www.htm 8.gov.int/comm/enterprise/atex/ LPGA website http://www.uk/ Electrical installation and maintenance in potentially explosive atmospheres http://www.gov. 15.uk/comah/sragtech/techmeasplantmod. 11.htm Electrical Equipment in Flammable Atmospheres http://www.hse.hse.hse.xalter 10.gov. Maintenance Procedures http://www.htm Plant Modification / Change Procedures http://www.gov.uk/comah/sragtech/techmeaspermit.gov.gov.eemua.uk/p_electrical. Design Codes . 16.htm 9.uk/comah/sragtech/techmeaspipework.http://www.hse.gov.hse. Design Codes .htm 6.Plant http://www.hse.pdf EU web site http://www.gov.europa.uk/comah/sragtech/images/flamatmosphere.lpga.uk/comah/sragtech/techmeasplant.hse.eu.hse. 12. 13.bsi-global.uk/comah/sragtech/techmeasplantmod.hse.uk/comah/sragtech/techmeasearthing. 17.htm 7.htm Earthing http://www. .htm Permit to Work Systems http://www.co.co.