You may be aware that in environments where hazardous elements are present (such as concentrations of flammable gases, vapours, mists or combustible dusts), all electrical equipment must be installed by a qualified hazardous area electrician with appropriate training and competency. This is not just a contractor who holds a standard electrical licence. Maintaining proper electrical equipment and installing preventative measures in these areas where potential explosions could happen is vital to the safety of anyone who may be working in these environments. If you’re thinking this doesn’t apply to your business, and your mate down the road can do the electrical installations for your workplace, keep reading.
When you think of a hazardous areas, you most likely think of chemical plants, oil refineries, paint manufacturers, sewage treatment plants, laboratory and fume cupboards, and similar. While yes, these are common ‘hazardous areas’, what you probably don’t realise is the number of other areas that can also be considered hazardous - even in your business’ work environment.
In electrical engineering, a hazardous area (also known as a potentially explosive atmosphere) is defined as “an environment that consists of any concentrations of flammable gases, vapours, mists or combustible dusts.” Yes, this typically means that those common areas listed above that spring to mind when we think of potentially explosive atmospheres are indeed hazardous, as harmful gases and vapours may be present, but also environments you may not consider such as food/beverage handling and manufacturing facilities, recycling operations, flour mills, grain handling and storage are potentially dangerous because of dust.
While you may think dust wouldn’t be an issue, 80% of all industrial dusts are combustible, and even a dust layer of 1mm in a closed room is enough to cause an explosion when the dust is swirled up and ignited. Poorly installed electrical equipment is one of the leading igniters, causing combustible dust explosions. This is why it’s absolutely essential to have your workspace designed, and inspected by experts in the industry. You need your workplace electrical equipment assessed, installed and maintained by a team of certified hazardous area electricians.
Our team at Ehlerth Electrical is dedicated to ensuring we uphold the highest level of certified training and safety in hazardous areas for commercial electrical installations to keep our team safe during these projects, while we work to keep your team safe in their future workspace.
We recommend to always work with a trusted, reliable team of electricians for work in hazardous areas. You don’t want someone who’s going to do a roundabout job and put the safety of your team and business at risk.
Photo: Crystal Kwok via Unsplash