4 Ways to Improve Safety in Zone 1 Environments

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The International Labor Organization estimates that about 380 000 workers die each year from occupational accidents. Undoubtedly, worker safety is crucial in any environment, but it is critical in hazardous areas. Employees in these environments, also known as Zone 1 environments, face extra danger and unpredictable conditions that put their safety at risk in emergencies. Specifically, workers in remote and difficult-to-reach locations with low connectivity, such as offshore oil and gas drilling sites, face increased risks due to the nature of their working conditions.This article looks at the ways to improve safety in Zone 1 environments.

What is a Zone 1 Environment?

Zone 1 is an area where an explosive gas atmosphere can occur in regular operation. Zone 1 environments typically contain ignitable concentrations of combustible substances, such as dust, vapors, and gas. When these elements combine with ignition sources, such as a running engine, hot surface, arcing wire, or a discharge from electricity, an explosion could occur. Some of the hazardous industries that fall under the Zone 1 environment include:
  • Oil and gas refineries and drilling
  • Specialty chemical plants, such as cement, paper, and plastic
  • Mines

4 Ways to Improve Safety in Hazardous Environments

Hazard Monitoring and Communication

Knowing hazards in Zone 1 environments can help everyone avoid them. Even minor hazards can quickly escalate into big issues, especially in enclosed confines of dangerous areas. Hazard monitoring can help managers maintain a firm grasp of risks to prevent safety issues from escalating.An effective way to monitor and detect safety risks in dangerous environments is by digitizing the control of work using modern tools like those provided by Aegex Technology. Aegex's intrinsically Safe Tablet that runs on Windows OS provides an ability to remotely monitor key points in risky work processes to improve safety and enhance productivity. Aegex specifically designed the tablet for use in dangerous zones of explosive environments where workers cannot use traditional devices.

Staying on Top of Maintenance Through Digitization

When working in a Zone 1 environment, preventing machine failure, and conducting regular maintenance checks of machinery and other critical infrastructures, such as pipelines, is key to keeping your workers safe.Digitizing maintenance in hazardous zones and regular inspection is an effective way to keep the standard of safety level high throughout the whole operational life. Digitizing your maintenance reduces the chances of human error, as direct contact between the worker and machine reduces substantially.Technicians can leverage digitization tools, such as smart cameras and AI-enabled bots to inspect systems and machinery in perilous environments that are hard to access. Digitization also facilitates timely and critical communication on maintenance. When you digitize an inspection or maintenance task, you avoid manual processes and paperwork, which improves workplace efficiency and safety.Aegex's intrinsically safe tools designed for perilous environments enable your maintenance team to have a constant connection by capturing critical information and reacting in real time. This ensures they work more efficiently inside hazardous zones.

Maintain Basic Safety Measures

Good housekeeping helps you avoid common accidents and incidents, such as slips, trips, and falls. Keep all walkways clear of tools and debris and clean spills immediately. Ensure you spell out all housekeeping measures as provided by OSHA so each employee becomes aware.With proper personal protective equipment and safe work practices, back and eye injuries are preventable. It is also important to implement clear signage directing workers to emergency and safety equipment to combat hazards quickly.

Develop a Safety Program

Develop a customized approach to safety training and foster an environment of open communication and respect. Workers need to fully understand their role, potential hazards, and necessary safety precautions. Ensure all existing procedures are up to date and communicated to workers regularly. The people who best understand the risks associated with machinery and infrastructure are those working there. A safety program that brings workers together can help boost Zone 1 safety efforts.

Aegex Digitization Tools Can Improve Safety in Zone 1 Environments

Workers in Zone 1 environments face considerable risks due to the nature of their work. A recent report reveals the oil and gas industry fatality rate is seven times higher than all other industries in the U.S. Aegex commits itself to helping companies improve their workplace safety by digitizing workflows. Aegex's certified and intrinsically safe tablets and IoT sensors can significantly improve the safety of your operations. Contact us today to learn more.