How Zone 1 Certification Can Enhance Workplace Safety in Hazardous Environments

How Zone 1 Certification Can Enhance Workplace Safety in Hazardous Environments


Why Zone 1 Certification Matters in Hazardous Environments

The International Labor Organization estimates that about 2.3 million people worldwide die annually from work-related accidents and diseases, translating to 6,000 deaths daily. Work safety is essential in any workspace but is critical in Zone 1 work environments that expose workers to added dangers and unpredictable conditions. Using Zone 1-certified equipment and devices can help prevent accidents and injuries in hazardous environments, such as the oil and gas industry. Let's explore the importance of Zone 1 certification for devices used in hazardous environments.

What Is Zone 1 Environment?

Zone 1 is a work environment where an explosive gas atmosphere is likely to build up in regular operations. The atmosphere may hold air and flammable gas, vapor, or mist. Good examples of Zone 1 environments include oil and gas refinery drilling and mines, and specialty chemical plants, such as paper and cement factories.

5 Reasons to Adopt Zone 1 Certification for Devices Used in Hazardous Environments

Zone 1-certified devices are explosion protective equipment that prevents the ignition of explosive atmosphere whenever in use. The equipment has an exceptional design for protection that matches the risks in typical Zone 1 environments. The following are benefits of Zone 1 certification for devices, such as those provided by Aegex Technologies:

  • Safety and health of the workforce: The primary reason to deploy Zone 1-certified devices in a hazardous environment is to protect the health, well-being, and safety of the workforce within the industrial setting. In the oil and gas industry, the health and life of the workforce are of paramount importance. Unfortunately, dangers are part of these environments. For instance, the National Fire Prevention Association reports that over 37,000 fires occur in industrial and manufacturing settings each year. Zone 1 certification for devices used in industries, such as mining, oil and gas exploration, utilities, and agriculture, can prevent such fires and prevent injuries and deaths.
  • Uninterrupted production: Zone 1-certified devices are all about prevention rather than reaction. When you rely on other safety applications like explosion containment, you're limited to dealing with an incident once it has occurred. Zone 1-certified devices, on the other hand, work in the opposite direction. They can help prevent explosions and fires from occurring in the first place. This allows industries to continue their production in Zone 1 environments without interruptions.
  • Ease of maintenance: Industrial equipment typically takes a lot of strain because of the long hours of use. Since wear and tear are high, the equipment requires regular maintenance and repair. Maintenance procedures that require experts to strip the equipment down to bare wires could present huge risks of explosions in highly flammable or dusty environments. Using Zone 1-certified devices, such as the Aegex10 Intrinsically Safe Tablet, during maintenance, ensures wiring and other electrical components of the equipment pose no risk of ignition. This translates to quick and safe maintenance that allows production to resume at once.
  • Fault tolerance in case of mishaps: Typically, faults in electrical circuits and devices are commonplace and can cause life-threatening voltage, currents, and stored energy. Since Zone 1-certified devices are intrinsically safe equipment, they ensure your workforce stays safe after faults develop in cables and defective equipment. Intrinsically safe apparatuses meet specific design requirements that mitigate these risks by limiting the voltage spikes that could reach the environment.
  • Lower installation costs: Compared to explosion-proof enclosures, Zone 1-certified equipment and intrinsically safe devices are cheaper, much lighter, and less bulky. Explosion-proof enclosures occupy more space due to their inherent safety provisions. Installing the enclosures will definitely cost more due to the expensive explosion-proof conduits, seals, and enclosures. Certified equipment uses standard instrumentation cables, which limits the cost. Your costs will also be lower because of the intrinsic safety of the devices. While explosion-proof enclosures only limit the area where the explosion happens, certified devices end the possibility of an explosion in the broader work environment.

Potential Dangers of Using Non-Certified Devices in These Environments

Not every device or equipment is ideal for use in perilous environments. The wrong device can ignite sparks and explosions with devastating consequences, including:
  • Injuries
  • Deaths
  • Property damage
  • Penalties and fees
  • Lawsuits

Leverage Aegex Digital Solutions to Improve Safety in Zone 1 Environments

Zone 1 environments pose considerable safety risks that could lead to injuries and fatalities. With studies revealing the oil and gas industry has the highest workplace fatality rates compared to all other industries in the U.S., players need to invest in Zone 1-certified equipment to enhance workplace safety and protect lives. Aegex Technologies provides its high-quality Aegex10 Intrinsically Safe Tablet and the NexVu IoT Sensor Solution designed to improve safety in your operations and enhance efficiency. Contact us today to learn more.