Safety Standard Jumble

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 @ 06:09 PM gHale

By Nicholas Sheble
“Larger companies desiring to sell process and automation equipment in both North America and Europe didn’t want two standards for hazardous locations,” said Dave Styrcula an engineer at TUV Rheinland.

That is one reason why in the 1990’s Europe’s Zone system became part of NEC. This attempt to standardize the standards was a start but that’s all. A jumble of standards still exists with the common goal of mitigating fire and explosion hazards that are part and parcel to flammable gases or vapors, flammable liquids, combustible dusts, or ignitable fibers or flyings.

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“These manufacturers face increasingly challenging national, regional, and international regulations and customer requirements. Demonstrating compliance with these requirements is often complicated and time consuming,” Styrcula said, during a Siemens webinar Wednesday talking about hazardous locations.

The webinar presented the requirements for hazardous location regulations and compared the differences between North American requirements and European ATEX standards.

Jim Dolphin also an engineer at TUV Rheinland joined Styrcula in the webinar entitled “Understanding Hazardous Locations and ATEX requirements for North America and Europe.” The talk highlighted important safety issues:
• An introduction to hazardous locations
• Zones vs. Divisions
• NEC Articles 500 to 506
• North American standards for Divisions
• European and North American standards for Zones
Click here to view the webinar when it goes up next week. There are past safety and automation related web presentations at this same URL.

Click here to see a quick comparison of the ATEX directive and how it relates to its North American counterpart.

Nicholas Sheble ( is an engineering writer and technical editor in Raleigh, NC.

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