Equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres

A health and safety briefing provided by the IET.

A Boeing 737, spray-painting and a gas storage area all have something in common? They all can give rise to a potentially explosive atmosphere that requires special precautions to be taken with electrical and mechanical equipment.

Where flammable liquids, gases, or other materials that might form mists or combustible dusts are stored or used then provision has to be made to prevent the possibility of release of these materials. This is normally done by the design of the process containment.

However there may well be situations where releases can occur in an area in the presence of air and these will give rise to potentially explosive atmospheres. Such areas are known as hazardous areas.