Hazardous Areas| Information Training and Certification

What are Hazardous Areas? How do you identify them?

How do you carry out Hazardous Area Classification?

How do you use hazardous area instrumentation?

How do explosionproof devices work?

Do I need ATEX training?

Get all your questions answered here.


A Hazardous Area is a location in a manufacturing plant, storage area, tank farm or similar industrial facility where there is a risk of explosion and/or fire due to the nature of the materials handled there. These materials can be flammable or explosive or both and can include hydrocarbons such as Acetone or Methane, as well as seemingly “safer” materials such as iron dust, coal dust or grain. These places are also referred to as “classified locations”.

Abhisam has several hazardous area training courses that help you learn and get certified.

What is the purpose of hazardous area classification? Why should we bother?

The risk of a fire and/or explosion in a hazardous area (classified location) is much higher than a non hazardous area. We therefore need to take several steps that include engineering as well as operational measures to prevent accidents and disasters in these places. These are carrying out a hazardous area classification of the location (that divides the area into different zones such as Zone 0, Zone 1 or Zone 2 for liquids and vapors and into Zone 10, Zone 11 and Zone 12 for dusts and fibers). Note that the concept of Zone is from the CENELEC standards (later incorporated into the IEC standards) and is different from the Division Concept (Division 1, Division 2) that is in the National Electric Code (NEC) in the NFPA standard.

After this, we need to ensure that only those equipment that are suitable to be used in that particular area is allowed to be operated. So for example an Electric motor that is suitable for use in Zone 2 only, cannot be used in Zone 1 and so on.  Note that these restrictions apply not only to electrical equipment but also to electronic instrumentation too.

What is ATEX?

If your plant or facility is in the European Union (EU), then you need to also comply with the ATEX directives.

ATEX is short for “ATmosphere Explosive” and is an EU directive that is applicable for all hazardous areas located in the European Union. 

There are two directives, one is for owner / operators of the places that have hazardous areas (such as chemical manufacturing plants) and the other is for equipment suppliers,  whose equipment is installed in these hazardous areas.

Note that this equipment includes not only Electrical & Instrumentation equipment, but even mechanical equipment like compressors and pumps.

These are referred to as “ATEX non-electrical equipment” and these too need to be suitable for use in these hazardous areas.

These directives are not just guidelines, they are the law and if you do not abide by them, you would be breaking the law.


Hazardous Area Classification

Hazardous Area Classification Course

Hazardous Area Instrumentation

Hazardous Area Instrumentation training

Protection Techniques for Hazardous Areas

There are many ways to protect equipment in hazardous area from causing fires and explosions. These are called as protection methods and could be explosionproof, flameproof, intrinsic safety, pressurization, purging, increased safety, non-incendive and so on. There are other engineering methods to protect mechanical equipment as well, especially those that fall under ATEX.

Additionally, you also need to implement strict administrative controls in these places, such as carrying out a gas test before issuing a permit for hot work, not allowing stuff like matches and lighters into these areas and so on.

Both the engineering controls and administrative (management) controls together will ensure that your hazardous area will not be the scene of the next disaster.

Are Hazardous Areas only present in places like Oil platforms or petroleum refineries?

No. Although one might think that hazardous areas are only prevalent in the process industry (such as Oil & Gas, Chemicals, etc), in reality, they exist in many other locations as well such as grain silos, food processing plants, mines and coal handling facilities to name just a few.

Recently, there was a dust explosion in a factory that made aluminum alloy wheels for automobiles. So you can be sure that hazardous areas go beyond just the hydrocarbon processing industry.

You need to do a risk assessment for your workplace, if you believe that it may have places that could come under the definition of a hazardous area.

Abhisam has online courses, workshops & consulting services that cover  hazardous areas, as well as other topics such as Process Safety, Occupational Safety, Functional Safety, Automation systems, IoT, Big Data and Cybersecurity.  On this page, we will be only discussing Hazardous Area Instrumentation, Hazardous Area Classification, Intrinsically safe systems, ATEX and related topics .

You can explore other pages of the Abhisam site to get more information on HAZOP,  LOPA, Hazardous Area Classification, Industrial Cybersecurity, Personal Protective Equipment and similar related subjects.

Hazardous Area Training

We have the following Online Courses / E-learning courses, related to Hazardous Areas. Each of these courses, consist of several modules, that have text, animations & simulations, graphics, assessments, examples, real life case studies that help you become a professional.

You can complete them from anywhere, such as from the comfort of your home, or office, or anywhere else.

You can either take them online over the internet (Online version), or download it to your Windows PC (when you buy the Standard version).

On passing the associated exam, you can get qualified as a professional, earn an electronic certificate with a unique ID number and a badge, that can be added to your Linked In Profile or other places online such as email signatures. This displays your qualifications and competencies to your colleagues, peers and potential employers and clients.

Hazardous Area Classification

Hazardous Area Classification Course

Hazardous Area Classification is one of the first steps to be carried out if a location has been deemed to have the presence of flammable or explosive vapors, gases or dusts.

It should be done carefully to avoid either underclassification (could lead to unsafe conditions) or overclassification (could lead to cost escalation).

It covers the following topics in these modules:

a) Basic Concepts.

b) Properties of Materials.

c) Standards for Hazardous Area Classification (covers both CENELEC/IEC and NFPA).

d) Carrying out a Hazardous Area Classification (with detailed steps).

e) Practical Case Study of a Hazardous Area Classification project.

f) Common Myths about area classification.

g) Self Assessment Test.

Get this training course  on Hazardous Area Classification now.

Hazardous Area Instrumentation

Hazardous Area Instrumentation training

Abhisam’s Hazardous Area Instrumentation e-learning course is a unique software based training course that covers everything about hazardous areas that an Instrumentation, Automation, Control Systems or Electrical Engineer should know.

Starting from basic concepts it covers the entire gamut of topics and will give you a rock solid understanding of what you need to do.

The course consists of the following modules:

a) Basic Concepts

b) Area Classification, Material Classification & Temperature classification.

c)  Standards (IEC 60079 series as well as NFPA/NEC).

d) Methods of Protection (covering all methods including explosionproof, intrinsic safety, pressurization and more).

e) Fieldbus in Hazardous Areas.

f) Certification & Labeling.

g) Inspection & Maintenance.

h) Self Assessment Test.

Get this course on Hazardous Area Instrumentation now

Introduction to Hazardous Areas (Free)

Hazardous Area Introduction Course

This free hazardous areas course will introduce you to all the basic concepts that are needed to understand hazardous areas.

The course consists of the following modules:

a) Introduction to Hazardous Areas

b) Properties of materials

c)  Self Assessment Test

Get the Free Hazardous Area training

Intrinsic Safety

Intrinsic Safety Training

Intrinsic Safety (IEC Code Ex-i) is one of the best methods to ensure protection in hazardous areas.

However, it is applicable only to low power systems such as Instrumentation, Electronics, Automation & Control systems. Implementing an Intrinsically safe installation is completely different from implementing other protection methods like explosionproof. The philosophy is totally different.

This self learning software based training course, is the easiest and fastest way to learn this subject at your own pace.

This course consists of the following modules.

1.Introduction to Hazardous Areas.

2. Basic Concepts of Intrinsic Safety.

3. Zener Barriers.

4. Galvanic Isolators.

5. IS Standards & Practices.

6. Fieldbus applications using IS.

7. Labeling, Inspections & Maintenance.

8. Self Assessment Test.

For more details about this, please see here.

Hazardous Area Mock Test (Free)

Hazardous Area Mock Test

Take this free Hazardous Area  test to know how well you understand hazardous areas.

You can also use it as a practice test before taking any certification exam related to hazardous areas or  attending an interview, where you may be expected to know about hazardous areas.

Understanding ATEX (Coming Soon)

Understanding ATEX RegulationsIf your plant or facility is located in the European Union, then you are legally bound to follow the ATEX Directives.

This course covers all the requirements that you need to fulfill to comply.

This course will have several modules. 

This course will cover the Workplace Directive, as well as the Equipment Directive.

Learners can complete this course, pass the associated exam and earn a Certificate of Completion, as well as an electronic badge.

Please see here for more details.

Traditional Classroom Style Hazadous Areas Training Courses and Workshops By Abhisam

In addition to the above online courses, we along with our associates, also conduct traditional classroom style Instructor led Hazardous Area Training Workshops from time to time in multiple cities around the world. These are offered as public courses but can also be offered as on site training at your location. Our trainers will travel to your location and deliver these programs.  They can be customized as per your needs.

  1. Hazardous Areas & ATEX Workshop (3 days)
  2. Hazardous Area  Classification workshop (1 day)
  3.  Hazardous Area Instrumentation workshop ( 2 days)

Contact Us for more details.

Free White Papers

The following free white papers on Hazardous Areas  are available on the Abhisam website and can be accessed from the links below.

1. Manage Hazardous Areas without increasing costs

2. Intrinsic Safety- How it works?

3. How to manage Hazardous Areas using Gas Monitors

Free Hazardous Area Videos

These videos explain various aspects of Hazardous Areas.

Latest Hazardous Area Posts from the Abhisam Blog

  1. Intrinsic Safety Course from Abhisam is now available
  2.  Get the Abhisam Intrinsic Safety Course at a discounted price now.
  3. COVID 19 response from Abhisam. Stay Safe. Details Here.
  4. Hazardous Areas and ATEX workshop conducted in Thane, India.
  5. Hazardous Area workshop conducted in Thane, India. Details here.

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