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New hazardous areas standards now available

Standards Australia has devised three new hazardous areas standards to replace existing standards in Australia and New Zealand; the standards are designed to update safety measures for people working within explosive atmospheres.

According to Standards Australia, hazardous areas are classed as areas where there may be a fire or explosion risk due the possible presence of flammable gases, vapours, mists, dusts, fibres or flyings.

The new standards are designed to bring local practices more in line with international standards.

The following new standards have been devised.

• AS/NZS 60079.10.1-2009 Explosive atmospheres – Classification of Areas — Explosive gas atmospheres

• AS/NZS 60079.14-2009 Explosive atmospheres — electrical installations design, selection and erection

• AS/NZS 60079.17-2009 Explosive atmospheres — electrical installations inspection and maintenance

AS/NZS 60079.10.1 sets out requirements for the classification of areas where flammable gas or vapour risks may arise. It is designed to assist with the proper selection and installation of equipment for use in hazardous areas. It supersedes the 2004 edition of AS/NZS 60079.10 and the AS/NZS 2430.3 series of Standards.

AS/NZS 60079.14 and AS/NZS 60079.17 will run in parallel with the AS/NZS 2381 series of Standards and AS/NZS 61241.14 for two years, at which time the earlier Standards will be withdrawn.

Part 14 specifies requirements for the design, selection and erection of electrical installations in hazardous areas associate with explosive atmospheres.

Part 17 covers factors directly related to inspection and maintenance of electrical installations in hazardous areas associated with explosive atmospheres.

All three Standards are local modifications of the IEC 60079 series of Standards for explosive atmospheres and have been implemented with minor changes that take into account Australian and New Zealand conditions, said Standards Australia.

They present familiar requirements from the earlier editions but include significant new items, including safety requirements and details that align with other Standards within the AS/NZS (IEC) 60079 series.

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