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Hazardous Area Classification

Hazardous Area Classification is a process for identifying areas in the workplace that have potential to cause loss from ignition of flammable atmospheres (gases, vapours and dusts) by equipment.

Typically, areas are analysed and classified into differing degrees of risk, and are 'zoned' under this analysis. There is a three zone system agreed internationally, which corresponds to the three categories of equipment in current UK and EC legislation.

Area Classification is now a legal requirement under DSEAR.

The Sira Service

Sira has experience of a wide range of codes of practice produced for specific industries or processes, as well as national and international standards (area classification is carried out in accordance with BS EN 60079-10, BS EN 61241-10 and appropriate industry-specific standards such as the Institute of Petroleum IP15).

Sira can also deal with situations not covered in the established codes and can also assist individual companies and industry associations in the preparation of their own codes of practice (Sira has been influential in developing codes of practice for the Landfill industry).

Selecting and implementing the wrong standard can result in a mass of unhelpful rules to adhere to, resulting in unnecessary costs. Sira is able to select the appropriate route to follow, and has an extensive and unique 'toolkit' that enables us to calculate and define the extent of releases of flammable materials.

Sira will also examine any problems highlighted by Area Classification and suggest how things could be changed to minimise problems, so that the most appropriate and workable area classification is maintained. We do not offer a blanket approach to compliance, instead we work with you to ensure that we deliver the most cost effective and relevant approach to suit you.

Indeed, a successful area classification exercise requires a team approach, made up of members of your own management as well as those with plant knowledge and experience. We work with you from the outset, and ensure that your in-house DSEAR team is fully involved in the project, enabling them to understand the DSEAR requirements and help them make informed decisions when it comes to maintaining the plant in the future.

The Area Classification Process

The process can be broken down into 8 logical steps to follow, and Sira will guide you through it every step of the way:

  • Identify materials' properties.
  • Confirm layout of plant.
  • Identify sources of release.
  • Assess the degree (zone) of risk.
  • Assess the extent of the zone.
  • Write a report of the findings.
  • Define the results on an area classification drawing.
  • Check the 'as-built' conditions.

Both the report, and the drawings need to be kept 'live' in order to continually monitor and update them. They therefore need to be linked to 'management of change procedures'.

Experts in Compliance

Sira has helped a broad range of clients complete Area Classification projects, from areas with only one or two processes, to all national plants within a Global Multinational company. To find out how we can help you please contact Sira

For a formal, fixed price quotation, please contact Sira.

For more information about our ATEX 137 & DSEAR services, please contact Sira on or tel +44 (0) 1244 670 900