Ex ATEX Intrinsic Safety
Intrinsic safety is the term given to items that may have to be used in an area where there is the potential of an explosion. These items are tested to ensure that if an explosive atmosphere is present they will not become the source of ignition.
To these ends equipment is marked to show where it can be used. For instance, your item may have a designation mark Ex II 2 G D these marks broken down mean; Ex (Explosive atmosphere symbol) II (Group II explosive atmospheres other than mines) 2 (ATEX equipment category zone 1, 21 and 2, 22) G D (Both gas and dust). So this means that if you were entering a zone 1 category and a torch had these markings it would be safe to use. But if you were entering a zone 0 category it would not.
If items are being linked together such as a lighting festoon, ensure that all of the products conform to the zone rating you require. It is OK to have zone 0 and zone 1 linked together in the same area if the classification is zone 1, but you can only use the zone 0 products if the zone is zone 0. So like with many items of safety equipment you can over specify but not under specify.
Intrinsically safe items do not only apply to electrical equipment. For instance it is fairly pointless if you are entering a highly explosive area and the clothes that you are wearing or the winch you are using could become the source of the ignition. All equipment that requires to be used in these situations should be sourced correctly. Harnesses and winches are available that are intrinsically safe as are just about every item you would need.
Every part of the marking describes the equipment’s area of use and we do have posters that would detail this information in depth should you require a poster, please contact our office.