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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
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Megatower™
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Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
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09/05/13 Basics of Hazardous Location Confined Space Lighting

Article- Sept, 2013 By Larson Electronics.com

Larson Electronics Hazardous Area LED Work light


Entering confined spaces represents one of the greatest hazards a worker can face. Confined spaces are so dangerous because of the reduced maneuvering room, their tendency to be very poorly ventilated, potential low levels of oxygen, the potential for the presence of dangerous fumes, gases, and vapors that can present either a toxicity or fire and explosion risk. Aside from the obvious risks such as the problems presented with performing rescue operations of trapped or injured workers, some of the greatest hazards are posed by the flammability of gases and vapors.


Confined spaces represent such a serious fire hazard due to the tendency of gases and vapors to accumulate in poorly ventilated areas, and the explosive potential created when these gases and vapors become trapped within an enclosed area. For an example, if you have ever grilled outside, you are likely familiar with wetting down the charcoal with charcoal fluid and then lighting it. You have also likely noticed what happens when you use a bit too much fluid and it has time to set before lighting. When you touched the match to that fluid soaked charcoal, a large *whoof!* of flame likely occurred, and you were lucky to get away with just singed eyebrows.


This was because the charcoal fluid soaked briquettes had time to release flammable vapors, which then settled into the area within the grill and around it. When you lit the charcoal, those vapors also ignited, creating a mini-fireball. Now imagine what would happen if you were to fill a room with those vapors, close all the doors and windows, then expose the room to an open flame. The result would be an explosion of extreme force and power, capable of causing serious injury and death.



Obviously, for the worker who must enter into and perform work within a confined space, protecting against these sorts of accidental ignitions is a critical aspect of the job. Although to enter a confined space deemed hazardous due to atmospheric issues requires the use of atmosphere monitoring equipment and gear to determine safe oxygen levels and the presence of dangerous fumes, the atmosphere can change significantly over a fairly short period of time, making monitoring only part of the solution. Since confined spaces are rarely intended for occupation, they usually have no accommodations such as lighting, and any illumination must be provided by the worker. Since lighting equipment operates electrically, it represents a potential ignition source, which in turn means you must protect against this potential ignition.


In order to prevent lighting from becoming a potential source of ignition in enclosed spaces, only equipment properly rated for a given hazardous space may be used. In most cases, equipment certified as explosion proof or intrinsically safe may be used within a confined space, and in many cases only intrinsically safe low voltage equipment may be used. The most important aspect is that this equipment be matched to the types of hazards to be encountered. Classing these hazards is done by a ratings system known as Classes, Divisions, Groups, and Temperature ratings, and each touches on a specific part of the hazards to be addressed. For an area considered a Class 1 Division 2 Groups A, B and C location, equipment with this same rating or better must be used.


The terms explosion proof and intrinsically safe refer to different types of electrical equipment which have been designed specifically to be used in locations where potential flammable or explosive atmospheres are present.  Explosion proof equipment is generally higher powered and designed to prevent any ignitions within the lamp from igniting the atmosphere outside the lamp. Foe example, if gases enter into the lamp housing and are ignited by a spark, the lamp contains the ignited gases long enough to allow them to cool before they can exit the lamp.


Intrinsically safe lighting on the other hand is generally lower powered and considered unable to actually cause ignition. These units generally cannot create sparks or enough heat to ignite gases, and use such low voltages that a short or fault will not create enough heat to cause ignition as well. Because of the severe danger posed by enclosed spaces and the types of flammable atmospheres that may be encountered, the maximum protection possible in the form of intrinsically safe low voltage lighting systems is required. These fixtures usually run on 12 or 24 volt current in addition to being intrinsically safe, making them less prone to producing a heat source capable of producing ignition.



Determining whether a location is considered an enclosed space or not is really pretty straightforward.


Confined spaces loosely defined by a few general characteristics.

      - The area is large enough to permit entry and the performance or work;

      - Has limited openings for entry and exit; and

      - Is not intended for continuous worker presence within the space.


A few examples of a confined space would be the tanker rail cars, storage tanks used at petrochemical plants, silos, utilities service orifices, ship cargo tanks, and many similar types of enclosed containers with limited entrance and ventilation. The classification of hazard in these areas will be determined by the types of materials present, at what temperature they can be ignited, and the likelihood of their presence. Since enclosed spaces really leave little room for error, in most cases, as mentioned earlier, maximum protection in the form of intrinsically safe equipment is preferred or required by regulations. However, as long as equipment meets the minimum requirements assigned to a location, safety should be assured to the best degree possible.

 

There are a wide array of factors that determine how hazardous confined spaces may be. Atmospheric conditions represent one of the most important issues to address due to the dangers flammable and explosive gases, vapors, and fluids present. In all cases of entering an enclosed space not normally intended for human occupation, it is necessary to properly evaluate and test the location prior to entry in order to formulate a safe entry plan. This and the inclusion of properly rated lighting equipment will go a long ways towards reducing the danger the enclosed space presents.





Related Categories/Products
Category/Product (click on link below for more information)
Explosion Proof Lights
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
Explosion Proof LED Lights
Explosion Proof Drop Lights / Trouble Lights / Hand Lamps
Portable Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Rechargeable LED Flashlights
Portable Class 1 Div 2 Lights
Portable Class 1 Div 2 Lights
Explosion Proof LED Hand Lamps
Explosion Proof LED Hand Lamps
Paint Spray Booth LED Lights
Class 1 Division 2 Paint Spray Booth Lights
Portable Rig Lights
Explosion Proof LED Flashlights / Headlamps
Rechargeable Explosion Proof Flashlights
EXP/Hazardous Location Flashlights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Portable Class 1 Division 1 Lights
Portable Class 1 Division 2 Lights
Portable Class 2 Division 1 Lights
Cart Mounted Explosion Proof Lights
Portable C1D1 and C1D2 LED Lights
Low Voltage Class 1 Division 2 LED Lights
Mining Rig Lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Explosion Proof Flood Light - 400 Watt Metal Halide - 18 Inch - Class 1 Div 1 C&D
Explosion Proof String Lights - 10 Drop Lights - Class 1/II, Division 1
Explosion Proof Drop Light - 24 Volt AC/DC - 100 Watt Incandescent - 100' Cord - Twist Lock Plug
Explosion Proof Drop Light (Hand Lamp) with inline transformer - 120V or 240V to 12VAC or 24VAC
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light / Trouble Light -10 Watt LED - 120-277V AC - 100 Foot SOOW Cord
Explosion Proof LED String Lights - 10 lights - Class 1 Division 1 and Class 2 Division 1
Explosion Proof String Lights - Class 1 & 2, Division 1 - 5 Drop Lights
Explosion Proof Hand Lamp -100/75/60 Watt - 120V AC - 50 Foot SOOW Cord - Class 1 & Class 2
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light / Trouble Light -10 Watt LED - 50 Foot SOOW Cord
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light / Trouble Light -10 Watt LED - 120V AC - 25 Foot SOOW Cord
Explosion Proof LED Aluminum Drop Light - Class 1 Div 1 - 25' SOOW Cord
Explosion Proof LED String Lights - 5 Hand Lamps - Class 1 & Class 2
Explosion Proof LED Lights on Cart w/ Wheels - 4 foot, 4 LED lamps - Paint Spray Booth Certified
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light - Class I, Div. I - Transformer Steps Down 120V AC to 12/24VDC - 7W
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth LED Light on Dolly Cart with Wheels - 4 foot 2 lamp
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Hazardous Area Light - Quadpod Mount - 2 X 400 Watt Metal Lights - Class 1 Div 2 - 230VAC/60Hz
Low Profile Hazardous Area LED Light - Lay-In Mount -Front Load Troffer - Class 1, Div. 2
Explosion Proof Emergency LED Light - Class 1, Class 2 Div 1 - Paint Spray Booth Cert
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light - Class I, Div. I - Transformer Steps Down 120/277VAC to 12/24VDC
Explosion Proof Hand Lamp -100/60 Watt - 120V AC - 50 Foot SOOW Cord w/ Explosion Proof Plug
Hazardous Location Lighting - 150 Watts - 30 LEDS - Class 1, Division 2 - Aluminum Pedestal Mount
Hazardous Location Lighting - 150 Watts - 30 LEDS - Class 1, Division 2 - Aluminum Pedestal Mount
Explosion Proof LED String Lights - 10 lights - 5 Foot Spacing - Class 1 Division 1 and Class 2 Divi
Explosion Proof Quapod - Class 1 Division 1 Group B Hydrogen - Single 150 Watt Led Light - 100 foot
Explosion Proof-Pole Mount-Single 150 Watt Led Light-50 Foot Cord
Hazardous Area Emergency Fluorescent Light - Lay-In Mount - 2X4 Front Load Troffer - Failsafe - LED
Ceiling Mount Explosion Proof 150 Watt High Bay LED Light Fixture - 16,000 Lumens - Class 1 Div 1
Explosion Proof 150 Watt LED Light Fixture on Stainless Steel Swing Arm w/ Hinge - 16,000 Lumens
Explosion Proof Drop Light (Hand Lamp) with inline transformer - 120/240V to 12V or 24V AC -50' Cord
Explosion Proof LED Strobe Light - 12 Volts DC - Class 1 Div 1. - cUL Rated
Explosion Proof LED Paint Spray Booth Light - 2nd Gen - Class 1 Div 1 - Class 1 Div 2 - T6
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth LED Light on Dolly Cart with Wheels - 2nd Gen - 4 foot 2 lamp
Explosion Proof String Light - 10 Drop Lights - Spans 100ft - Includes 120/240VAC to 12/24V DC Xfmr
Explosion Proof LED Aluminum Drop Light - C1D1 - 12 Volts AC - 3/4" Wiring Hub w/ Terminal Strip
Explosion Proof Drop Light - 24 Volt AC/DC - 100 Watt Incandescent - 50' Cord - Twist Lock Plug
Portable Hazardous Location LED Light with Pedestal Stand - 2 X 150 Watt LED Lights - Class 1 Div 2
Explosion Proof Emergency LED light - 4 foot 2 lamp - Backup Ballast - Class 1 & 2 LED Light
Explosion Proof Fluorescent Lights for Paint Booths, Oil Rigs, Boats -2 foot - 2 lamp -Multi-voltage
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light / Trouble Light - 7 Watt LED - Low Voltage AC - 50 Foot Cord - 12 24V
Portable Explosion Proof LED Light with Pedestal Stand - 2 X 150 Watt LED Lights - Class 1 Div 1
Explosion Proof Low Profile Linear LED Light - Class 1 Div 1 - 4 Feet - 120-277 VAC - 20 Foot Cord
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth LED Lighting - 2 Foot, 2 Lamp Fixture - Class 1, Div. 1 - 2nd Gen
Explosion Proof Quadpod Mount - Single 150 Watt Led Light - 300 foot cord
Explosion Proof Light - Base Stand Mount - 16 Inch - 150 Watt LED - Class I Div 1 C&D
Portable Explosion Proof LED Light - Non-Spark Aluminum Base - 50 Watt Led Light w/ Inline Switch
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Portable 60 Watt Class 1 Division 2 LED Light - Aluminum Base Stand w/ Carry Handle - 50' Cord
64 Watt Stainless Steel Zone 1 & 2 LED Fixture - Corrosion Resistant - ATEX/IECEX Approved - 4ft
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light / Trouble Light -10 Watt LED - 100' SOOW Cord EXP Plug - 120-277V
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Explosion Proof LED Drop Light / Trouble Light -10 Watt LED - 100' SOOW Cord EXP Plug - 120-277V
Explosion Proof LED Tank Light - Portable Wheelbarrow Cart - Class 1 Division 1 - 17,500 Lumens
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