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Introduction to Intrinsically Safe Radios

Applying Intrinsic Safety

Putting IS into action

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In any scenario, risk can be heightened by individual events and requirements. This will be part of the individual organization’s operational procedures and Health and Safety program.

Note: These scenarios are examples only. They are not intended as an assessment of hazardous locations. Area classification must only be performed by authorized personnel who are qualified to make that assessment.

Scenario 1: Maintenance workers on a gas pipeline

Normal operating conditions are well ventilated or outdoors with minimal risk of gas combustion. However, on occasions they can expect gas release, for example when checking or testing pipeline valves, or encountering unexpected leaks.

An appropriate rating would be Zone 1: occasionally hazardous. However, should they be called upon to perform maintenance within a tanker, a ship’s hold, or underground tank, the risk is increased considerably, to Zone 0.

In addition to a matching zone rating, the equipment must also be approved for the specific hazardous substance (gas or dust).

Safe Area

Scenario 2: Petrochemical workers on oil drilling platform

An oil drilling platform presents a constant, but well-ventilated hazardous environment. Workers will experience low levels of vapor often.

This might be classified as Zone 1: occasionally hazardous. However, below decks and in tanks and storage areas where ventilation is reduced, a much greater risk could exist.

Scenario 3: Stores/Warehouse workers in food processing

Airborne dust from flour, sugar and other products within a food processing warehouse and plant create a potentially volatile situation. Combustion risk may vary, depending on stock movement and processing, for example while hoppers are filled or emptied.

Maintenance inside tanks and hoppers create additional risk, and processes for radio use within these sites would need to be carefully assessed, communicated and enforced.