Explosion-proof light fittings can be a matter of life or death for those working in industries with potentially explosive atmospheres. These environments contain a mixture of dangerous substances in the air that can ignite with the slightest spark, triggering an explosion.
To safeguard their workers and properties, employers must install the appropriate hazardous lighting to eliminate explosion risks and fire ignition in the workplace. In this article, we will explore what explosion-proof lighting is and where these lighting fixtures are commonly used so that businesses have a better understanding of the subject and can make a more informed decision to ensure workplace safety.
What is explosion-proof lighting?
Given the naming convention, some entrepreneurs might have the misconception that explosion-proof lighting means such light fixtures can resist explosions. However, that is not true. Instead, this term refers to light fittings designed to prevent ignition in areas that contain flammable gases, vapours, or dust.
This equipment functions by creating a sealed, non-sparking enclosure that prevents flammable gases or vapours from coming into contact with the light source. The light fixtures also contain specialised electrical components to deter sparking or overheating that can ignite the explosive elements present within the atmosphere.
Learn More: Everything You Need to Know About Explosion-Proof Lighting
How explosion-proof lighting can ensure worker safety and productivity?
Explosion-proof light fittings are commonly used in hazardous environments where flammable gas and combustible dust are omnipresent due to their energy efficiency, long lifespan, and low heat generation. They provide long-lasting and high-quality illumination that is ideal for tasks that require precision and attention to detail, enabling workers to continue performing their jobs safely and efficiently without fear of triggering an explosion.
These light fixtures are typically manufactured with durable materials, such as copper-free aluminium, stainless steel, or fibreglass-reinforced polyester, that reinforce the housing, thus preventing the ingress of dust, dirt, or moisture. Therefore, it can withstand high temperatures, shocks, and vibrations without damage to the equipment. As a result, entrepreneurs need not worry about replacing the fixtures regularly, thus saving costs.
Where are explosion-proof lighting fixtures commonly used?
When people think of hazardous environments that require explosion-proof lighting, oil and gas refineries and drilling rigs are probably one of the first things to come into mind. While such facilities require explosion-proof light fittings, they are not the only places. Locations like food and beverage processing facilities and chemical plants, where flammable vapours, gases, ignitable dust, fibres, or flying debris are present, are also considered hazardous areas and require explosion-proof lighting.
- Food and beverage processing facilities
Food and beverage processing facilities typically use a range of equipment, including mixers, grinders, and conveyors, which can generate significant amounts of fine dust particles that can ignite and explode if they come into contact with a spark or heat source.
Some food processing plants may even require natural gas or propane, which are highly combustible, for heating or powering equipment. As such, explosion-proof lighting is essential to prevent the ignition of any flammable dust and gases that are present in the atmosphere.
- Drilling rigs
Drilling rigs often involve heavy machinery and equipment that generate a significant amount of heat and friction, which, in turn, produce flammable gases and vapours that can be ignited by a spark or heat source. Therefore, explosion-proof lighting is necessary to ensure that any potential ignition sources, such as light fixtures, are safely contained and do not come into contact with flammable gases and vapours generated from the process.
- Oil and gas refineries
Oil and gas refineries are high-risk environments containing flammable gases and liquids, making them susceptible to explosions and fires. As a result, explosion-proof light fittings are essential in providing safe illumination in work areas such as storage tanks, processing units, and loading bays.
- Chemical plants
Chemical plants manufacture various chemicals, including petrochemicals, fertilisers, and pharmaceuticals. The manufacturing process often involves hazardous materials that contain flammable and combustible materials. As such, explosion-proof lighting is necessary to illuminate critical work areas while preventing the ignition of flammable gases and vapours to safeguard workers and eliminate the risk of hazardous incidents.
Explosion-proof lighting is specially designed to work in any harsh and hazardous environment, keeping operations well-lit and crews and workers safe from harm. By investing in high-quality explosion-proof lighting, employers can ensure the safety of their workers and minimise the risk of explosions and fires.
So if your business operates in a hazardous environment, it is imperative for you to install the appropriate explosion-proof light fittings in your workplace. Do not hesitate to approach our team for help if you are unsure where to begin. Our friendly staff will be glad to assist you in selecting the ideal explosion-proof equipment. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.