Tips for Using Portable Lighting in Hazardous Areas

Work lighting is an important part of many businesses today. Some lighting needs are standard and you need to take limited precautions. However, in a few areas, you have flammable substances and just one spark could set off an explosion or fire. Here are some helpful tips for installing and using intrinsically safe lights in the workplace.

1. Don’t Use Just Any Bulbs

Make sure the lights you choose are “explosion-proof”. Explosion-proof products are approved by agencies like the CSA or UL. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratory. They set standards and issue safety certifications for electrical products in the United States. UL often performs testing for organizations like OSHA. When you buy UL approved items, you know they passed the proper testing and standards and are safe to use.

CSA stands for the Canadian Standards Association. This organization is like Underwriters Laboratory in the US.

2. Check Your Lighting Locations Carefully

Some intrinsically safe lights only work properly in certain areas. For example, your lighting product may only work safely in unconfined areas. Using them in enclosed workplaces is dangerous.

3. Learn about Your Explosive Classifications

When you buy explosion-proof lighting, it has classifications like “Class 1, Division 1”. This concerns Zone 0 and Zone 1. Zone 0 contains flammable materials for more than ten percent of the time. Zone 1 has flammable materials up to ten percent of the time.

For explosive dust hazards, you need to know about Classes II and III. Zone 20 represents constant hazards. Hazards are likely in Zone 21 and not likely in Zone 22.

4. Trouble Lights Are Not Permanent

Most trouble lights are not made for full-time use. They are for emergency purposes. If you need permanent intrinsically safe lights, install products designed for long-term use, for best results.

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