Intertek, a leading total quality assurance provider to industries worldwide, is now an approved International Electrotechnical Commission Explosive (IECEx) Certification Body and Test laboratory and can provide global third party approval on non-electrical equipment for use in hazardous areas. This will give confidence to the global petroleum, chemical and pharmaceuticals, and food industries in the safety of the non-electrical equipment on their sites.

Intertek’s UK Chester and Leatherhead laboratories have tested European equipment under the ATEX Directive for over 10 years, and with the recent arrival of ISO/IEC 80079-36 and ISO/IEC 80079–37 standards and their incorporation within the IECEx certification scheme, these laboratories are now approved to accept global applications from equipment manufacturers, package assemblers and end users for certification to these standards. They can also provide guidance on the application of the IECEx scheme and discuss individual manufacturers’ responsibilities and routes to compliance within the scheme.

“In a market where safety is paramount, operators of sites such as oil refineries, process plants, chemical works, food processing sites or off-shore platforms look to mitigate the risk to people and plant through third party approvals of equipment or accreditations. With the extension of the IECEx scheme, which is already a well-established scheme for electrical equipment, Intertek can now give these operators the confidence that non-electrical equipment on their site does not pose an explosion safety risk,” said Andrew Austin, UK Head of ATEX Notified Body at Intertek and responsible for IECEx activities.

Until now there was only a European Directive, the ATEX Directive, addressing the explosion safety risk associated with non-electrical equipment, with no international third party approval route for global supply, and the existing IECEx scheme only covered electrical equipment. However with the introduction this year of international standards ISO/IEC 80079-36 and ISO/IEC 80079–37 and their incorporation within the IECEx certification scheme, Intertek can now provide the industry with global third party approval for non-electrical equipment.

The aim of the IECEx scheme is to have one Certification scheme for any hazardous area product, recognised and accepted throughout the world.