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IEC Develops International Certification Program for Employees of Ex Industries

News York, Dec 10, 2008

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is introducing the world’s first international scheme for the certification of personnel who work with equipment, installations and servicing used by industries that deal with explosives (Ex). The scheme is being developed by IECEx, the IEC’s system for certification to standards relating to equipment used in Ex atmospheres.

The program allows Ex industries to assess a worker or candidate’s qualifications in working with explosives through a single, unified system accepted across national borders. The assessment will determine whether the person can properly implement the safety requirements detailed in the IEC 60079, Explosive atmospheres, and IEC 61241, Electrical apparatus for use in the presence of combustible dust, series of standards.

These series of standards were developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 31, Equipment for explosive atmospheres. The United States National Committee (USNC) approved Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator for this TC is the International Society of Automation (ISA).

Industries that frequently require personnel certified to work in explosive environments include oil and gas, coal mining, and chemical plants, among others. The storage and use of combustible dust substances such as sugar and grains can also be classified as Ex activities.

The IECEx website will maintain a list of internationally certified personnel under the new Ex Certified Persons Scheme. Organizations will be able to access this database to find qualified workers for activities associated with the safe use of equipment in areas where there is a risk of fire and explosion.

Individuals working in Ex industries can benefit as well, as the program allows them to demonstrate their expertise, capability and competence in the highly-specialized Ex field through a system that is internationally recognized.

For more information, see the IEC news release.

Related ANSI Online coverage: “Ex Marks the Spot: IEC Launches new Mark of Conformity for Explosive Environments” (February 14, 2008)

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