Zone 0/1/2 hazardous area equipment is essential to safeguard hazardous environments on land, but especially so on the confined space of a maritime vessel.

Boleslaw Dudojc of the Gdynia Maritime University in Poland writes in the university’s scientific journal, ZN AMG, of the many sources of risk at sea.

These range from the vessel’s own fuel, to substances required for maintaining it, to the cargo it may be transporting.

Materials that are usually not flammable can pose a threat, for example if a solid is present as an airborne dust in the right quantities, or if a fluid leaks to create a cloud of mist.

Zone 0, 1 and 2 hazardous area equipment for gas, and the equivalent Zone 20, 21 and 22 for dust, offers protection for continuously present risks, high likelihood risks and relatively unlikely or short-lived risks respectively.

The author urges that as well as specifying the correct hazardous area equipment, crew members must be adequately trained in how to use it correctly, including preventing explosions caused by electrical equipment.

“Safety associated with it depends not only on the proper operation of devices installed in the potentially explosive areas, but also on their proper maintenance,” the paper concludes.