World’s first electrotechnical certification scheme for potentially explosive installations

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is introducing a scheme for the certification of persons associated with equipment, installations and servicing used by industries with potentially explosive atmospheres such as the oil and gas sector, coal mining, chemical plants and manufacturing.

The new IECEx Certified Persons Scheme will provide industry with a single system for the assessment and qualification of persons meeting the competency prerequisites needed to properly implement the safety requirements based on the suite of IEC International Standards covering explosive atmospheres, eg the IEC 60079 and IEC 61241 series of standards.

This means organisations and companies will be able to simply check the IECEx website and its online certificate system for a list of internationally-qualified persons for the various activities associated with the safe use of equipment in areas where the risk of fire and explosion is present.

While a major benefit to companies that rely on specialized explosives expertise, this scheme also provides individuals, be they employees, contractors or consultants, with a single international system for the recognition of their expertise, capability and competence in the highly-specialized explosives field, without the need to continually prove their qualifications.

This new IECEx service has already received the support of experts from major players in the oil and gas sector, including Total, Petronas, Petrobras and Shell Brunei. In addition, strong support has also been received from the coal mining sector and industries associated with combustible dust installations, eg the sugar and grain industries.

The IEC says that that bottom line for industries that operate more and more globally is that they will now have “international transportability of personnel qualifications across borders”.