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Hazardous Area Atmosphere Zones (HAAZ)

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

What is a Hazardous Area Atmosphere Zone (HAAZ)?

This is an area where flammable vapour is present, or could be present as a result of the use or storage of flammable liquids at a location where containers are open, occasionally open, decanting or mixed. For example, Mixing benches, Gum/Parts wash, Mixing Room, Spraybooth, Process equipment, Chopper gun.

What type of flammable liquids constitute a HAAZ?

Hazardous Atmospheres are sometimes expressed as a percentage of vapour to proportion of oxygen – this is more defined in AS/NZS 60079.10.1:2009 – A hazardous atmosphere is triggered when the following containers are used for Class 3.1A, 3.1B, 3.1C :

100 L (if closed)

25 L (if decanting)

5 L (if open occasionally)

1 L (if in open container for continuous use)

What happens next if I have a HAAZ?

The Site must have a site plan with all Hazardous Areas drawn to scale. A HAAZ plan will, from the standards (AS/NZS 60079.10.1:2009) determine the specific Explosive Atmospheres or Flammable Vapour Zones (0, 1 or 2) to determine the areas that are at risk of ignition. The (drawn) zone(s) together with the wording must be shown on the site plan.

How can ignition sources be mitigated within a HAAZ?

Risk can be mitigated by distance or an Electrical Certificate of Compliance signed by an electrical inspector.

What do I need to do if I have an ignition source within a HAAZ?

If a site cannot relocate or decommission an ignition source, they must attain an Electrical Certificate of Compliance from a registered Electrical Inspector (or similar), certifying that the ignition points and fittings within the Hazardous Area Atmosphere Zone (Zone 1 or 2) are compliant with the Electrical regulations. Certificate is required to be re-verified every 4 years, unless stated otherwise.

What does WorkSafe publish about this?

Compliance Certifier Update 2018/1:- When a hazardous area is required for a class 2 or 3 substance, and the location requires a compliance certificate, under regulation 10.34(1)(d) the compliance certifier is required to verify that the hazardous area has been established in accordance with the requirements of AS/NZS 60079.10.1:2009 or a relevant safe work instrument, and that the hazardous area is documented (drawn on a plan). 

A compliance certifier is also required under regulation 10.34(1)(i) to verify that regulation 10.26(4) is complied with. This regulation has an additional requirement that the hazardous area is maintained. The compliance certifier is expected to sight the Electrical Certificate of Compliance, or in the case of sites established more than four years ago the electrical periodic assessment report/certificate as part of the assurance that the hazardous area is maintained.


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