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THE hazardous place to be!

The 9th annual HazardEx conference and exhibition will be held at the Majestic Hotel, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, on the 24th and 25th February 2010. The event will pull together all aspects of the hazardous area market, including much to interest people associated with the electrical industry. Amy Hollamby reports.

THE hazardous place to be!

Among those exhibiting at the event will be industry leaders such as Werma, R.Stahl, Weidmuller and the Electrical Contractor’s Association (ECA), who will be on hand to demonstrate the latest innovations in hazardous area electrical equipment. Entrance to the exhibition only is free to visitors who register. This will also include entrance to the sponsor’s technical workshops.
Both days of the paid-for conference will feature talks from some of the most respected and knowledgeable from the industry. Gordon Macdonald, director of hazardous installations, from the HSE, for example, is the keynote speaker on Day One. Following a successful paper at the 2009 event, Jeff Wood, instrument engineer, from Ineos Chlor Vinyls will also return to deliver an insight into end user experiences of applying IEC 61511 to legacy plants.

Designed for all those involved in the safety of engineering plants, the two day conference will offer useful insights and case study examples of how peers - such as Artenius and Dow Corning - have executed safety programmes in their facilities. As always, the programme will provide detailed standards/legislation updates directly from those involved in their creation process.

Day One will be chaired by Ron Sinclair, chairman of BSI Committee GEL/31, responsible for the UK input to European and International standards for electrical equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. He will discuss the IECEx Personnel Competency Certification Scheme.

IECEx Certification of Personnel Competency was given the go-ahead in August 2009. Certification bodies are being assessed and the scheme should be up and running early in 2010. This is targeted squarely at those who install, inspect and maintain equipment in hazardous areas, to close the weakest link in the safety chain, as well as their supervisors and those responsible for plant design and area classification. It is hoped that it will simplify acceptance processes for contractors.

Day two will be chaired by Ron Bell OBE – formerly head of the Electrical & Control Systems Group at the UK’s HSE and now an independent consultant. Ron, who is also chairman of the working group responsible for the revision of IEC 61508, will be presenting the new edition of IEC 61508, which is due to be published in the spring of 2010. He will explain the changes and implications for users of the standard.

The exhibition and seminars provide a good opportunity to learn more about the hazardous area. Previous HazardEx events have also proven to be a great networking opportunity - playing host to key industry figures, committee and policy leaders, government and certification bodies, as well as senior engineers from the oil and gas, pharmaceutical, chemical manufacture and food processing sectors.

On a lighter note
A highlight of the event is always the evening Gala Dinner and Awards. Guests will enjoy a drinks reception, four-course meal with wine, and entertainment from guest speaker, Jack Charlton OBE, former footballer and manager.

All of the major companies, organisations and personalities from the hazardous area sector will be attending the event. To ensure that you don’t miss this great night out, book a place for yourself or a table for you and your colleagues now.

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