The Hazardex 2020 Exhibition, Conference and Awards – co-located with PPTex – took place on February 26 and 27 at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate, the elegant North Yorkshire spa town in north-east England. The Hazardex team would like to thank all attendees for making this year’s event one of the best ever and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to Harrogate in 2021.

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All participants were enthusiastic about the change in venue for Hazardex 2020, with the Majestic Hotel – now a Double Tree by Hilton establishment – offering much improved facilities and accommodation.

Hazardex 2020 was a great success for the industry, and we are thrilled to say that plans are already well underway for Hazardex 2021 which is to be held at the same venue on February 24 & 25, 2021. 

A special thank you goes to our Event & Awards sponsors, CSA Group and Connectivity, for their support. We are happy to announce that both will be returning as sponsors in 2021!

The first Hazardex event was held in 2002 and each year we have sought to bring together the finest members of the process safety and hazardous area operations community – this year was no different. 

The main focus of the event was the conference which had a distinguished list of speakers sharing their knowledge and expertise. As in previous years, the event included free-to-attend workshops with the Institute of Measurement & Control hosting one on each day of the event. These involved an introduction to the work and activities of the Functional Safety and Explosive Atmospheres Special Interest Groups as well as two Briefing Notes followed by a Q&A session.

A second set of workshops were hosted by ZOA Robotics which addressed the recent trend towards robotic inspections, the benefits of digitisation, and how ZOA’s robotic platform uses sensors to help clients achieve high operational reliability while improving safety for operators.

Another key element of Hazardex 2020 was the free-to-attend exhibition, with leading hazardous area sector companies displaying their products and services to the assembled professional audience. Exhibitors comprised certification bodies, lighting manufacturers, communications specialists, inspection and asset management experts, cable manufacturers, enclosure specialists, risk management companies, and many more hazardous area focused businesses and organisations. A full exhibitor list can be found below.

Hazardex 2020 Exhibitors:

ANT Telecommunications
BEKA associates
CSA Group
Draeger UK
Dynaco Entrematic
Exloc Instruments
F.E.S (Ex)
Institute of Measurement & Control
JT Ltd - CompEx
Phoenix Mecano
R&M Electrical Group
Rheintacho UK
Roxby Training Solutions
Site Bright from Shindaiwa
SGS Baseefa
Tempa Pano
Trant Engineering
WIKA Instruments 
ZOA Robotics

The conference, exhibition, workshops, free seminar content, networking dinner and awards ceremony are all designed to strengthen and expand the community that looks to the Hazardex website and journal for industry intelligence and information. The 2020 event again provided exceptional opportunities for networking, with attendees from government agencies, regulators, certification bodies & training providers, consultants and product manufacturers meeting up with senior engineers and safety managers from the high hazard and process industries to share their experiences.

The informal, very well attended Gala Dinner at the end of the event’s first day on February 26 helped to further facilitate networking between attendees. The evening consisted of a drinks reception and dinner taking place before the start of the evening’s focal point, the Hazardex Awards for Excellence. The Hazardex awards are designed to recognise excellence in the hazardous area sector and has become the benchmark for those supplying products, services and systems into the industry. An in-depth look at the Hazardex 2020 Awards can be found here.
Hazardex Conference 

Delegates and visitors were able to hear from an exceptional line-up of speakers at Hazardex 2020 which comprised leading high hazard industry figures, regulators, academics, engineers and consultants who offered insights and expertise from a variety of industries. To complement the eminent line-up of presenters, both conference streams had an equally reputable Chairman – Ron Sinclair MBE, Technical Manager – SGS Baseefa, in Stream 1 and Martin Jones, Head of CompEx Global, in Stream 2. Thank you to both Ron and Martin for their tremendous support and we look forward to welcoming them back as Chairmen next year.

Conference Stream 1

Conference Stream 1 Chairman - Ron Sinclair MBE – Technical Manager, SGS Baseefa

Day one of the conference began in Stream 1 where Steve Elliott – CEO, Chemical Industries Association – discussed the challenges that hazardous process industries are facing, specifically those related to the three key topic areas of Digitalisation and Cyber; Climate Change as a threat to hazardous inventories and processes; and Leadership. Stephen Marcos Jones – Director-General, UKPIA – then spoke about the potential role for digital in unlocking efficiencies and improving safety in the downstream oil sector. He highlighted some of the existing uses that are emerging from the use of digital in the downstream space and about the digital opportunities across the sector, including new ways to track people to ensure their safety on site.

Next, Steven Naylor – Associate Director and Technical Lead of Discovering Safety Programme, HSE – offered insights into the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the opportunities and challenges it has created for health and safety. Steven was joined by Rhodri Morgan – Electrical Control and Cyber Security Specialist Inspector, HSE – who spoke about cybersecurity implementation and compliance in the oil and gas sector. Chris Agius – Executive Secretary, IECEx – provided an update of the current IECEx Certification Tools that facilitate world trade in Ex equipment, assemblies and Services and how IECEx can also be used to bridge between differing national regulations through its “Fast Track” provisions. 

In the afternoon of the first day, Dr. Zsuzsanna Gyenes – Deputy to the Director, IChemE Safety Centre – discussed the lack of consistency in lead metrics across industry and differing levels of understanding and interpretation of lead metrics in different companies. She then spoke about how the ISC has developed guidance to provide context for barrier failures and in particular the lead metric ‘barrier fail on test’ and ‘barrier failing on demand’.

This was followed by Alistair Hunter – Head of Compliance, Brenntag – who spoke about the personal aspect of safety and provided insights into the initiatives Brenntag has implemented to enhance its safety performance. Dr. Hassan El-Sayed – Business Manager - Functional Safety, CSA Group – closed the first day of the event by offering guidance on Fixed Gas Detection Systems for use in SIS and the impact of IEC 60079-29-3 on SIS installations.

Peter Evans – Specialist Inspector, HSE – opened day two with an insightful presentation on the Electrical, Control and Instrumentation elements of the investigation into the fatal incident at Chevron’s Pembroke oil refinery on June 2, 2011. The presentation focused on aspects such as gas testing, electronic data recovery and analysis (, earthing & bonding, portable electronic devices and hazardous area classification. This was followed by Carolyn Nicholls – Director, RAS Ltd – who spoke about the lack of appreciation of the appropriate use of tolerability criteria in risk assessment.

Paulo Oliveira – Associate Director, Engineering Safety Consultants – questioned whether the well-presented stamped paper certificate is an indulgent bureaucratic way to feel good about using equipment in a safety critical application, or whether it actually carries value with regards to evidencing an adequate level of compliance with IEC61508. Then, Harvey T. Dearden – Engineering Director, HTS Engineering Group – explored the relationship between SL and SIL and showed how they may be related through an appropriate risk calibration for a given enterprise.

Stream 1 closed with a presentation on Fire and Gas Detector Mapping by Tim Jones – Principal Consultant, RPS Group – before Bill McDonough and Alison Quinn, Dialight, demonstrated how industrial hazardous-location certified LED lighting can dramatically improve facility safety.

Conference Stream 2

Conference Stream 2 Chairman - Martin Jones – Head of CompEx Global

Peter Newport – Chief Executive, Chemical Business Association
– opened the first day in Conference Stream 2 with an introduction on the CBA before moving on to a case study addressing a CBA-led packaging development project for members covering the background, design, development, UN testing and approval of a new solution for the safe carriage of higher concentrations of ammonia solution. An article on the topic can be found here.

James Steven – Development & Innovation Manager, DNV GL – explored how common practises have led to threats to the integrity of hazardous area installations and what effects this has had on completion of projects. Chris Thomas – Electrical Engineer, Intertek – informed attendees about what the various markings typically placed on equipment mean and why certification bodies require certain markings to be shown. Chris also explained what and why certain markings are required.

Sean Clarke – Managing Director, ExVeritas – then looked at why intrinsic safety has always been ‘evolving’ and adapting, the problems that can give rise to and the potential benefits to designers in the future. Sean also considered ‘why’ we assess the way we do, why there may be variability in assessment techniques, and what we are doing collectively or as individual Certification Bodies to overcome that. Dr. Alexander Horch – Vice President R&D and Product Management, HIMA Group – discussed remote access security and security solutions for remote maintenance before Gido van Tienhoven – Director, Ex-Machinery Explosion Proof Equipment B.V. – spoke about the challenges of air conditioning in hazardous areas by focusing on the main challenges and explaining how to technically deal with these issues.

In the morning of day two, Michael Marrington – General Manager, IndEx – presented on facility assessment and certification and Dr. Geof Mood – Technical Director, CCG Cable Terminations – explained what an IP rating means and more importantly what it does not mean (but is usually assumed to mean) as well as offering guidance about what to look for to make sure that the installation meets its intended IP rating.

Glynn Warren – Product Manager, Extronics – then asked why IIoT technologies could pose a risk hazardous areas and Scott Harding – Sales Director, Woodcock & Wilson – discussed the IECEx Hazardous Area certification which now covers non-electrical (mechanical) equipment. Ending Stream 2, Hamilton Smith – Technical Sales Manager, ProGARM – spoke about the importance of layering PPE to protect against Arc Flash and Tony Ennis – Director, Haztech Consultants – clarified the issues which have been raised by the reclassification of Diesel and similar fuels.

In all, the conference covered numerous topics and several interesting conversations and debates were had through the Q&A sessions at the end of each presentation. 

Thank you again to all exhibitors, speakers, delegates, and visitors for contributing to another outstanding Hazardex event and we look forward to welcoming everyone back on February 24 & 25, 2021 in Harrogate!

Visit for full presentation details and further information about Hazardex 2021. Click here to watch the Hazardex 2020 Review Video.