And the winner is...

IECEx Executive Secretary Chris Agius honoured for lifetime contribution to Ex industry

By Claire Marchand

Based on an article published on the HazardEx website

IECEx Executive Secretary Chris Agius received the HazardEx Lifetime Contribution to the Industry Award on 29 February 2012 at a gala dinner that took place during the annual HazardEx event in Harrogate, UK. The Award recognizes an individual for making a significant personal contribution to improving health and safety in hazardous areas.

IECEx Executive Secretary Chris Agius IECEx Executive Secretary Chris Agius

By a large margin of nominations from the international Ex industries, Agius was the unanimous choice to receive the award this year. Thanks to his enthusiasm and drive, IECEx, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres, has become the global standard in conformity assessment. Additionally, the United Nations, throughUNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe), has published a regulatory framework that allows countries to gradually align differing national regulations on explosive environments with internationally-harmonized best practice of the IECEx.

A truly global system for Ex industry

Until now, the lack of harmonized legislation for equipment for use in hazardous areas has meant that countries that don’t represent a sufficient market opportunity are de facto denied access to state-of-the-art Ex equipment. Because differing legislation often doesn’t allow countries to accept the testing and certification carried out in another country, manufacturers have generally had to have devices re-tested and re-certified whenever they have wanted to enter a new market.

Ultimately this results in a sub-optimum level of safety both for local industry and the populations that live around the sites that harbour potential explosion risks.

Countries that lack Ex regulation may now use this IECEx framework as a blueprint for their legislation. This provides significant improvement in accessibility to high-level Ex equipment.

The Award

Receiving his award, Agius said: “The award was special as the nomination was made by peers in the industry and then voted on by industry itself. I see this as acknowledgement for the work and efforts done by the entire IECEx Secretariat team, Chair and Executive, and the IEC Central Office, along with all IECEx Members,”

This is the third Lifetime Contribution to the Industry Award bestowed by HazardEx. The two previous recipients were Chris Towle of MTL (Measurement Technology Ltd) and Ron Sinclair MBE, of Baseefa. Both have been members of IEC TC (Technical Committee) 31: Equipment for explosive atmospheres, for many years and Sinclair is also a member of the IECEx Management Committee.

The full article reporting on all HazardEx Awards is available on the HazardEx website

IECEx Executive Secretary Chris Agius IECEx Executive Secretary Chris Agius