Ex Protection

Equipment Protection Level

EPL (Equipment Protection Level) according to IEC/EN 60079-xx series of standards


The level of protection assigned to equipment based on its risk of becoming a source of ignition, and distinguishing the differences between explosive gas atmospheres, explosive dust atmospheres, and the explosive atmospheres which may exist in coal mines.

Link between Zones, Atex categories and EPL:

Area towards Equipment
Area Classification Equipment category/level
Explosive Consentratio Zone Risk Equipment Group Atex Category IEC - EPL
Often/longer periods 0 High, safe with 2 faults II 1G Ga
Occasionally 1 High, safe with 1 fault II 2G (1G) Gb (Ga)
Rarely/most likely never 2 Normal II 3G (1G/2G) Gc (Ga/Gb)
Often/longer periods 20 High, safe with 2 faults II* 1D Da
Occasionally 21 High, safe with 1 fault II* 2D (1D) Db (Da)
Rarely/most likely never 22 Normal II* 3D (1D/2D) Dc (Da/Db)
- High, safe with 2 faults I M1 Ma
- High, safe with 1 fault I M2 Mb
* According to IEC 60079-0, 2007, equipment group for dust is to be group III

Explosive Atmosphere

Atex Directive

Ignition Sources

Basic Electrical Techniques

Equipment Protection Level