Safety takes on a whole new dimension in workplaces such as chemical plants and oil refineries, where a single spark can set off a devastating fire or explosion due to the presence of flammable gases and vapours, combustible dusts, or ignitable fibres.

In 1894, William H. Merrill founded Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in Chicago, Illinois, with a focus on electrical and fire safety. Soon thereafter, the need was recognized for safety certification of electrical products being installed in locations where explosive gases and dusts were present. To support this need for certified products, codes and standards were needed that could reflect the evolving technology and associated risks.

In response to these market needs, in 1915, UL issued the first hazardous locations (HazLoc) safety certification involving an outlet box. And in 1929, UL published the first HazLoc safety standard addressing electric motors and generators for use in hazardous locations. This began what has become a 100-year journey of serving stakeholders and suppliers in the HazLoc community. Over the past century, there have been many global explosion protection milestones for the industry. UL has been instrumental in many of these market firsts, and has evolved into an important partner for the global HazLoc industry.
Today, UL continues its journey by providing manufacturers with global technical expertise and market access for the US (UL Mark), Canada (cUL Mark), Europe (ATEX Directive), Brazil (INMETRO Regulation) and internationally (IECEx System). To provide local support, UL has HazLoc engineering staff in 12 countries across 4 continents, including HazLoc testing capabilities in the US, Europe and Asia.

Contact us with your Hazardous Location enquiries.

Read about the recent update to the ATEX Directive and how it affects you, here.