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Hazardex Live! 2023 Review

16 May 2023

Following a series of highly successful regional events across the UK in 2022, we returned to our renowned two-day format for Hazardex Live! 2023 which took place on March 1st & 2nd 2023 at the Majestic Hotel in Harrogate. This review article looks back at the  event, including an overview of the conference sessions, exhibition, and a round-up of the winners at the prestigious Hazardex Awards 2023.

(Click here to view article in digital edition)

Hazardex Live! is the new name for the original high hazard industry events for process safety professionals concerned with protecting Personnel, Process & Plant. Widely recognised as the most important global event specific to hazardous area operations across all major industries, Hazardex Live! brings together the process safety community on an annual basis to review current or forthcoming legislation and stay up-to-date with best practice and the latest research in those areas key to managing process safety effectively.

The 2023 event comprised a varied and quality conference programme, an exhibition consisting of an array of hazardous industry exhibitors, and the widely reputable Hazardex Awards hosted during a Gala Dinner.

The Hazardex team would like to thank the event sponsor, C&P Engineering Services, as well as all Delegates, Exhibitors, Speakers, and Visitors for making the event one of the most successful we have ever had!

The first Hazardex Conference & Exhibition was held in 2002 and each year we seek to bring together the most authoritative and prominent members of the process safety and hazardous area operations community to reflect, review, and discuss all the key issues affecting the industry – and this year was no different.

The main focus of the two-day event was the conference. Following the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent energy crisis, there has perhaps been more focus and scrutiny on energy and process industries in recent months more than ever before, especially as the demand for alternative and new sources of energy increases. With this increased attention, it is essential that safety remains at the heart of operations rather than an after-thought in the continuous search for improved costs and efficiencies. The topics and issues discussed at Hazardex Live! 2023 were therefore as pertinent as ever and there was plenty for attendees to discuss, debate, and learn.

Another important element of Hazardex Live! 2023 was the free-to-attend exhibition where leading hazardous area sector companies displayed their latest products and services to visitors. Each event provides 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 industry owner/operators.

The first night of the two-day event played host to an informal drinks reception before a Gala Dinner and the prestigious Hazardex Awards. The awards programme has long been a benchmark for those supplying products, services and systems within hazardous areas. Further details about the awards, including the winners and highly commended companies, can be found on page 25.

Conference Stream 1

As always, the conference was split into two streams, both with a high-quality speaker line-up comprising leading high hazard industry figures, regulators, academics, engineers and consultants who shared their experiences and vast knowledge. To complement the speaker line-ups, both streams had equally reputable Chairs. Ron Sinclair MBE, Technical Manager at certification body SGS Baseefa, chaired Stream 1 which began with a lively keynote from Ken Rivers, Former Chair of the COMAH Strategic Forum and Past President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. Ken spoke about how extraordinary situations require extraordinary thinking and how that has developed both within industry and regulator as we tackle current and emerging challenges.

This was followed by Dr. Martin Thedens, Chair of IEC TC 31 and Head of PTB Department 3.6, who spoke about IEC TC 31’s work in preparing and maintaining standards relating to equipment in explosive atmospheres. Following the morning break, the focus turned to the nuclear industry with Dr. Diego Fernandez Lisbona, Deputy Professional Lead - Internal Hazards at the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), sharing expectations and experience from ONR’s regulation of the UK’s nuclear sector on how collaborative leadership has enabled the identification and resolution of conflicts in fire safety management. Concluding the morning session, Romualdo Marrazzo, Seveso & IPPC-IED Inspector at ISPRA (Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), shared insights into the enforcement and monitoring activities carried out at industrial sites in Italy during the COVID pandemic, with particular reference to SMS (Safety Management System) inspections in process industry sites subject to the obligations of Directive 2012/18 / EU (so-called Seveso III), showing the strengths and benefits of a new inspection method.

After lunch, Douglas Leech, Special Projects Director at the Chemical Business Association, provided insights into the relatively new phenomenon of threats posed by Unmanned Aerial Systems and so-called “auditors”. The presentation looked at how to prepare and manage the challenges posed by these threats and what actions can be taken to deal with them. This was followed by a topical discussion on the recent developments in the field of hydrogen safety which was led by Dr. Kees van Wingerden, VP Industrial Risk and Senior Principal Consultant at Vysus Group.

Chris Agius - IEC, Chris Buttrick - HSE, and Tal Hopkins - C&P Engineering
Chris Agius - IEC, Chris Buttrick - HSE, and Tal Hopkins - C&P Engineering

The first day of Conference Stream 1 concluded with presentations from Mark Breese, Global Sales Manager at Yokogawa RAP, on control of work risk management and its effects on Functional Safety, before Shane Harrison, Hazardous Locations Certification Engineer at CSA Group, guided delegates through preparing Ex product drawing packs for evaluation.

Day 2 of the Conference began with some equally informative presentations and discussions. Firstly, the IECEx International Executive Secretary Chris Agius provided an update on IECEx activities and certification tools, including the demonstration of an updated “On-Line Certificate System”. This was followed by Tal Hopkins, Principal C&I Engineer/Technical Director at C&P Engineering Services, who discussed the costs vs. benefits of having a committed and consistent approach to ATEX inspections versus a reactive one that needs to be re-invigorated periodically when legal compliance is challenged.

The varied and informative presentations continued after a short break with Chris Buttrick, (Acting) Principal Specialist Inspector at the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), providing delegates with an update on a number of key messages affecting Major Hazard industries and Operators of Essential Services across the chemical and energy sectors. Peter Davidson, Executive Director of the Tank Storage Association (TSA), then explored what COMAH leadership inspections have revealed and key lessons that leaders in major hazard organisations can directly learn from and apply.

The afternoon session saw Craig Wright, Process Safety Specialist at the IChemE Safety Centre, highlight some of the key steps that organisations can take to enhance alarm management systems in ageing assets and Dave Green, Principal Consultant at RPS Group, who discussed developments regarding competence management in Functional Safety.

Conference Stream 2

On the first day of the event, Stream 2 was chaired by Paul Hague, Technical Authority for CompEx Certification which ran concurrently with Stream 1 and was open to all registered attendees. The day began with a packed room hearing from Terry McDonald, Sales Manager at Thorne & Derrick, who spoke about the problems posed by fake products and certificates, including incorrectly certified products, that enter the market. He looked at just how big the problem is and highlighted some solutions to the issue. This was followed by Rolf Kinck, Senior Key Account Manager at Trainor, discussed how Norwegian companies are increasing their requirements for mechanical and non-electrical personnel to receive Ex/hazardous area training and how e-learning is helping them fulfil this.

Dr. Martin Thedens - PTB/IEC TC 31, Doug Leech - CBA, and Dr. Diego Fernandez Lisbona - ONR
Dr. Martin Thedens - PTB/IEC TC 31, Doug Leech - CBA, and Dr. Diego Fernandez Lisbona - ONR

Next up was Steve Pilgrim, Marketing Manager at Expo Technologies, who discussed the protection of electrical equipment in hazardous areas by purge & pressurization and asked the question of where some projects just became simpler as a result of changes to IEC standard 60079-2. Ben Easton, Managing Director & Principal Safety Consultant at Prosalus Ltd., then looked at the impacts of imperfect proof testing of Safety Instrumented Functions. The day finished with Randall Williams, Project Engineer, Fire & Gas Protection at Proeon Systems, unpacking the new British Standard 60080 for toxic gas detection.

The second day of Stream 2 was chaired by Functional Safety Specialist Ron Bell OBE and began with a presentation from James Steven, Business Development & Growth Manager at DNV UK, who discussed DSEAR and ATEX considerations for hydrogen applications. BakerRisk Principal Engineer Roger Stokes then presented on taming runaways in Lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage Systems, before Dr. Geof Mood, Technical Director at CCG Cable Terminations, spoke about a new approach to offshore cable design and cable gland installation.

In the afternoon, CompEx Certification’s Technical Development Manager John Harris explored the review and development process associated with qualifications and also explained the processes associated with the creation of a revised qualification. Daniel Griffiths, Operations & Product Manager at WEG UK, looked at the use of asset monitoring to reduce downtime and increase safety, before the day concluded with Dr. Hassan El-sayed, Business Development Manager - Functional Safety at UL International, discussing the connectivity between Functional Safety and cybersecurity.


As always, another vital aspect of Hazardex Live! was the free-to-attend Exhibition which once again allowed the assembled audience to meet with leading hazardous area sector companies that were displaying the latest products and services. Exhibitors comprised cable manufacturers, trade associations, regional membership bodies, certification bodies, training providers, lighting manufacturers, communications specialists, inspection and asset management experts, enclosure specialists, risk management companies, plus many more hazardous area focused businesses and organisations. A full exhibitor list can be found below.

Hazardex Live! 2023 Exhibitors

Hazardex Awards 2023

For a review of the Hazardex Awards 2023, including the award winners and highly commended companies, take a look at the digital edition of the magazine here.

Hazardex Live 2024

Plans are already well underway for Hazardex Live 2024 which is set to take place once again in Harrogate, UK on February 28th & 29th 2024. If you are interested in participating as a Sponsor, Exhibitor, Speaker, or in any other way, then please contact the Hazardex team via or +44 (0) 1732 778544. Get involved!

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