What is the difference between an EX-rated and an EE-rated truck?
ANSWER: An EX rated truck is an electrically powered truck that is designed, constructed, and assembled so that it can be used in atmospheres containing specifically named flammable vapors, dusts, and fibers. An EE rated truck simply has additional safety features to that of an E rated truck. In laymen’s terms an EX rated truck has specific protection measures which allow it to operate in specific hazardous locations. Some examples of these protections are rigid metal conduit, mineral insulated cabling, intrinsically safe electrical circuits, static conductive tires, protection against mechanical sparks, and explosion proof enclosures for electrical components.
What is a hazardous location?
ANSWER: A hazardous location is an area where fire or explosion hazards may exist due to: flammable gasses/vapors, flammable liquids, combustible dusts, and ignitable fibers/flyings. A hazardous location is identified by classes, divisions and groups.
- Class I locations contain flammable gasses, vapors, and liquids
- Class II locations contain combustible dusts.
- Class III locations contain ignitable fibers and flyings
- Division 1 locations are locations in which the hazard is expected to be present in everyday production operations.
- Division 2 locations are locations in which the hazard is expected to be confined and will be present only through accidental rupture, breakage, or unusual faulty operation.
- Groups are based on ignition temperatures and explosion pressures. Class 1 locations have groups A, B, C, and D. Class II locations have groups E, F, and G. There are no groups for Class III locations.
Can a lift truck manufacturer classify a hazardous area?
ANSWER: NO. According to the NFPA 505 paragraph 1-5.1, “The Authority Having Jurisdiction shall determine the hazard classification for any specific location as defined in NFPA 70, National Electric Code. The location shall be classified prior to considering the use of industrial trucks therein.
- Section 4.1.1 – Locations shall be classified in accordance with NFPA 70.
- Section 4.1.2 – The location shall be classified prior to considering the use of industrial trucks therein, and the type of industrial truck required shall be as specified in section 4.2 for the given location.
- Section 4.1.4 – The authority having jurisdiction shall limit the use of industrial trucks in classified areas in plants or buildings according the hazard classification of each area.
The term “authority having jurisdiction” is used in NFPA documents in a broad manner, since jurisdictions and approval agencies vary, as do their responsibilities. The AHJ may be a federal, state, local or other regional department or individual such as a fire chief, fire marshal, labor department, building official, electrical inspector or others having statutory authority. In many circumstances, the property owner or his designated agent assumes the role of the authority having jurisdiction.
Can powered industrial trucks be used in Class I, Group C, Division 1 hazardous areas?
ANSWER: No. The NFPA-505 (1999 Edition) titled “Fire Safety Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks”, specifically prohibits the use of any powered industrial trucks in Class I, Group C areas as detailed in paragraph 1-6.1
1-6.1 Class I, Division 1, Groups A,B,C. Powered-operated industrial trucks shall not be permitted to be used in such locations. For examples of chemicals whose vapors, if mixed in air, are classified as Class I, Groups A, B, or C, see Section 500-5 of NFPA 70, National Electric Code, and A-1-6.1 of this standard.
What is a NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory)?
ANSWER: An NRTL is an organization that OSHA has “recognized” as meeting the legal requirements in OSHA 1910.7. A “NRTL” determines that specific equipment and materials (“products”) meet consensus-based standards of safety to provide the assurance, required by OSHA, and that these products are safe for use in the U.S. workplace.
As a result, OSHA can accept products “properly certified” by the NRTL. “Properly certified” generally means:
The product is labeled or marked with the registered certification mark of the NRTL. The NRTL issues the certification for a product covered within the scope of a test standard for which OSHA has recognized it, and the NRTL issues the certification from one of its locations.
Who does OSHA recognize as a NRTL for explosion proof equipment?
ANSWER: Under OSHA Subpart S of 29 CFR Part 1910, the following NRTL are the only ones OSHA recognizes as being able to approve lift trucks:
Factory Mutual Research Corporation (FMRC)
1151 Boston-Providence Turnpike
Norwood, Massachusetts 02062
Intertek Testing Services NA, Inc. (Formerly ETL)
3933 U.S. Route 11
Cortland, New York 13045
TUV Rheinland of North America, Inc.
12 Commerce Road
Newtown, Connecticut 06470
Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
333 Pfingsten Road
Northbrook, Illinois 60062
See the OSHA web pages for information on each NRTL’s scope of recognition, or contact OSHA at