Our approach to HAC.

BakerRisk’s methodology to HAC is more than the typical “check box” study performed to meet regulatory requirements. HACTool© output provides an evergreen product that continues to generate value and cost savings in capital expenditures over the life of a facility.

Key Advantages of a Hazardous Area Classification Study

  • Streamlined process for documentation and analysis
  • Optimal region of classified areas onsite
  • Potential equipment cost savings from reduction in classified areas
  • Clear documentation for point-sources and equipment by HACTool©
  • Improved clarity for classified areas when performing field work (MOCs, Hot Work Permits, etc)
  • Consistent application of HAC standards
  • Efficient methods to determine which equipment is driving classification
  • Relative ease in determining equipment not suitable for classified areas
  • Software capabilities to easily adjust and modify inputs and outputs of analysis, through HACTool©


Comparing standard HAC studies with BakerRisk’s offerings.

Industries such as refining, chemicals, hydrogen production, biofuels and related fields depend on accurate HAC documentation to determine areas in their facilities where hazardous materials may be present and only approved electrical equipment can be used or installed.

While HAC drawings are often created as part of the facility design package, many of the details are not well-documented. To save money on analysis, plant designers often choose to use conservative assumptions, such as drawing the boundaries at the battery limits of the unit and not considering the height component of classified areas.

This conservative approach often requires higher-rated equipment than what would otherwise be prescribed by the appropriate standards and results in increased capital expenditures during construction, as well as continuous additional operational expenditures over the life of the facility.

The BakerRisk Difference With Hazardous Area Classification

Our experts go above and beyond to ensure our clients have the best safety measures in place. We efficiently develop HAC boundary characteristics and extents in accordance with guidance from NFPA 496/497/499, API 500/505, and IEC 60079-10-1, and identify gaps in equipment suitability for classified areas to provide clients with the best possible safety measures.

We also consider related documents like NFPA 2 for Hydrogen, NFPA 855 for batteries, and NFPA 820 for wastewater treatment plants to determine the appropriate HAC standards to apply. We specialize in evaluating the same system through the application of various standards and provide guidance on the extent of distances to consider using the relevant local and national requirements.


Client-centric safety through advanced automation.

HACTool© is our proprietary hazardous area classification software developed to automate HAC studies, apply relevant methodologies utilizing an innovative layered approach to structured data, HACTool© seamlessly links process streams to equipment, delivering numerous client advantages:

  • Explicitly calculated boundary distances rather than a single maximum distance
  • Ability to display the appropriate HAC contours in both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional drawings
  • Determine the need for electrically classified equipment and identify improperly installed electrically classified equipment at various elevations
  • Ability to easily update plant changes and keep HAC drawings evergreen
  • Transparency and documentation to facilitate audits

Through its expertly designed features, HACTool© can typically help you lower expenditures on classified equipment. To learn more, watch our HACTool© webinar here!

Additional Information

Hazardous Area Classification Best Practices and Further Learning

NFPA 497 Committee Member

HAC Best Practices

Our HAC Specialists

Meet our hazardous area classification study experts.

David Wechsler

David Wechsler

Murtaza Gandhi

Murtaza Gandhi

Stuart Powell

Stuart Powell

Austin Thomas

Austin Thomas