For over 35 years experience in Explosion Safety

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For over 35 years experience in Explosion Safety

Knowledge base

ATEX directives

What is the meaning of ATEX? ATEX is an abbreviation for the French name "ATmosphère EXplosible" and is used to indicate the European directives on explosion hazard. The purpose of the ATEX directives is to enable free trade of explosion-safe products within the EU, enforcing the same safety requirements everywhere. In addition, European workers must be able to work safely anywhere, regardless of the country where the activities take place. 

Structure directives and legalisation

To provide guidance, two European directives have been drawn up to prevent explosions in Europe, namely:

  • ATEX 114 (2014/34/EU) on minimum requirements for devices and protective systems in areas where there is a risk of explosion;
  • ATEX 153 (1999/92/EC) on minimum requirements for improving the health protection and safety of workers at risk from explosive atmospheres.

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Explosive atmosphere hazard

This chapter explains explosions, circumstances under which they can occur and gas or dust properties that are important when determining the risks.

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ATEX products and equipment

This chapter discusses the special requirements for equipment intended for use in hazardous areas classified as zone 0 and for equipment placed where a zone 0 borders on a zone 1 or 2 environment.

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ATEX zones

This chapter focuses on the explanation of the different ATEX Zones where explosive areas can be classified.

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Prevention of explosion hazard

This chapter focuses on the prevention of explosions. Priority is to prevent the hazardous explosive environment, zoning of the area, avoiding sources of ignition and implementing structural measures to minimize the effects of an explosion.

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Organizational measures

This chapter discusses the organizational measures to be taken if safety cannot be guaranteed by technical measures alone. In practice, a combination of technical and organizational measures can create a safe working environment.

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Judgement of explosion hazard

This chapter examines the scope and complicance with Directive 1999/92/EC (ATEX 153) "on minimum requirements to improve health and safety protection for workers at risk from explosive atmospheres".

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Explosion safety document

This chapter discusses the explosion safety document (ESD) which must be established and maintained by the employer on the basis of Directive 1999/92/EC. An example ESD which meets the requirements is provided.

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Sources of ignition

This chapter discusses the thirteen possible sources of ignition as mentioned in European technical standard EN 1127-1 on the basic principles of explosion prevention.

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Protection methods

This chapter discusses the various methods of protection against ignition by electrical equipment and the methods of protection for non-electrical equipment.

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Gas detection

This chapter covers selection of suitable measuring instruments, the use and the basic rules for working in zoned areas.

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This chapter explains the different ATEX markings.

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Certificates and non-EU legislation

This chapter discusses the Ex marking as applied in Europe and explains the North American system.

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Contact us

Do you have any further questions about this subject? Feel free to reach out for more information about ATEX or read more.