ATEX is the name commonly given to the two European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres:
Directive 1999/92/EC (also known as ‘ATEX 137’ or the ‘ATEX Workplace Directive’) on minimum requirements for improving the health and safety protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.
Directive 2014/34/EU (formerly 94/9/EC, also known as ‘ATEX 95’ or ‘the ATEX Equipment Directive’) on the approximation of the laws of Members States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Explosive atmospheres can be caused by flammable gases, mists or vapours or by combustible dusts. If there is enough of the substance, mixed with air, then all it needs is a source of ignition to cause an explosion.
Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Explosive Atmospheres) Regulations 2007 place duties on employers to eliminate or control the risks from explosive atmospheres in the workplace.
ATEX Assessment Services provided by LCE Workplace Safety include:
- Assessment of work areas that involve flammable substances.
- Area classification into zones where an explosive atmosphere may occur and mark the zones where necessary with an ATEX rating.
- Preparation of an Explosion Protection Document (EPD).
- Advice on applicable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and compliant materials in ATEX areas.
Who needs an ATEX Assessment?
Workplaces that contain or engage in activities that may produce explosive or potentially explosive atmospheres. This includes places where work activities create or release flammable gases or vapours, such as vehicle paint spraying, or in workplaces handling fine organic dusts such as grain flour or wood.