The ATEX directives consists of two EU directives describing the minimum safety requirements of the workplace and equipment used in explosive atmosphere. Organisations in the EU must follow Directives to protect employees from explosion risk in areas with an explosive atmosphere. It refers to the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The classification given to a particular zone, and its size and location, depends on the likelihood of an explosive atmosphere occurring and its persistence if it does. Equipment in use before July is allowed to be used indefinitely provided a risk assessment shows it is safe to do so. The regulations apply to all equipment intended for use in explosive atmospheres, whether electrical or mechanical, including protective systems.
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The ATEX directive consists of two EU directives that have been law since July describing what equipment and work space is allowed in an environment with an explosive atmosphere and sets the minimum safety standards for both the Employer and Manufacturer. It describes:. The ATEX directive requires the products to be assigned a group and a category. The product must meet a recognized performance standard, such as EN for flammable gas detectors.
See a typical ATEX marking below for more details and explanation. The objective of IECEx standards is fostering international confidence in the product assessment process and maintaining the required level of safety. While ATEX is a mandatory application limited to the European Union, IECEx is an international certification recognized and accepted in several countries to help build confidence in the safety of Ex equipment.
It also facilitates international trade of equipment and services for use in explosive atmospheres and reduces testing and certification costs and time to market for instrument manufacturers. As with ATEX, IECEx provides assurance that everything from equipment manufacturing and installation through to the operation and maintenance of the certified products comply with IEC international standards.
ATEX 100a directive