The term “ATEX” comes from the French “atmosphere explosibles”. It is the name commonly given to the framework for controlling explosive atmospheres that may exist in (part of) a room, or a restricted indoor or outdoor space and the standards of equipment and protective systems used in them.
Fundamentally, the ATEX directive and framework is designed to ensure an area is explosion proof (ex proof) by minimising the risks and consequences of potential explosions.
All machinery that is to be used in a potentially explosive, hazardous area must be designed to be as safe as possible. End users must not be required to take their own protective measures, however they must follow the instructions provided.
So, in ensuring that the ATEX rated (intrinsically safe) product is as safe as possible there must be:
- Safety in the design phase – naturally safe structure and solutions, necessary security measures and safety markings and warnings;
- Safety in situations of use – product usage according to instructions, knowledge of user, personal safety and work management.
If you use or supply hydraulic equipment that may be used in potentially explosive atmospheres or your workplace involves the use of flammable materials that could create a potentially explosive atmosphere, then ATEX applies to you.
With two main ATEX directives, the goal is to provide a set of instructions to ensure that any product sold meets the necessary ATEX standard and safety requirements. These directives apply to all components that are used in an environment where explosive liquids, gases or dusts are near.
Click through on the following links to find more information on the:
- ATEX directives;
- Hazardous area classification / ATEX zones;
- ATEX equipment / intrinsically safe equipment.
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