ATEX is the name given to a set of European Directives relating to Hazardous Area Installations (Flammable Atmospheres) that takes its name from the French "Atmosphères Explosibles".
It spells out a set of Essential Health & Safety Requirements (EHSR) which when followed should enable everyone in the industry to operate safely and to avoid incident. Two separate directives have been introduced covering Equipment (94/9/EC) and Safety of Working Operations (1999/92/EC).
Directive 94/9/EC (ATEX 95), and Directive 99/92/EC (ATEX 137) were introduced by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in order to protect the lives and health of workers who are using equipment in hazardous areas.
Directive 94/9/EC (ATEX 95) is also commonly known as the ‘Equipment Directive’. As of July 1, 2003, all new equipment placed on the market in the European Community must conform to this directive. This directive applies to equipment used in hazardous “zoned” areas and also to equipment used to process potentially explosive materials. Equipment that is manufactured to this Directive is marked with the ‘Ex’ logo.
Directive 99/92/EC (ATEX 137) is also commonly known as the ‘Worker Protection Directive’. This directive requires the employer to assess the explosion risks by zoning and posting signs in their plant to identify the hazardous area, writing an Explosion Protection Document (EPD), specifying the proper Category of equipment required for the hazardous area, and ensuring that all equipment is safe for use in the hazardous area. This directive is currently mandatory for all new equipment installed on or after July 1, 2003 and will become mandatory for all existing equipment installations effective July 1, 2006.
Download ATEX 137 (1999/92/EC) directive