ATEX Hazardous Areas

Flammable gases, mists or vapours or combustible dust can cause a life-threatening and damaging explosive atmosphere in the workplace.

If the air contains enough flammable material a single source of ignition could cause an explosion, leading to injuries, possible loss of life and damage to property.

Preventing these materials from gathering in air and removing sources of ignition will help reduce risks.

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) requires employers to eliminate or control the risks from explosive atmospheres in the workplace.

You can never be too safe when it comes to operating within an environment that demands intrinsic safety. Whether it’s the equipment operating the machinery or protecting personnel working in these areas. Kempston Controls is able to source all of the intrinsically safe devices and equipment you will need. Give our dedicated sales team a call on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or email sales@kempstoncontrols.co.uk to discuss your intrinsically safe requirements.

EX Rating

An explosive atmosphere is a mixture of dangerous substances in air, under atmospheric conditions and after ignition, combustion continues through the unburned mixture.

Where do you find explosive atmospheres?

Workplaces can contain activities that produce explosive or potentially explosive atmospheres, such as paint spraying or in factories handling fine organic dust such as grain flour or wood.

Three elements are required to cause an explosion: Fuel (gas or dust), Oxygen and an ignition source such as electric sparks or a short-circuit. The risk of an explosion is based on the probability of a fuel and oxygen mixture occurring over time.

Employers must classify areas into zones where hazardous explosive atmospheres may occur. These classifications depend on size, location and its persistence. Hazardous places are classified in terms of zones on the basis of the frequency and duration of the occurrence of an explosive atmosphere.

Gas ATEX Zone

Zone 0

A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is present continuously or for long periods or frequently.

Dust ATEX Zone

Zone 20

A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air is present continuously, or for long periods or frequently.

Gas ATEX Zone

Zone 1

A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.

Dust ATEX Zone

Zone 21

A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.

Gas ATEX Zone

Zone 2

A place in which an explosive atmosphere consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.

Dust ATEX Zone

Zone 22

A place in which an explosive atmosphere in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.

ATEX Related Directives

ATEX is the name of the 2 European Directives for controlling explosive atmospheres.

Directive 99/92/EC

(ATEX 137 or the ATEX Workplace Directive)

Minimum requirements for improving the health and safety protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.

Directive 94/9/EC

(ATEX 95 or the ATEX Equipment Directive)

The approximation of the laws of Members States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

In the UK the requirements of Directive 99/92/EC was made effective via regulations 7 and 11 of DSEAR.
The DSEAR requirements apply to workplaces where a potentially explosive atmosphere may occur. Some industry sectors are exempted, these are listed in regulation 3 of DSEAR.

Requirements of DSEAR:
DSEAR ensures employers eliminate or control the risks associated with dangerous substances, also, the regulations place the following duties on employers where explosive atmospheres may occur.

Equipment Selection
Classified zones must be protected from ignition sources and devices used meet the requirements of the Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996. Equipment used before 2003 will need to be risk assessed.

Identifying the Explosive Atmosphere Areas
Entry points to classified zones must be marked with a specified 'EX' sign.

Anti-Static Clothing
Employers must provide classified area workers with anti-static clothing that won’t ignite an explosive atmosphere.

Confirming the Explosion Safety Measures
Before a zoned workplace becomes operational the employer must ensure that safety measures are verified and assessed as being safe.

For the full DSEAR click here.

Continue shopping View basket
Loading....
Need help? Talk live to a sales representative!
Live Chat

Help us better your experience! Let us know what country you are in.