A potentially explosive atmosphere exists when a mixture of air gases, vapors, mists or dust is combined in such a way that it can ignite under certain operating conditions.
Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX) cover a number of products, including those used on fixed offshore platforms, petrochemical plants, mines and mills, as well as others.
EU and ATEX legislation
The ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU for equipment used in explosive atmospheres defines the procedure for use in production and market access for equipment that presents an increased explosion hazard. In contrast to the earlier ATEX directive 94/9/EC, the ATEX directive 2014/34/EU applies, among other things, to non-electrical equipment.
ATEX Directive 2014/34/EC covers equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The directive defines the basic requirements for health and safety, as well as conformity assessment procedures that must be applied before products are placed on the EU market. It is aligned with the new legislative framework policy and is applicable from April 20, 2016, replacing the previous Directive 94/9/EC.
National authorities are responsible for implementing the Directive in the European Union by translating their provisions into their own current legislation. These laws have a direct effect for each EU Member State, as well as others, for applying the requirements of the Directive, and are responsible for the implementation and enforcement, including how Notified Bodies should manage implementation.