ATEX is a series of two directives that was passed by the European Union (EU) in order to improve protection in work environments that utilise explosions. The directives are essentially a checklist that pertains to the equipment and working conditions of any company that deals with explosive dust or combustible dust.
Directive 99/92/EC (ATEX Workplace Directive) outlines the standards required in order to raise the level of safety, as well as the health, of workers in potentially explosive environments. Directive 94/9/EC (ATEX Equipment Directive) is the directive for equipment used in such environments, as well as protective systems that are in place.
Companies are already legally bound to adhere to local or national industry laws and standards regarding explosive atmospheres; compliance with these added directives are necessary for ATEX certification, with the responsibility lying solely with the company.
As industry leaders in the areas of air filtration and dust extraction, Städa are proud to offer a comprehensive range of related products and equipment that are all ATEX certified.
What to Take Note Of?
One of the key terms in the ATEX directive is the “effective ignition source”. By definition, these are any occurrences that when combined with oxygen or fuel in various forms (e.g. gas, mist, dust etc.) may cause an explosion.
Examples of such sources are, but not limited to:
- Any open flame
- Sparks generated mechanically from impact or friction
- High surface temperatures
- Any form of radiation
- Discharge from electrostatic
Effective ignition sources are most likely to be created by heavy duty machinery or systems within an industrial setting. The importance of ATEX certified products is not only for display, but also to ensure that working conditions are safe and that your company insurance will be valid in case of an explosion.
In an industrial setting, it is very likely that large amounts of combustible or explosive dust (e.g. coal, magnesium, wood dust) will be produced. Within an enclosed space, if these dust particles are suspended for a long period of time, it can cause an explosion if introduced to any ignition source as outlined above.
If you are unsure of the significance of ATEX certification, or have any questions regarding our ATEX-certified products, please feel free to contact us for more information.