ATEX is a term commonly used when speaking about hazardous industries. Today, two European Directives control the explosive atmospheres, which set the requirements needed to improve the safety of workers. The first European Directive is ATEX Workplace Directive (or Directive 99/92/EC), and the second one is the ATEX Equipment Directive (or Directive 94/9/EC).
The Application Of ATEX Directives In Workplaces
The ATEX Directives apply to workplaces with flammable substances present, such as factories that use flammable liquids and particles. Industries where there is chemical processing, production of flour, milk drying, liquid filling, and paint spraying, are examples of hazardous environments.
When talking about an explosive atmosphere, that is an atmosphere where gases and dust mix with air, resulting in an unwanted explosion. If there is fire, the flames will quickly spread everywhere, leading to a disaster. Confined spaces, such as storage rooms, weighing areas, and factories, are always at a considerable risk of explosion and harm to workers. That is why companies in such risky industries must have ATEX certification, which guarantees safety.
What Are Flammable Substances?
Flammable substances are substances that have potentially harmful properties when exposed to fire. Classic examples of such substances include solvents and varnishes. Also, the mixture of dust and air may be explosive too. Nowadays, almost all industrial workplaces have flammable and potentially combustible substances, which requires careful work and following essential safety standards.
Complying Under The ATEX Directives
ATEX Directives have specific requirements for managing explosion and fire risks, imposing certain obligations to employers. Some of the requirements are the following:
· Conduct regular checks and risk assessments in the work area where flammable substances are present.
· Record all findings of these regular checks in a specially created Explosion Protection register.
· Provide organizational and technical measures for preventing explosions at the workplace.
· Train employees who work in hazardous areas with explosive atmospheres.
· Specify and classify areas with explosive atmospheres.
· Choose and use the most suitable protective equipment to work in such dangerous areas.
· All equipment must meet the requirements and comply with ATEX Regulations.
ATEX and Industrial Weighing Equipment
ATEX applies to many different electrical and mechanical types of equipment used in hazardous environments, but it finds excellent use in industrial weighing equipment. Many industries require precise measuring, and the equipment used must fit the purpose and the domain where it is in use.
If you are looking to buy a piece of industrial equipment, you should always look for equipment with ATEX certification. Certified equipment has a unique label that is easily noticeable on the packaging. The certification also includes other essential data, such as the name and address of the manufacturer, model, type, serial number, CE Marking, year of manufacture, and other things necessary for safe use of the equipment.
Installation and Service Of ATEX Certified Equipment
Only qualified professionals must carry the installation and service of such necessary equipment. Such experts know how these machines work, their requirements, processes, and regimes. Using the services of such professionals will ensure that equipment fully complies with the latest safety and health requirements. Workplaces that import and use equipment that is not certified under the ATEX Directives risk paying hefty fines. That is why every employer in any industry where there is a potentially dangerous, explosive environment must ensure they are completely compliant with the European Directives.
These were some information about the importance of ATEX requirements in hazardous industries. That is an important and complex subject that can sometimes be difficult to understand. It would be best if employers hire knowledgeable professionals that understand this matter to advise them about the type of equipment they need to use. There is various equipment out there, but those without certification can be potentially dangerous for workers and employers. You must seek top-quality ATEX-certified equipment to use in a hazardous area where there is a potential for explosion.
Hopefully, you will use this helpful information and will look more into this matter. Get familiar with the European Directives and check out the specific requirements for work at flammable and potentially explosive areas in workplaces. Those requirements will undoubtedly help you long-term and will keep the work area safe for all involved.