Industries are subject to specific regulations that take into account the risks associated with explosive atmospheres to impose various safety measures, particularly in relation to requirements concerning the equipment used. These regulations aim to improve the safety and health protection of workers who may be exposed to the risks associated with explosive atmospheres.
Presentation of the ATEX directives
The European Community has adopted two directives on the prevention of risks related to explosive atmospheres in the petroleum and chemical industries, known as the "ATEX directives":
- Directive 1999/92/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1999 as amended, on minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.
- Directive 2014/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the harmonization of the laws of the Member States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres (recast), which repeals Directive 94/9/EC on Atex equipment.
Measures imposed by the ATEX directives
These two directives impose a process of prevention of the risks in case of explosive atmospheres which must be respected by the various actors of the industries, namely:
- the definition of locations where explosive atmospheres may form;
- the means to improve the health and safety of workers exposed to explosion risks;
- criteria for the selection of equipment, materials and protective systems used in locations where there is a risk of explosive atmospheres;
- Hazardous location sign
Safety implications of ATEX directives in industries
The directives require that each zone of industrial sites generating an ATEX risk has been mapped. These zones have been codified and must correspond to a regulatory marking. Within these zones, the equipment must be suitable for the zone in which it has been installed. Thus, the equipment present in each zone must not itself generate sufficient energy to induce an explosion.
GesipGesip, a community of some 60 members, works to improve the safety of people and industrial facilities. Since its creation in 1953, the organization has established itself as a reference in the field of regulations governing safety and risk control in the industrial sector.
In this respect, Gesip provides its members with technical guides based on the work of expert commissions, internationally recognized references, as well as on documents resulting from the research work of its exchange and study groups. This database of expertise has become a must for industry players. Discover the Methodological guide for the implementation of the ATEX directives in the oil and chemical industries.