To ensure the safety of products and systems used in explosive atmospheres, there are rules to always keep in mind: we are talking about the ATEX Guidelines.
ATEX is a set of “ATmosphères” and “EXplosibles”, and refers to the explosive atmosphere, that is, a mixture of flammable substances in the state of:
ATEX Guidelines are therefore the fundamental reference for the evaluation of the explosion risk. So let’s try to clarify some fundamental aspects.
Which are ATEX Guidelines
The European Union has defined two reference guidelines regarding the risk of explosion due to hazardous atmospheres:
- the Directive 2014/34/EU: “product directive“, which is aimed at manufacturers of equipment used in areas at risk of explosion and defines the RES (Essential Safety Requirements) of these products, for which the obligation to appropriate certification.
- the Directive 99/92/EC: “social directive”, relating to the improvement of the health and safety of workers exposed to the risk of explosive atmospheres. This directive is aimed at users of certified plants and equipment.
In the products classification related to Directive 2014/34/EU, we discover two essential groups, divided into different sub-categories:
- Group 1: products to be used in grisutose mines;
- Group 2: equipment intended for use on the surface.
The first group includes categories M1 (equipment or protective systems that guarantee a very high level of protection) and M2 (high level of protection).
The categories of the second group are identified with the numbers 1, 2 or 3 and followed by the letter G (Gas) or D (Dust). They indicate equipment or systems that guarantee levels of protection:
- very high (category 1)
- high (category 2)
- normal (category 3).
In the next articles we will deepen the classification of areas and risk assessment. In the meantime, if you wish to have more information, you can rely on our experts via the contact section of our website.