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 Explosive Atmospheres(ATEX)

Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX)

INTRODUCTION

The objective of these Guidelines is to clarify certain matters and procedures referred to in Directive 94/9/EC5 concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The Guidelines should be used in conjunction with the Directive and with the European Commission's "Guide to the implementation of directives based on New Approach and Global Approach (Blue Guide)"6

 

These Guidelines are not only for the use of Member States’ competent authorities, but also by the

main economic operators concerned, such as manufacturers, their trade associations, bodies in charge of the preparation of standards as well as those entrusted with the conformity assessment

procedures.

 

First and foremost, this document must ensure that, when correctly applied, the Directive leads to

the removal of obstacles and difficulties related to the free circulation (free movement) of goods within the European Union (see footnote 2). It should be noted that the statements in these Guidelines refer only to the application of Directive 94/9/EC unless otherwise indicated. All parties concerned should be aware of other requirements, which may also apply.

 

Directive 94/9/EC is a "New Approach" directive laying down Essential Health and Safety Requirements and leaving it to standards, primarily European harmonised standards, to give technical expression of the relevant requirements contained in the Directive.

 

Directive 94/9/EC is a "New Approach" directive laying down Essential Health and Safety Requirements and leaving it to standards, primarily European harmonised standards, to give technical expression of the relevant requirements contained in the Directive.

 

Directive 94/9/EC is a "New Approach" directive laying down Essential Health and Safety Requirements and leaving it to standards, primarily European harmonised standards, to give technical expression of the relevant requirements contained in the Directive.

 

OBJECTIVE OF THE ATEX DIRECTIVE 94/9/EC

The objective of Directive 94/9/EC is to ensure free movement for the products to which it applies in the EU territory. Therefore the Directive, based on Article 95 of the EC Treaty, provides for harmonised requirements and procedures to establish compliance.

 

The Directive notes that to remove barriers to trade via the New Approach, provided for in the Council Resolution of 7 May 19858, essential requirements regarding safety and other relevant

attributes need to be defined by which a high level of protection will be ensured. These Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) are listed in Annex II to Directive 94/9/EC.

 

These Essential Health and Safety Requirements are specific with respect to:

• potential ignition sources of equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres;

• autonomous protective systems intended to come into operation following an explosion with the prime objective to halt the explosion immediately and/or limit the effects of explosion flames and pressures;

• safety devices intended to contribute to the safe functioning of such equipment with respect to ignition source and to the safe functioning of autonomous protective systems

• components with no autonomous function essential to the safe functioning of such equipment  or autonomous protective system(s)

 

Since 1 July 2003 relevant products could only be placed on the market in the EU territory9, freely

moved and operated as designed and intended in the expected environment if they comply with

Directive 94/9/EC (and other relevant legislation).

 

Directive 94/9/EC provides for the first time harmonised requirements for non-electrical equipment, equipment intended for use in environments which are potentially explosive due to dust hazards and protective systems. Safety devices intended for use outside explosive atmospheres which are required for or contribute to the safe functioning of equipment or protective systems with respect to risks of explosion are also included. This is an increase in scope compared to former national regulations for equipment and systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

 

The requirements for compliance with the provisions of Directive 94/9/EC will be further developed in the following chapters.


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