ATEX - The European Harmonization
The harmonized EC directives and standards, particularly in the field of explosion protection, increasingly shape the developments in the individual EU countries.
The objective of the new European directives 1999/92/EC and 94/9/EC is to create a standardised safety level throughout Europe.
On the basis of the so-called “New Approach”, minimum requirements for the improvement of health protection and for the safety of employees in hazardous areas are aimed at on the one hand systems (1999/92/EC). On the other hand, the design of devices and protection systems for the proper use in hazardous areas is specified (94/9/EC).
All in all, this harmonization is to be considered as a comprehensive approach to largely avoid hazards in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Within the scope of the implementation of these guidelines, operators of Ex plants must accept more personal responsibility for the safety of their employees and systems. The explosion risk must be determined and evaluated internally. Then, a categorization with respect to Ex sectors or zones is carried out.
The analysis of ignition sources provides information about the risk potential in a plant. With the explosion protection document, the operator is provided with an instrument which contains all measures within the scope of explosion protection (both organisational and technical) and which is always up-to-date.
In accordance with the zoning, equipment with different safety levels is selected. For this purpose, the manufacturers of equipment and protection systems have determined equipment categories. New within this context is that no differentiation is made between electrical or non-electrical equipment.
The operator receives a documentation for every device. Apart from the EC declaration of conformity, this documentation contains all information on zone-suitable mounting, proper use as well as safe installation and operation.
To achieve the required standardised safety objectives, manufacturers and operators must closely cooperate, which, apart from the targeted safety, also improves the efficiency of the entire supply chain - from manufacturing to operation.
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Benefit from our year-long experience in the fields of process plants, safety components, devices and turn-key Ex solutions. We would be pleased to support you with our know-how on standards and directives, technologies and processes regarding the implementation of requirements stipulated in EU directives in Ex areas.
ATEX Service – Your competent service for explosion protection.