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ATEX and products

The regulations are designed to protect human health and safety against the risks that may arise from the use of equipment and safety systems in potentially explosive atmospheres.

The acronym ATEX is short for the French expression Atmosphères Explosibles – explosive atmospheres. The regulations place great importance on the health and safety of workers, and the rules cover property and domestic animals too. There is an EU-wide directive ensuring that all Member States apply the same regulations and guarantee the free movement of goods. It is called Directive 2014/34/EU on equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, or the ATEX Directive.

Area of application

The corresponding regulations of the National Electrical Safety Board concern electrical equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive environments. The regulations also cover components designed to be installed within such equipment or protective systems.

Furthermore, the regulations are applicable to electrical safety, monitoring and control devices which are intended for use outside a potentially explosive environment but which are necessary in order to ensure that equipment and protective systems can operate safely with regard to the risk of explosion.

Guidelines for the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU

The ATEX guidelines are intended as a manual for people affected by Directive 2014/34/EU and ensuring that everyone applies the Directive consistently. The committee's interpretations are an important part of the guidelines. The committee also provides examples of how the Directive applies to equipment designed to work with interfaces with various potentially explosive environments. The guidelines are supported by the European Commission. The committees involved are ATEX-ADCO (Administration Cooperation) and ATEX-WG/SC (Working Group/Standing Committee).

Last reviewed: 2020-12-12