ATEX stands for “ATmospheres EXplosibles.”
It is a set of European Union regulations that govern the design and use of equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
The regulations cover equipment and protective systems that may be used in areas where there is a risk of a explosion due to flammable gases, vapours, dusts, or fibres.
The regulations are based on the principles of risk assessment, and aim to prevent explosions and minimize the harm caused by explosions that do occur.
The regulations apply to equipment and protective systems that are used in a wide range of industrial environments, including oil and gas production, petrochemical and chemical processing, food and beverage production, and many other sectors.
It is divided in two categories:
ATEX 137 for the workplace (work environment)
ATEX 95 for equipment intended for use in explosive atmospheres (product)
Both categories are applicable in the EU member states and the equipment falling under this regulations must carry a mark and certificate of conformity to ATEX directives.