Q: What is ATEX?
A: ATEX is a set of European directives that defines the equipment that is allowed in an environment with an explosive atmosphere. It gets its name from “ATmoshpheres EXplosibles”.
Q: How is ATEX defined?
A: ATEX is divided into two categories: - 1) Gas, Mists, or Vapors, and 2) Dusts. The first has three categories which are “0”, “1”, or “2”. The second also has three categories, and they are “20”, “21”, or “22”. The higher the number, the more restrictive the environment.
Q: How do I know if my equipment is compliant with a given environment?
A: Equipment that is ATEX-complaint will have an ATEX marking on the product. Additionally, the manufacturer will be able to produce an ATEX-compliant certificate.
Q: Who certified that equipment is compliant to specific ATEX environments?
A: 3rd-party companies that are government-accredited as “ATEX Notified Bodies” for the ATEX directives can test and approve equipment for specific standards.
Q: Who defines my company’s environmental ATEX classification?
A: The same ATEX Notified Bodies will perform inspections and define environments.
Q: Do employees need ATEX training or instruction?
A: Yes. Per government regulations, employees must be provided with all the necessary information, instruction, and training on the risks present at the workplace and the required prevention and protection measures.
Q: Do Heaters and controllers need to be approved as a system in order to be used together in an ATEX environment?
A: No. Each can be independently certified
Q: Are ATEX approvals recognized outside of Europe?
A: In some areas they are accepted, and in some areas they are not. For example, in Asia they are accepted, but in North America they are not. Local laws and regulations should be consulted.