ATEX certification is a compliance procedure that was brought into being in 2003. Its aim was to allow the free movement of Ex products (a product that cannot be a source of ignition) within the European Union, offering one unified procedure in place of differing national standards.
To find out more about how this works, and why it’s important, read on.
What is an Explosive Atmosphere?
Many different working environments could be defined as having an explosive atmosphere. Places like gas and chemical plants, petrol stations, as well as places that handle fine organic matter, such as grain flour or wood, are examples of environments that are ‘high risk.’ These plants in the UK are categorised as top tier and lower tier COMAH sites.
A DSEAR risk assessment would be used to check all areas of a site and determine which are the most hazards. Rules would then be put in place on what you can do within these areas to stop potential hazards accruing.
Such places will have detailed risk assessments carried out, as well as a plethora of rules and regulations in order ensure they are operating safely. ATEX certification is one of the regulations that contribute to a safe working environment, as it ensures that any devices used on site are what is known as ‘intrinsically safe.’
What Does this Mean?
Because some work areas, like those mentioned above, contain highly combustible material, it is essential that the equipment used in them cannot become an ‘ignition source’, whether this is through overheating or through easily causing flames or sparks.
Being certified as ‘intrinsically safe’ cannot be done by the manufacturer of the product, this is where being ATEX Certified by an ATEX specialist comes in.
How Does a Product Get ATEX Certified?
Put simply, the certification process involves the product being assessed and tested, with a certificate being issued for the product that conforms to the requirements it is expected to so it can be deemed safe.
This involves the verification of the design specification of a product in relation to a group of standards laid out under the directive, and this process of certification must be undertaken by an ATEX Notified Body.
These bodies are appointed by the government under which they operate, issuing ATEX certificates, and regularly checking the validity of the quality management systems that have been put in place.
Speaking with an ATEX Specialist is the best way to find out what you need to know about ATEX Certification.
The HTS Group are here to provide you with the advice, guidance, and services you need to ensure either your product or your workplace is operating safely.
Why not contact us today?