If your manufacturing plant has environments or product where potentially explosive atmospheres exist or can form, it must conform to the ATEX Directives. The Directives are complex in nature but are applied in essentially two distinct ways:
- The ATEX equipment directive 94/9/EC; conformity required when manufacturing machinery, equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
- The ATEX workplace directive 99/92/EC; compliance required for improving safety and minimising the risks of working in explosive or potentially explosive atmospheres.
In complying with the ATEX equipment directive (94/9/ EC) management must ensure that their machinery and protective systems are certified. This includes ‘assemblies’ of equipment where there is often more than one supplier or installer, and where ATEX CE Certification is required for the final assembly (e.g. skid, process train, etc.). This assembly requires assessment and testing so an overall Declaration of Conformity and Technical File can be issued by the manufacturer and this responsibility often resides with the end-user. Similarly if your plant and machinery has been upgraded or modified you must ensure it remains compliant and re-certification may be required.