The ATEX equipment directives 94/9/EC and 2014/34/EU and the ATEX worker directive 1999/92/EC require an explosion risk assessment.
Hierarchy of Protection Measures
The Directives apply the hierarchy of protection measures common to risk reduction methods.
- firstly to eliminate or reduce the presence of an explosive atmosphere.
e.g. by substituting the dangerous product with a safer one or limiting its amount used or released in the process, etc. If successful this results in a ‘safe zone’ with no explosive mixture or a zone of negligible extent with a small enough amount of explosive mixture that it can ignite without hazard
- If a hazardous explosive atmosphere cannot be avoided, prevent its ignition.
e.g. sometimes ignition sources can be avoided or equipment can be protected to prevent it becoming a potential ignition source from occurring. The use of ATEX-rated equipment, where the manufacturer or his certification body declares that the equipment is adequately protected, is the most common method
- If the risk of explosion cannot be avoided, mitigate the detrimental effects of an explosion with sufficient measures to ensure health and safety.