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Compliance with Legislation Implementing the ATEX Directives

Compiled by SHAPA, with assistance and the support of the UK Health & Safety Executive and the UK Cabinet Office Better Regulation Unit.

Scope and Objectives

The purpose is to provide practical guidance to manufacturers, suppliers and operators, when manufacturing, installing and operating equipment or systems that may require compliance with standards under the ATEX Directives, particularly in dusty atmospheres. A brief description of the two relevant ATEX Directives is included, together with their purpose and scope.

This Practical Guidance is intended to answer frequently asked questions and clarify issues surrounding new and used plant, resale and re-siting of existing plant, minimum documentation needs, certification and labelling.

Where possible, practical examples are included for illustrative purposes and a general bibliography is provided for more detailed reference.

Compiled and edited for SHAPA by Gus Bishop, Dantherm Filtration Ltd. Contributions from SHAPA members: ATEX Explosion Hazards, Clyde Materials Handling, Dantherm Filtration, Donaldson Filtration Systems, Fike UK, Guttridge Services, Russell Finex, Spiroflow


Two European Union directives, 94/9/EC principally for manufacturers and 1999/92/EC for operators of plant, have given rise to the many harmonized (and yet to be harmonized) standards to enable this law to be applied. In the UK the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) implement the directive 1999/92/EC, often called the "user’s" directive.

Directive 94/9/EC is implemented in the UK by the Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996 (EPS Regulations). Whilst both these EU directives have been in existence for some years, 94/9/EC became legally enforceable on July 1st 2003 and the transitional provisions of 1999/92/EC extend to 1st July 2006.

Most previous legislation regulating explosive atmospheres has been principally aimed at electrical equipment. The ATEX Directives include hazards from mechanical sources and therefore the equipment scrutinised and regulated will be diverse. These Practical Guidance notes have been written particularly with the solids handling and processing industries in mind. The first section deals with responsibilities placed upon manufacturers and suppliers of machinery and equipment for use in explosive atmospheres. The second section deals with responsibilities placed upon owners and operators of such equipment.

Subsequent sections address responsibilities and actions arising from the use of such machines existing before July 2003 and to their purchase and re-use since that date.

Click here for the complete document (PDF)


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