What is ATEX legislation?
ATEX legislation is a European Directive transposed into Spanish law by Royal Decree 681/2003 and Royal Decree 400/1996 and that requires employers to ensure proper control of risks relating to the explosion of certain atmospheres. That is why certain companies have to perform an explosion risk assessment in order to identify anywhere that explosive atmospheres might form and then take the steps to prevent any such explosions.
ATEX atmospheres are subdivided into 3 zones:
- zones 0, 1 or 2 for gas, mists or vapours
- zones 20, 21 or 22 for dusts.
There are two groups of equipment and products:
- Group I: for use in mines (strictest).
- Group II: for use in all surface industries.
As for this «Group II» (surface industries): each ATEX zone classification is associated with an adapted equipment category:
ATEX classification of the equipment to be used (regarding Group II for surface industries)
Zone 0 (gas, mists or vapours)
Zone 20 (dust)
VERY HIGH LEVEL OF PROTECTION
The explosive mixture is present continuously or for a very long period
Zone 1 (gas, mists or vapours)
Zone 21 (dust)
HIGH LEVEL OF PROTECTION
The explosive mixture is likely to occur during normal operation of the installation
Zone 2 (gas, mists or vapours)
Zone 22 (dust)
NORMAL LEVEL OF PROTECTION
The explosive mixture is not likely to occur or, if it does, will persist for a short period only.