It is over ten years, since 1st July 2003, when all manufacturers of products used in areas where potentially explosive atmospheres exist have had to supply equipment which complies to ATEX Directive 94/9/EC (ATEX 100). In addition, there is also legislation under Directive 99/92/EC (ATEX 137) which is aimed at the responsibilities of the end user.
All hazardous area workplaces, which were used for the first time after 30th June 2003, have had to comply with ATEX 137 however, workplaces in use before that date were given a transitional period to achieve compliance which ended 30th June 2006.
Within ATEX 137, the employer must ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to avoid the formation of explosive mixtures. If they do exist then measures must be taken to avoid ignition. Finally, if ignition does occur, the effects of any explosion must be minimised in such a way that workers‘ safety is not put at risk.