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ATEX Risk Assessments, Regulations & CAD

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What is a ATEX assessment?

ATEX is the name given to the European directives to ensure that all EU member states create appropriate legislation so that there are appropriate conformity procedures for the health and safety of workers potentially at risk from an explosion in an explosive atmosphere that is caused by work activity.

Compliance is implemented in the UK through the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).

Manufacturers of ATEX equipment intended to be used in potentially flammable atmospheres or hazardous areas must comply with the Equipment for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (EPS).

For businesses in the UK, or for those wishing to comply with DSEAR, you can find out more on our dedicated DSEAR and HAC page. 

Our ATEX risk assessments include:

  • Full site inspection and risk assessment
  • Identification of dangerous substances that may apply under ATEX
  • Hazardous Area Classification drawings (if required)
  • Advice on area signage, labelling requirements and control measures
  • Guidance on equipment and protective systems
  • Basis of Safety for each site process
  • A prioritised & realistic action plan to mitigate any risks
  • Follow-on support such as bespoke ATEX training courses
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Ensure adherence with explosive atmosphere regulations

Identify, mitigate and eliminate the hazards associated with explosive atmospheres and keep people, businesses and the environment safe from fire and explosions. Learn more about how we can assist you with ATEX compliance today.

The Sigma-HSE Advantage

Sigma-HSE is your single solution provider for ATEX, CAD and other explosive atmosphere assessments.

Our ATEX consultants undertake risk assessments and integrate ATEX regulations in a holistic way to cover employees and non-employees across European Union and global sites.

Through our actionable insights, we determine what practicable recommendations should be made for your company to optimise safety and reduce the level of risk to people, business, workplace and environment.

We can aid you in complying with the following explosive atmospheres regulations:

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Frequently asked questions

What are ATEX regulations

The ATEX directive applies to all equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres within the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA) and aims to protect workers against risks arising from an explosive atmosphere occurring.

An employer must take organisational and/or technical measures to:

  • prevent the formation of explosive atmospheres, or where the nature of the activity does not allow that, it should avoid the ignition of explosive atmospheres

  • mitigate the detrimental effects of an explosion to ensure the health and safety of workers

  • where necessary, these measures shall be combined and/or supplemented with measures to prevent the propagation of explosions

Are hazardous areas considered under the ATEX directives?

Employers must also assess the specific risks from explosive atmospheres in a particular zone, taking the below minimum requirements into account:

  • the likelihood that explosive atmospheres will occur and their persistence

  • the likelihood that ignition sources, including electrostatic discharges, will be present and become active and effective

  • the installations, substances used, processes and their possible interactions

  • the scale of the anticipated effects

What is CAD (Chemical Agents Directive)?

The Chemical Agents Directive aims to promote and improve the safety and health of workers at their place of work.

As ATEX covers risk from explosive atmospheres, the CAD directive focuses on risks related to chemical agents.

Considering hazardous chemical agents, CAD concentrates on the occupational exposure of potentially hazardous chemical agents and their direct risk to fires, explosions and chemical reaction hazards. CAD covers all hazardous chemical agents including:

  • elements or compounds either on their own or admixed

  • chemicals in natural states or produced, used or released

  • elements released as waste (whether intentionally or not)

  • elements that may give rise to explosive mixtures

  • all chemical agents whether placed on the market or not

For explosive atmospheres both Directives apply, ATEX is more specific for the requirements related to explosive atmospheres, CAD can apply.

Furthermore, for all other fires and explosions CAD will apply. This includes explosive mixtures outside the “atmospheric” range (oxygen concentration, pressure, temperature)

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