Risk management in installations with materials which can possibly create explosive atmospheres, is undoubtedly a complex yet indispensable process for the protection of both the workers and the installation.
An explosive atmosphere defines the mixture of air with flammable substances in the form of gases, vapors, droplets or dust, in which after an ignition the combustion is transmitted to the entire mixture.
In addition to its mandatory status, the Explosion Protection Study ATEX can serve as a safety tool for enterprises and industrial units at both technical and organizational levels.
What is the ATEX study?
The term ATEX stands as the acronym of ATmosphère EXplosive in french which means an explosive atmosphere. The Explosion Protection Document – ATEX Study, concerns the protection of the health and safety of the workers who may be at risk at work, from explosive atmospheres.
What is ATEX Study for?
In the framework of the ATEX Study the following are evaluated:
- the probability of creation of explosive atmospheres and their duration,
- the likelihood of ignition sources being present and activated,
- the facilities, the substances used and the work methods, and their possible interactions.
Additionally, the following are referred in the ATEX Study
- the explosion hazards,
- the necessary measures to protect workers,
- the sites classified in zones (area classification),
- the technical and organizational measures and the areas to which they apply.
According to PD 42/2003 for the “improvement of the protection of health and safety of workers that maybe exposed to risk as from explosive atmospheres at work”, the employer must assess the specific hazards due to explosive atmospheres, and prepare and update the Explosion Protection Document – ATEX Study.