ATEX: Explosive atmospheres UKCA, CE Marking and DSEAR

Our Offer to you:

We will help you with:

  • deciding whether and how the ATEX equipment and ATEX workplace safety directives apply to your products
  • finding the best standards and providing risk assessment checklists and other materials
  • carrying out risk assessments according to general and product-specific standards
  • hazardous area classification according to EN 60079-10 and industry standards
  • ignition hazard assessment according to EN ISO 80079-36
  • applying ignition protection measures according to EN ISO 80079-37 and EN 60079.
  • compliance inspections and design reviews
  • compliance of assemblies of Ex certified electrical apparatus according to EN60079-14.
  • practical solutions to achieve compliance
  • managing compliance projects and certification
  • completing declarations of conformity
  • deciding what to include and compiling technical files
  • representing equipment and protective systems as the responsible economic operator in the EU and UK through our sister company Authorised Rep Compliance Ltd.


The ATEX equipment Directive 2014/34/EU sets out a single set of rules that equipment and protective systems intended for use in explosive atmospheres must comply with to be placed on the market, used and moved freely in the EU. It continues to apply in the Great Britain because the EU Withdrawal Act retained The Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016 as UK domestic legislation when the UK left the EU.

The ATEX equipment directive replaced a variety of different commercial and member state certification schemes for electrical apparatus that were barriers to trade preventing an EU single market. It also extended the scope to non-electrical equipment and equipment for dust atmospheres.


The ATEX equipment directive covers equipment and protective systems intended for use in explosive atmospheres. The meanings of these terms define the scope:

  • Equipment means machines, apparatus and devices but excludes anything without its own source of ignition. Therefore passive products such as furniture, containers and slow-moving mechanisms are not in the scope of the directive.
  • Protective systems include devices like explosion venting, isolating and suppression systems that control explosions after they have started.
  • Explosive atmospheres include explosive mixtures of gases, vapours, mists and dusts with air under ambient conditions.

Assemblies in which all the equipment and components with their own sources of ignition are already Ex-marked do not require the assessment of any new sources of ignition. They can be placed on the market by following a simplified conformity assessment procedure that permits CE/ UKCA marking but does not need a Conformity Assessment Body.


Products are divided into categories depending on the risk in the manufacturer’s intended use:

  • Whether they are for underground mines or surface applications
  • Whether they are for use with gases, vapours and mists or with dusts;
  • The product’s level of protection, which depends on the likelihood of an explosive atmosphere occurring (continuous, occasional or rare.)

The categories are called Equipment Protection Levels (EPL) in standards.


Before placing products on the market, manufacturers must:

  • ensure the risk of explosion is low enough to meet the directive’s Essential Health and Safety Requirements usually by following EN standards.
  • compile and keep a technical file demonstrating compliance
  • follow the relevant certification procedure and get the required third party certificates
  • issue an EU or UK Declaration of Conformity.
  • apply the CE conformity marking (or UKCA marking in Great Britain) as well as the Ex marking

The Essential Requirements of the ATEX Directive set out the principles for manufacturers to carry out an explosion risk assessment of products and to a apply protection methods to reduce risks to an acceptable level. Harmonised standards describe in detail how to apply the essential requirements to different products by a range of protection methods.

ATEX Worker Directive / DSEAR

After it is put into service, equipment and protective systems as well workplaces with potentially explosive atmospheres and workers must comply with the ATEX Worker Directive 1999/92/EC. This directive is closely related to the ATEX equipment directive and requires an explosion risk assessment of explosion hazard, including:

  • Identifying of flammable substances and their explosion properties;
  • Identifying an limiting the number, amount and likelihood of releases
  • Determining the extents and likelihood and persistence of explosion hazard zones
  • Showing that ignition risks from equipment, activities and external influences are low enough
  • Showing that protective systems control any explosions that cannot be prevented.

The ATEX Worker Directive is also known by the names of its national implementing regulations in European countries such as The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) in the UK.