From Our Notebook

ATEX stands for "Atmospheres Explosibles" in French, and it is the European Union's directive for regulating equipment used in potentially explosive environments.

ATEX certification ensures that equipment is designed, tested, and certified to be safe and suitable for use in these hazardous conditions.

It is important to note that ATEX is different from other safety standards such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

The ATEX directive is specifically designed to protect workers and equipment when working in explosive atmospheres, such as those created by flammable liquids, gases, and dust.

By adhering to the ATEX directive, businesses can ensure the safety of their workers and equipment in these dangerous environments.

If your company works with hazardous materials, it’s crucial to know what the ATEX directive is.

The ATEX directive is an essential piece of European Union legislation that applies to businesses that work with hazardous materials. It sets out minimum requirements for the safety and health protection of workers who are exposed to explosive atmospheres, and it has two components. The 1999 directive covers the precautions that workplaces must take when dealing with combustible or flammable dust, vapors, or gases, and the 2014 directive covers the products that can be used in hazardous and explosive environments. This directive was created in response to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and is essential for any company working in hazardous environments.


ATEX stands for "Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosives", which translates to "Devices intended for use in explosive atmospheres".

The meaning of ATEX is that it designates hazardous materials such as explosives, and it requires companies that handle and transport those dangerous materials to protect their employees from the risk of explosion.

ATEX is applicable in atmospheres where explosions can occur due to dust, vapors, or gases that are likely to ignite or detonate, such as factories that use flammable products or generate combustible clouds of dust. Other examples where ATEX may be applicable include chemical processing, paint spraying, flour production, and milk drying.

The ATEX Zone is a classification system used to determine the likelihood of an explosive atmosphere in a workplace. The zone classification is based on how frequently or for how long an explosive atmosphere is present.

Other explosive hazards like dust and fibers also have similar classifications.

It is important to classify zones properly in order to be in compliance with the ATEX directive and ensure the safety of the workplace.

Having ATEX certification is essential for any workplace that may be at risk of experiencing a potentially explosive environment. It is a requirement that companies and their equipment meet certain safety standards, and certification from a third-party organization helps to ensure that this is the case. This certification process includes testing as well as providing a “CE” and “Ex” marking for certified equipment, indicating that it is compliant with the ATEX directive. For minor equipment, companies may self-certify, however, this is only suitable for specific items such as technical drawings and user manuals.

The elaboration of the ATEX Manual can be an arduous and painful task, but that is part of the past.

We have this service to offer you, and as part of our Curriculum, we have ATEX Manual from Petrogal refineries in Sines and Leca da Palmeira, as well as all CEPSA service stations in Portugal.

We have a team of experienced professionals who can help you create a comprehensive and effective ATEX Manual that meets all your requirements and industry standards.

Feel free to contact us for more information and we'll be happy to assist.

Thank you!