ATEX 95: the ATEX Equipment Directive

ATEX regulations on safety in explosive atmospheres are put into effect by two EU Directives, ATEX 137 and ATEX 95.

ATEX 95 is known as the Equipment Directive. Its official title is Directive 94/9/EC. ATEX 95 refers to the equipment and protective systems intended for use in explosive atmospheres. It was implemented in the UK by The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) under The Equipment and Protective Systems for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996 (EPS Regulations).

ATEX 95 and EPS

The scope of the regulations in ATEX 95 and the EPS is broad. It applies to electrical or mechanical equipment and the protective systems that might be put in place. IPU (and other manufacturers of equipment destined for dangerous areas) must ensure that products undergo appropriate conformity procedures. This usually involves approval by an outside agency known as a Notified Body. Some products that are destined for less dangerous zones can be self-certified by the organisation that makes it. Our certification page contains more details about this process.

The ‘EX’ symbol can only be attached to equipment that has been approved to ATEX 95 standards.

Because ATEX 95 encompasses other standards such as BS EN 1834 and BS EN 13463 it places some specific restrictions on how engine starting equipment should be designed and build. The two most important are that starter motors should not be made from aluminum and should use a pre-engaged activation process.


Further reading

Further information can be found on the UK Health & Safety Executive’s website. It publishes a guide to EPS regulations and details of its use in offshore industries. The Directive itself can be downloaded from the EC website.

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