ATEX Inspections: The Ultimate Equipment Safety Measure

Monday 16 October

Although they may seem like a ‘worst-case scenario’, workplace explosions are a risk sector-wide, and the possibility is apparent at any hazardous area with flammable gases, mists, vapours or combustible dusts present. For this reason, ATEX directives are in place. 

The two directives that encompass ATEX serve to give workplaces essential guidance and steps to take responsibility on their hazardous zone. While ATEX covers many aspects of the workplace, equipment is a key component to all businesses, and this equipment should always be subject to inspection and testing.

What Is ATEX Equipment Testing?

ATEX inspections are required for equipment that is used in or is intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The process includes carrying out testing and providing evidence that the equipment is safe for use in the relevant hazardous area zone. 

Once approved, the equipment must then display the official ‘Ex’ logo to indicate their safety. However it doesn’t stop there, for best practice, approved equipment should be tested with no greater than 3 years between inspections.

What Equipment Must Be Checked?

Where ATEX environments are concerned, all equipment intended for use whether they are electrical or non-electrical must be compliant. Included in this is:

  • Lighting (including fixtures and switches)
  • Generators
  • Machinery
  • Ventilation Systems
  • Protective Systems
  • Control Panels

Why Is Equipment Inspection So Important?

Ultimately, there are 3 main reasons as to why your business shouldn’t underestimate the importance of regular inspections:

  • Employee Safety: Personnel working in ATEX areas are the most at risk in the event of an accident, therefore you must ensure that the tools and equipment that they are working with are as safe as possible.
  • Site Protection: It only takes a small spark from a defective piece of equipment to cause a catastrophic explosion, which can wreak havoc on a section or the entirety of your facility.
  • Legal Compliance: The 2 ATEX directives are laws in the UK under DSEAR and EPS regulations. Failure to comply can lead to substantial fines and even the suspension of business operations. 

Who Can Carry Out ATEX Inspections?

Inspections should be carried out by qualified engineers who are equipped with the latest technology and an in-depth knowledge of ATEX directives. Through these means, the inspectors can offer accurate approval of your installations or suggest rectification measures.

What Are The Next Steps?

If you’re concerned that your equipment might need an inspection or testing, then our team of CompEx qualified engineers are at hand to help. We understand that you may operate in a large ATEX zone and that your equipment is crucial to your day-to-day operations. This is why we tailor our inspections and work with you to provide minimal disruptions. 

From oil and gas to pharmaceutical, we have an expansive knowledge of all hazardous areas and would be delighted to help your site achieve optimal safety. Find out more about our ATEX inspection services here and get in touch with us today.


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