ATEX 137 is known as the Workplace Directive. Its official title is Directive 99/92/EC. ATEX 137 refers to minimum requirements for improving the health and safety protection of workers at risk from an explosive atmosphere. It was implemented in the UK by The Health and Safety Executive under The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).
The requirements in DSEAR apply to any workplace where a potentially explosive atmosphere may occur. Employers have to classify areas where dangerous atmospheres may appear into different zones. The classification changes according to the scale of the risk and the type of dangerous atmosphere. Our pages on ATEX Zone 0 and Zone 20 goes into these classifications in more detail.
DSEAR requires employers to eliminate the risk from dangerous atmospheres. Where the risk cannot be eliminated it must be controlled. Only equipment that has been ATEX certified can be used in zones that are identified at being at risk. The certification of equipment is governed by ATEX 95 (94/9/EC or the ATEX Equipment Directive).
Further information can be found on the UK Health & Safety Executive’s website. It publishes a guide to ATEX and more detailed information on the UK’s DSEAR legislation. The Directive itself can be downloaded from the EC website.