ATEX Inspections – an introduction

ATEX Inspections

ATEX is an acronym derived from the words “Atmospheres Explosibles” and forms part of a European equipment directive known as ATEX 2014-34 EU. Denca has extensive experience carrying out inspections of electrical and instrumentation installations in hazardous areas to ATEX standards. Our work covers zones where vapours and gases may be present, as well as zones where dust is the primary hazard.

In the UK, the ATEX standards are implemented under EN 60079-14 2014 covering equipment selection and installation and EN 60079-17 2014 which covers both the inspection and maintenance of equipment in ATEX-rated zones. Many of Denca’s customers have hazardous area zones within their sites and engage our services to provide the required inspections to ensure continuing compliance with the standards.

ATEX inspections are split into two categories. Types of inspections and Grades of inspections.

  • Types: Initial, Periodic, Sample.
  • Grades: Visual, Close, Detailed.

New ATEX installations

All new ATEX installations must pass an initial, Detailed inspection before any equipment can be powered up. The criteria for the detailed inspection are taken from both EN60079-14 and EN60079-17 standards depending on the concept of protection. For all Intrinsically Safe (I.S.) circuits, a DSD (Descriptive System Document) must also be completed for each loop before power-up can be achieved. This would also include any upgrades to any existing I.S. systems.

Denca is also able to provide design, selection and installation of hazardous equipment to EN60079-14 2014 along with the correct inspection and documentation to EN60079-17 2014.

Inspection of existing ATEX installations

Our starting point for inspection of an existing ATEX installation is normally the DSEAR (Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002) audit report provided by the customer. This audit details and defines all the zoned areas on their site(s), along with the gas and dust groups and temperature classes that will be encountered. Using this information, we carry out the inspections.

Inspection plays a major part in ensuring the ongoing safety of personnel, equipment and the environment. The frequency of fixed equipment inspections can be a varied and complicated matter. The guidance states that Periodic inspections should not exceed  3 years. The frequency and grade of inspections can vary due to the findings of each survey. Inspection frequency may shorten if the environment is of a harsh nature and regular failures are found whereas they may lengthen if inspections deem the kit to be well maintained and of few failures.

Each site will be different and Denca can help assess your requirements to conform to the current standards.

Fully Qualified Staff

CompEx is the recognised global scheme that assesses the competency of employees and contract staff who are working in environments with the potential risk of explosive atmospheres. Denca’s ATEX team is qualified under appropriate aspects of the scheme:

CompEx 01-04: Covers the risk from gas and vapours.
CompEx 05-06: Covers the risk from dust.
CompEx 12: Covers application design.

Denca has all the skills, knowledge and internal documentation to bring your site up to, and maintain, current standards.

Please contact the Denca Team to discuss your ATEX requirements

Get in touch with us