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What are the different ATEX zones?

What are the different ATEX zones?

 

Explosions can cause significant damage along with severe injury or even loss of life.

To prevent explosions from happening in harsh environments where flammable gases or combustible dust are present, directives and guidelines are put in place to protect both the public, the workforce, and the environment.

 

What is an Explosive Atmosphere?

There are 3 components necessary to cause an explosion:

  • Flammable Substance: This substance needs to be present in a relatively high quantity to produce an explosive mixture (e.g. gas, vapours, mists and dust).
  • Oxygen: Oxygen is required in high quantities and in combination with the flammable substance to produce an explosive atmosphere.
  • Ignition Source: A spark or high heat must also be present to ignite the flammable substance.

Summary of ATEX Zones

Summary of ATEX Zones

Any workplace that can become an explosive atmosphere is categorised into ATEX Zones to measure the risk and help prevent the explosion.

An ATEX environment can be divided into zones, each with its own specific risks and regulations for the use of equipment. Of the six ATEX zones, there are three gas zones and three dust zones specified where an explosive atmosphere is or may be present.

Gas zones: There is, or risk of an explosive liquid, vapor or gas in the atmosphere.
Dust zones: There are, or risk of, explosive solids, fibres or dust particles. For example, granulates, wood fibre, sawdust, powdered food ingredients, animal feed.

There are three zones for gas: Zone 0, Zone 1 and Zone 2.

And there are three corresponding zones for dust: Zone 20, Zone 21 and Zone 22.

Put simply, the 0-zones (0 and 20) are the highest risk probability, and the 2-zones (2 and 22) have the lowest risk.

What ATEX Zone is your workplace?

What ATEX Zone is your workplace?

After identifying the presence, or potential presence, of a dangerous dust substance in your workplace, how do you classify what ATEX zone it is?

Let’s take a look at what the DSEAR says…

Regulation 7 of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (2002) explain the differences of ATEX zones below:

• Zone 0: A place in which an explosive atmosphere – consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist – is present continuously, for long periods, or frequently.

• Zone 1: A place in which an explosive atmosphere – consisting of a mixture of air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist – is likely to occur occasionally in normal operation.

• Zone 2: A place in which an explosive atmosphere – consisting of a mixture with air of dangerous substances in the form of gas, vapour or mist – is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.

• Zone 20: A place in which an explosive atmosphere – in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air – is present continuously, for long periods, or frequently.

• Zone 21: A place in which an explosive atmosphere – in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air – is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.

• Zone 22: A place in which an explosive atmosphere – in the form of a cloud of combustible dust in air – is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.

 

How to clean an ATEX Zone?

ATEX zones need regularly and thorough deep cleaning throughout the whole area as we can see that something as minuscule as dust can cause an explosion.

All our specialist cleaning equipment have ATEX product certification to ensure your workplace and the user’s safety.

Our cleaning vacuums are made especially for ATEX Zones and thus, are guaranteed to give you a spark-free clean so you don’t have to worry about your cleaning equipment causing an explosion.

Book a free demo today!

Book a free demo today!

Still unsure on how to use ATEX certified cleaning equipment? Book a free demo and get our expert COSHH compliant cleaners to teach you.

If you have any questions or queries, don’t forget you can message us here on via our website.