Guidance in hazardous areas: ATEX and DSEAR
In many industries, employees face several hazards such as flammable gases, dangers of confined space entry, release of toxic gases and exposure to aggressive chemicals. In addition, there’s direct contact with corrosive substances such as chlorine compounds, sulfuric acid, ammonia and potassium hydroxide. There are several directives and regulations that offer guidance through this dangerous field – most importantly ATEX and DSEAR regulations.
The ATEX directives describe what equipment and work space is allowed in environments with an explosive atmosphere. The name ATEX derives from the French title of the 94/9/EC directive: Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosives.
DSEAR stands for Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations from 2002. Dangerous substances can put peoples' safety at risk – from fire, explosion and corrosion of metal. DSEAR puts regulations in place asking that employers and self-employed protect people from these risks to their safety in the workplace. Members of the public who may be put at risk by work activity must also be protected.