ATEX

UKCA Ex FAQ

Answers from our experts

Answers from our experts

DO YOU KNOW HOW WE CAN PREVENT FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS?

The UKCA Ex Statutory Instruments regulate the use of equipment and protection systems in areas where there may be explosive atmospheres. These regulations seek to guarantee the safety and health of workers who are exposed to these risks. If you want to know more about this topic, our experts have answered the most frequently asked questions that they usually receive.

  • What is UKCA & UKCA Ex?

    UKCA stands for “United Kingdom Conformity Assessment” and UKCA Ex is a non-formal way to represent the requirements for “Equipment & Protective Systems Intended for use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres” that a product must meet before entering United Kingdom.

    This can be considered similar to ATEX according to EU regulations.

  • What is an explosive atmosphere?

    An explosive atmosphere is a mixture of flammable substances with air, under atmospheric conditions, in the form of gases, vapours, mists and dusts, in which, after ignition, combustion spreads to the unburned mixture. For an explosion to occur, the explosive atmosphere and an ignition source must coincide.

  • Who must comply with UKCA Ex Statutory Instruments?

    Companies in which flammable substances are handled or stored, as well as manufacturers of equipment intended for areas with potential generation of explosive atmosphere.

  • What equipment is covered by the UKCA Ex Statutory Instrument?

    Equipment that is covered by the UKCA Ex Statutory Instrument includes machines, materials, fixed or mobile devices, control devices and instrumentation and detection or prevention systems, which, alone or in combination, are intended for the production, transport, storage, measurement, regulation, conversion of energy and transformation of materials, which, due to their potential sources of ignition, may trigger an explosion, as well as protection systems and components for explosive atmospheres.

  • How are UKCA Ex zones classified?

    UKCA Ex zones are classified as 0, 1, 2 (for gas atmospheres) and 20, 21, 22 (for dust atmospheres) depending on the probability (frequency and duration) of the formation of an explosive atmosphere.

  • What is an UKCA Ex certificate?

    There are different kinds of certifications/requirements when it comes to Explosive atmosphere regulations in the UK:

    • Equipment certification: An UKCA Ex equipment certificate is a certification required for Equipment and Protective systems that are used in explosive atmospheres. In the UK, such certification falls under the framework of Statutory Instrument “Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016”.
    • Certification of people: Operators, maintenance personnel and persons in charge of designing, inspecting or maintaining UKCA Ex equipment can be trained and certified voluntarily by an UKAS Approved company such as TÜV SÜD. There are also specific trainings for people working in an explosive atmosphere.
    • DSEAR assessment: The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) are concerned with preventing or limiting the harmful effects of fires, explosions and similar energy-releasing events and corrosion to metals. DSEAR are goal-setting regulations and are supported by an Approved Codes of Practice (ACOP) that provides practical advice on how to comply with them. From June 2015 DSEAR also covers gases under pressure and substances that are corrosive to metals.

      This is to allow for changes in the EU Chemical Agents Directive the physical hazards aspects of which are enacted in Great Britain through DSEAR.

      They set minimum requirements for the protection of workers from fire and explosion risks related to dangerous substances and potentially explosive atmospheres and from gases under pressure and substances corrosive to metals and require employers to control the risks to the safety of employees and others from these hazards.
  • How is the UKCA Ex compliance ensured for a piece of an equipment?

    Through the UKCA Ex declaration of conformity issued by the manufacturer, which declares that it complies with the applicable essential safety requirements and the corresponding marking, complemented by its instruction manual and adequate preventive maintenance carried out by personnel with the necessary skills for it.

  • What is an UKCA Ex risk assessment?

    An UKCA Ex risk assessment is a detailed and systematic assessment of installations, substances used, equipment, processes and interactions to determine the probability of formation and duration of potential explosive atmospheres, as well as the probability of the presence and activation of ignition sources to identify risks and define the necessary safeguarding measures.

  • How are UKCA Ex safeguarding measures implemented?

    Through the principle of integrated safety in explosive atmospheres: Adopting technical and organizational measures to prevent the appearance of the explosive atmosphere (substitution of substances, ventilation, inertisation, etc.), avoiding the presence of ignition sources (selection of appropriate equipment, staff training, maintenance, work permits) or protection measures to mitigate the effects of a potential explosion (vents, isolation, or suppression systems).

If you have any other questions about UKCA Ex or process safety, do not hesitate to contact our subject matter experts. We are here to support you with your UKCA Ex concerns, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

We want to help you protect your company and avoid accidents!

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