ATEX and Prevention of Explosions with TÜV SÜD

Delivering real business benefits across key segments

Delivering real business benefits across key segments

What is ATEX?

ATEX refers to two EU directives which govern how equipment and workplaces in explosive environments must be managed. In many workplaces, gases, dusts or vapours can be found in the air – if these materials happen to ignite, an explosion could occur causing damage and injury. ATEX aims to prevent this happening.

Industrial activities from vehicle paint spraying to chemicals manufacturing, wood sawing to grain flour processing and filling stations are just some of the working environments where explosions could happen. ATEX certification is intended to minimise or prevent explosions in these places.

If your production processes involve flammable liquids, gases, aerosols or combustible dusts, or you provide equipment that’s used in such places, you will have to become ATEX certified.

The term ‘ATEX’ comes from the French name for the 2003 directive: les appareils et les systèmes de protection destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosibles (explosive atmospheres). It covers both machinery or equipment that is destined to be used in these environments, and rules for managing the general environment in such workplaces.

Why is the ATEX Directive Important?

The ATEX Directive is EU law, so if your manufacturing facilities are based on the EU, or if you sell equipment intended to be used in potentially explosive atmospheres in the bloc, you must become ATEX certified.

ATEX provides many benefits:

Compliance with EU law
Complying with the law is mandatory, so becoming certified means you can sell and produce goods in the large EU market.

Improves explosion protection
Conducting ATEX assessments means your product or working environment is much less likely to undergo an explosion.

Protects life and property
A clear benefit of ATEX certification is that you minimise the risk to life or property caused by explosions.

Improve products and workplace environment
An ATEX rating provided by a trusted third-party assessor will help improve products or working environments by implementing ATEX zones (to separate potentially combustible materials from ignition) or making staff wear anti-static clothing, for instance.

TÜV SÜD Helps you comply with ATEX rules

For over 40 years, TÜV SÜD has been providing manufacturers and equipment providers with high quality services in the areas of risk analysis, thermal process safety, explosion prevention and protection, electrostatic risk prevention and product safety for the process industry.

Our teams of experts have years of experience assessing products and environments against the ATEX directive across Europe.


We offer a full service for factories, plants and workshops where potentially explosive gases, dusts and liquids are present in the atmosphere. We help you assess the risks and separate out your workplace using ATEX zones to control or eliminate risks. Our consultants conform to the ISO 9001:2008 certified quality management system, so you can trust us for neutral and objective guidance.

Equipment manufacturers

If you wish to sell equipment that might be used in environments with an explosive atmosphere to customers in the EU, your equipment must receive ATEX certification. Our teams work alongside you to ensure your products are compliant and can reach your customers fast.

We can conduct assessments in our ISO 17025 accredited laboratory which provides a comprehensive service for discovering reactive potentials, safety characteristics, flammable and electrostatic properties in your equipment.

Our ATEX Services

We provide you with a one-stop service for ATEX certification, whether you manage a workplace with an explosive environment, or sell equipment which might be used in such a place, or both.

Depending on your requirements, we work with you to:

  • Define ATEX zones in the workplace
  • Complete an explosion protection document (EPD)
  • Produce certification of equipment and assemblies
  • Conduct ignition source analysis (including electrostatics)
  • Determine safety data - for both operating companies and manufacturing companies

Our sub-services include:

  • Explosion protection concepts and EPD
  • Definition of zoning (ATEX, NFPA)
  • Ignition source analysis
  • Certification of equipment according to directive 2014/34/EU
  • Certification of assemblies according to directive 2014/34/EU
  • Determination of safety data
  • Design of venting systems
  • Assessment of old equipment - assessment of equipment placed on the market before July 2003


Explosion protection
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Safety in explosive atmospheres

Learn about the technical requirements of the ATEX Directive and the IECEx Scheme.

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