ATEX - Ingressi
ATEX workplace regulations apply to all employers whose employees may be exposed to the risk of explosion caused by flammable liquids, gases or dusts.
ATEX - Yleistä
It is the employer’s duty to provide the employees with the necessary training and instructions on risk prevention and correct accident procedure.
The workplace must have enough personnel with first aid training. The employer must appoint a person in charge of rescue operations and give employees the necessary safety instructions for the handling and storage of flammable or explosive substances.
Safety in potentially explosive areas
Potentially explosive areas are places where flammable liquids, gases and/or dusts can form explosive atmospheres. These areas are classified into zones on the basis of the frequency and duration of the occurrence of an explosive atmosphere. The classification determines the safety distances required around the area. The classification of potentially explosive areas is presented in the annex to the Government Decree 576/2003 (in Finnish).
Potentially explosive areas or their entrances must be marked, where appropriate, with the following sign:
Only devices approved for use in explosive atmospheres (Ex equipment) may be used in potentially explosive areas (Ex zones). They are labelled like this:
Potentially explosive atmospheres are present in such industries as the chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry, food industry, wood processing and energy production, as well as in the manufacture, processing and storage of flammable liquids and gases.
Please note that the charging stations for electric forklifts are also classified as ATEX areas.
ATEX - Työnantajalle
The workplace must have written instructions
If there are potentially explosive atmospheres present in the workplace, it is the employer’s duty to protect the safety and health of employees by different work reorganisation and explosion protection measures. The employer must draw up an explosion protection document specifying written instructions for the employees. The employer must give employees instructions on matters related to explosion protection. The employer must also have a work permit system in place for hazardous work, such as hot work.
After drawing up the explosion protection document, the employer must assess the residual risk and take the necessary measures to minimise the residual risk. The priority is to prevent the formation of explosive atmospheres. If the nature of the activities does not allow this, the next step is to prevent the ignition of explosive atmospheres.
The ignition of explosive atmospheres can be avoided by preventing sparks by:
- opting for appropriate hand tools, for example tools made from copper or brass instead of iron
- removing objects that are not necessary for performing the work, such as smartphones and car keys
- wearing antistatic clothing and footwear (ESD protective clothing)
- using separate grounding
- cleaning the facilities regularly and sufficiently
- structurally preventing sparks from entering the space.
Employees must be given instructions for working in potentially explosive areas
The employer must give the employees enough training and instructions on the procedures to be followed in potentially explosive areas.
ATEX - Työntekijälle
Immediately notify your employer and occupational safety and health representative of any faults or issues that could have harmful or dangerous consequences. You should notify them even if you have already eliminated or fixed the issue.
Follow your employer’s instructions carefully to prevent the risk of accidents.