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FMA says end users can't ignore ATEX fan rules

Companies in the Fan Manufacturers Association which supply fans for use in “potentially explosive atmospheres” have noticed a lack of awareness among end-users of their responsibilities under the ATEX directive.
Under ATEX, hazardous areas are classified into zones on the basis of frequency and duration of an explosive atmosphere.

If end users have areas on a site where potentially explosive gases, vapours or dust could combine with air, the FMA says they need to know about ATEX. If there is an explosion, end users will be held accountable.

The body says it is the end user's responsibility to ensure the site is safe and all equipment in hazardous areas conforms to the ATEX regulations. In the event of an accident at a site not conforming to the ATEX legislation, the end user will be liable for prosecution which could result in a lengthy prison sentence.

The directive has been applicable since July 1 2003. All new installations must conform to this regulation.

To help, the FMA has produced an information paper to help end users understand their responsibilities under the ATEX directive. Users can view the directive at www.feta.co.uk/fma/index.htm
22 August 2007

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