Wolf Safety Product Range - Fit For The Future : Harmonised ATEX Standard EN 60079-0
Wolf Safety announces that its programme to update its lighting products to meet the evolving requirements of the latest harmonised standards is nearing completion, ensuring the continued compliance of all ATEX products newly supplied by Wolf to the strict requirements of the Equipment for Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX) Directive 94/9/EC now, and into the future.
The ATEX Directive requires that the latest advancements in technical knowledge and "state-of-the-art" thinking, which can change rapidly, are taken into account and implemented without delay into the protection of electrical or mechanical equipment designed for safe use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
These advancements are implemented to industry through harmonised standards, which are subject to a regular review and, if required, revision taking account of latest technical knowledge. Under the requirements of the Equipment for Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX) Directive 94/9/EC, this leads to a change in harmonisation status of the affected standards document. Harmonised standards offer a presumption of conformity to the Essential Health and Safety Requirements of the directive, whereas non-harmonised standards do not.
When a standard referenced in an EC-Type Examination Certificate for an item of ATEX equipment loses its harmonisation status, the manufacturer must decide whether the technological "state-of-the-art" has changed with respect to the product. In this circumstance, the European Commission has confirmed it is the manufacturer that has the legal responsibility to take action, but has also placed a duty on the Notified Bodies active in this field to assist the manufacturer by providing generalised information. The manufacturer may need to carry out appropriate modification to the product to allow for compliance to these latest technological advancements, then have the modified design re-certified and the EC Type Examination Certificate up-issued, in order to continue to claim compliance to the ATEX Directive.
In 2014, an updated 'Harmonisation Standards' list issued by the European Commission for the ATEX Directive confirmed that, from 2 April 2015, only 'General Requirements' standards EN 60079-0:2012 and EN 60079-0:2012/A11:2013 would remain harmonised, with earlier versions of this standard losing their harmonised status. The most significant effect of this change to portable ATEX equipment manufacturers is that, within certain limitations, to enable compliance to the ATEX Directive to continue to be claimed, new hand held ATEX equipment "brought to the market for the first time" on 2nd April 2015 or later must use anti-static materials to avoid the build-up of dangerous electrostatic charges.
Alex Jackson, Managing Director at Wolf Safety comments "As technical knowledge and standards evolve Wolf strives to ensure our entire range of lighting equipment remains at the leading edge of safety and in full compliance with the latest and safest standards in the world. Both we at Wolf, and our network of international distributors and end-user customers, can therefore be absolutely confident in the safety offered by every item of ATEX lighting equipment, which is designed, certified and manufactured by Wolf Safety".
Wolf has been planning and working on the update to its lighting products to meet the latest harmonised standards for over a year, and as part of this update Wolf has put in place appropriate stocks of its products, placing them available and "on the market", to ensure supply will continue until all updated products to the harmonised standards have completed certification and are in manufacture later this year.