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Risk of explosive atmospheres

This directive establishes and harmonise minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.

ACT

Directive 1999/92/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1999 on minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres (15th individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC).

SUMMARY

An "explosive atmosphere" is a mixture with air, under atmospheric conditions, of flammable substances in the form of gases, vapours, mists or dusts in which, after ignition has occurred, combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture.

The employer must take technical and/or organisational measures to prevent the formation of explosive atmospheres, prevent the ignition of explosive atmospheres, and reduce the effects of an explosion in such a way that workers are not at risk.

The employer must ensure that a health and safety protection document, describing explosion protection measures and satisfying the requirements of Directive 89/391/EEC, is prepared and kept up to date.

Workers and/or their representatives must be informed of all the measures to be taken for their safety and health at work.

The employer must take the necessary steps to ensure that workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres receive appropriate training.

Work equipment for use in places where explosive atmospheres may occur must comply with the minimum requirements laid down in the Annex to the Directive.

Where workplaces which contain places in which explosive atmospheres may occur are already in use before the entry into force of the proposed Directive, they must comply with its minimum requirements no later than three years after its entry into force.

After consulting the Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work, the Commission must draw up practical guidelines in a guide to good practice of a non-binding nature.

Member States must, on request, endeavour to make relevant information available to employers, with particular reference to the guide to good practice.

Member States must report to the Commission every five years on the practical implementation of the Directive, indicating the points of view of employers and workers. The Commission must inform the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work.

Annex I contains the classification of places where explosive atmospheres may occur. Annex II describes the minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres and criteria for the selection of equipment and protective systems. Annex III presents the warning sign for places where explosive atmospheres may occur.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 1999/92/EC of 16 December 1999 from the European Parliament and the Council

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OJ L 23 of 28.01.2000

RELATED ACTS

Communication from the Commission regarding the non-mandatory guide to good practice in order to implement Directive 1999/92/EC on minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres [COM(2003) 515]

The present guide is be used alongside Directive 94/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 March 1994 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

Last updated: 08.06.2006
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