ATEX stands for: Atmosphères Explosives, the European directive for a safe and healthy working environment that has been mandatory since July 1, 2003. ATEX is subdivided into two guidelines, ATEX 137 and ATEX 95. As of April 20, 2016, the ATEX guidelines have been modified and renamed, hence, ATEX 95 has been replaced by ATEX 114 (Directive 2014/34/ EU) and ATEX 137 (Directive 1999/92/EC) now has the name ATEX 153.
NOTE: According to the European Commission, the names of ATEX 114 and ATEX 153 are only ‘informal’ names. The correct legal names are Directive 2014/34/EU and Directive 1999/92/EC.
There is difference between these two guidelines. ATEX 114 is used for the manufacture of installations and products (machinery CE-directive) and ATEX 153 is applied to the environment, the procedures, the instructions of employees (social guidelines), both in Ex environments. The aim of this combination of guidelines is to guarantee the safety and health of the employees in areas with a possible danger of an explosion. In addition, ATEX 114 contributes to free trade within the EU for equipment and security systems used in these areas.