Safety in hazardous Areas Working Group, Associazione USI - Information, updates and confrontation dedicated to the whole chain that revolves around the ATEX Directive Implementation and realization of the ATEX Directive 94/9/EC and 99/92/EC. Development and management of the Directive, administrative cooperation, relationships with the Certification bodies and committees of standardization with national realities




A Working Group is composed of individuals, companies, institutions that interact with each other, sharing a goal and working together to achieve it, putting aside prejudices and clichés, using the differences in everyone as a valuable source of enrichment. The elements that build an efficient team and make it a well-ordered unit are: rules - cooperation among members - communication - interaction - cohesion - comparison - active and mutual listening - responsibility - healthy competition. In order to develop, a working group requires a transformation of the simple interaction in an integration: this process will open the working group to sharing, which is the embodiment of cooperation within the group and that will achieve common objectives.

The independent "Working Group for hazardous Areas" was created in 2009 on the occasion of a Meeting organized in Bologna on the 12th of June 2009, attended by specialists in the field of ATEX both as speakers and audience. In 2009, the "Working group for hazardous Areas" gathered actors in the ATEX during two conferences in order to search for all those who are involved in the implementation and realization of the ATEX Directive 94/9/EC and 99/92/EC.

Our aim is to combine facilities that treat the development and management of the Directive, administrative cooperation, relationships with the Certification bodies and committees of standardization with national realities. On the 12th of June in Bologna, at the fair "Environment and Labor", the Working Group has produced a specific conference on the Directive, in particular about safety in workplaces at risk of explosion. During this event the project was presented by the launch of the portal:, an initiative that aims to create a stable instrument of information, update and confrontation dedicated to the whole chain that revolves around the ATEX Directive, achieving the objective of giving the guidelines concerning the required level of safety of equipments for their planned application. All the specialists who were present at the meeting have provided material, content and expertise on the website of the Working Group. A concrete agreement was reached at the second conference held on December, 14th at the headquarters of Confindustria Bari. The proposal of establishing a range of ATEX "in-formants" was greeted with the promise to analyze the Italian production in order to make more accessible the approach to Directives, taking into account the real problems of the companies at risk.

During 2010, the Working Group intends to research all the companies get involved by the ATEX directive, which have been demonstrating to be example of excellence in the field of Safety. By partnering with professional associations, Certification bodies, Training institutes and Institutions, all cooperating in the project, the main production sectors were identified in order to propose and organize specific conferences that should create a direct link between normative theory and working practice.

Scheduled for 2011, the Working Group for safety in hazardous Areas will repeat the same working methods in the Netherlands, in Germany and in France, through the twinning with similar projects already operating in those States. The results obtained during 2010 in Italy will be exported, shared and compared in order to standardize the "state of the art" of every foreign reality, actually involved in the same problem.

A Working Group is composed of individuals, companies, institutions that interact with each other, sharing a goal and working together to achieve it, putting aside prejudices and clichés, using the differences in everyone as a valuable source of enrichment


The independent "Working Group for hazardous Areas" is required to carry out research, testing, counseling, support, training, information and documentation regarding the tutelage of safety and health at work. The Working Group aims to support and assist the activities of National Institutions, encouraging the spread and disclosure of the effective procedures by such bodies in the practical realization of ATEX Directive.

The Working Group for hazardous areas is an initiative that wants to create stable opportunity of:

  • (2) UPDATE

about the ATEX 94/9/EC and the developments of the legislation for Hazardous Areas in Italian, European and North American markets.

Thanks to the network of companies and experts participating in the project "Working Group for Safety in hazardous Areas" it was possible to discuss the following contents:

bullet ATEX Risk Assessment
bullet Analysis of Materials
bullet Explosion Protection Document Art. 294
bullet Classification of areas according to 1999/92/EC
bullet ATEX certification for CE marking of machinery, plant or equipment
bullet Assessment of the material changes to existing installations
bullet ATEX Certification of assemblies or sets
bullet Declaration for the legalization of plants prior to 2006
bullet Detection of critical points and solutions
bullet Selection, Design, Operation and Maintenance of products operating according to standard 94/9/EC:

- Centralized vacuum cleaner systems, Dust collector and Gas Extractor, Disposal and Cleaning procedures
- Filtration Systems
- Electrical Systems
- Static dissipating or ATEX work instrumentation
- Detectors
- Protection and Prevention against explosion, Explosion Venting, Isolation and suppression, Ropture / Brusting Disk
- Industrial Heater and Burners
- Mobile phones, computers or equipment to be used in an ATEX environment
- Lighting in an ATEX environment
- Processing machines made to order.
bullet Safety Devices, Signs and ESD in ATEX environments
bullet Staff training
bullet Arrangements and Procedures of Disposal, Maintenance and Cleaning
bullet Internal verifications and Inspections.

The conditions necessary for a rapid spread of a "safety culture" in hazardous workplaces have to go beyond the academic duty of the institutions; the participation of manufacturers of ATEX equipment as experts has a fundamental importance: their interests include commercial purposes and the close monitoring of these interests by dedicated institutional bodies. The disclosure of information for the safeguarding and improvement of working conditions in dangerous environments will open a new market and allow the creation of new professional figures, bringing this way incentives to technological progress and a selection of the responsible figures in this sector.

The complete free-of-charge characteristic of this initiative implies more attention in the management of activities, because it's not a direct sales platform of products and services but rather an opportunity for study, research and discussion: interested people and interests intersect in the same mission of this initiative. The occasion by which the Working Group intends to make these objectives effective is the portal


The website, with the participation of users, will therefore:

  • inform all stakeholders of the ATEX industry;
  • share information relating to the directives of the authority, applications, and the national dynamics of those Countries which accept this legislation (eg. Saudi Arabia, Countries outside the EU);
  • provide an overview of approaches and possible extra-European useful elements;
  • allow direct interface with national and community Institutions in solving descriptive and interpretative shortcomings of the Directive;
  • report news in the law and possible political horizons in order to prevent self-defeating choices in terms of uniformity;
  • finalize a work of simplification and standardization to meet the global market and in order not to limit the application of standards to national contexts;
  • indiscriminately involve all actors in order to create a practical tool for analysis and initiative;
  • make dynamic and comprehensive the approach of the Working Group to ensure the appropriate disclosure of the initiatives of those who want to put light on the law by organizing training and information events;
  • by aligning with the imminent approval of a communication body of the European Community, represent a specialists' window that will spread communications from European Technical Committees, which currently deal with the ATEX in all its applications;
  • Paving the way for further purposes.

The site of the Working Group for Safety in hazardous Areas,, is always updated and accessible in order to know all the activities and freely download all the seminars and conferences speeches, documents, reports, articles, guides, directives and more technical material. The first documents which identify the current state of services in the working group are available, providing free information, services, and content on ATEX standards, moving through the cooperation and the availability of all experts of the industry. The complexity and vastness of the ATEX subject, invoked by all the accidents recorded in this period in various places, and the future loss of the researching activity of ISPESL, are all factors that highlight the need for an adequate treatment of ATEX issues, case by case according to the production reality, in order to redistribute the "state of the art" knowledge and lay the new foundations for dealing with the ATEX issue.

The Working Group has organized specialistic seminars dividing companies in categories of risk; during this first year the working group has registered a considerable affluence and a greater sensitivity to the subject. A diversified report came out from the discussions during the seminars, about preparation and responses of institutional and audit bodies; it was also often asked to organize round tables in order to establish a security plan to share.

In a year the ATEX Working Group has coordinated more than 10 conferences in Confindustria, CIGL, trade associations and industry leaders, and recorded hundreds of adherences. The project of an "ATEX Working Group", first sponsored by Tiger-Vac, represents the invitation to share expertise and offer a network of experts, from various private and public realities, that provide their expertise in ATEX in order to answer the question of sharing a common approach to the safety in workplaces and simplify the growing of competences with a self-regulating market; this intent is defined also by the "New Approach" of the European Directives.

The Buying Groups

One of the initiatives of the Working Group for Safety in hazardous Areas is the Buying Group. The idea consists in identifying the various productive sectors involved in the ATEX issue, collecting needs and demands, and ultimately proposing a joint purchase of equipment necessary for the safety of an establishment.

This need arises from several factors:

  • Lack of univocal information within the ATEX directive
  • Non-existence of a market offering ATEX certified equipment for any application
  • Difficulties of communication between companies, inspectors and certification bodies
  • High cost of equipment ATEX
  • Difficulty in transposing the Directive
  • Need of practical guidelines for implementing the normative theory
  • Misunderstanding in the interpretation of the association of explosion proof equipment to the zones of risk in which it will operate

The misunderstanding of the ATEX Directive affects all those companies whose risk assessment is done only on the paper, without taking into account the actual conditions of existing facilities or their normal usury.


To participate in a buying group you have to follow the following steps:

  • 1. Registration at the Working Group for Safety in Hazardous Areas (free on
  • 2. Communication of your needs and requirements about the process of made-safe of your facility
  • 3. Round Table for the identification of useful equipment
  • 4. Joint purchase of equipment


Safety in hazardous Areas Working Group
Gruppo di Lavoro per la Sicurezza in Ambienti a rischio di Esplosione

Phone: 0039-051-5875720


Head Office

  • Associazione USI
    Unione Sicurezza Informazione

    Via Libertà, 34
    27027 Gropello Cairoli
    Pavia (PV) Italy

Gruppo di Lavoro per la Sicurezza in ambienti a rischio di esplosione
[Working Group for Safety in hazardous areas]:  Tel. +39(0)2 2700.6890   |  Email:
Associazione USI [Unione Sicurezza Informazione]: Via Lucio Giunio Columella 6, 20128, Milano, Italy

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