ATEX Explosion-Proof Chain Hoists 14th April 2021

Using a chain hoist always requires good health and safety planning. Using a chain hoist in a potentially explosive atmosphere requires specialist health and safety planning, and very good knowledge of ATEX directives and their requirements. When working in these kinds of environments, the right explosion-proof hoists must be used, not just to comply with regulations, but to ensure safe operations. An explosion is a very serious occurrence and can even result in loss of life. Using specially manufactured lifting equipment and components will be a central part of site safety when explosion hazards are present. Do you want to discuss ATEX-compliant chain hoists and lifting equipment? Get in touch with our team and we can provide any advice you need.


What is ATEX?

The acronym ATEX stands for ‘Atmosphere Explosible’. It also refers to two European directives that are in place to control explosive atmospheres. These are ‘ATEX 137’, or the ‘ATEX Workplace Directive’, and ‘ATEX 95’, or the ‘ATEX Equipment Directive’.

ATEX classifies potentially explosive gas and dust atmospheres by zones, depending on the likelihood of an explosion occurring:

• ATEX Zones 1 and 2: hazardous gas, vapour and mist environments. Zone 1 atmospheres are considered to be more hazardous than zone 2 atmospheres.

• ATEX Zones 21 and 22: hazardous dust environments. Zone 21 atmospheres are considered to be more hazardous than zone 22 atmospheres.

When buying an explosion-proof chain hoist, it is the ATEX 95 directive that will be most relevant to you as this details the use of equipment in potentially explosive atmospheres.


Do you Need an ATEX Explosion-Proof Chain Hoist?

You will need to use an explosion-proof chain hoist for lifting loads if working in a potentially explosive atmosphere, such as:

• Chemical and petrochemical plants

• Oil refineries

• Gas power plants

• Wastewater treatment plants

• Paint shops

• Other industrial sites

• Food manufacturing environments

All environments that are considered hazardous will have an ATEX classification so you can use this to ensure you purchase suitable chain hoists.


What Makes a Chain Hoist Explosion Proof?

In order for a chain hoist to be classed as explosion proof, it will need to have been manufactured with a potentially explosive atmosphere in mind. Only specialist ‘explosion-proof’ chain hoists can be used in these types of environments, and they will need to be suitable for use in the specific environment as per the ATEX atmosphere zone classification, i.e. Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 21 or Zone 22. Look for this compliance when choosing a chain hoist for use in a potentially explosive environment.


Buying Chain Hoists for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres

On site and when carrying out general lifting operations, nothing is more important than safety. If you are working in a hazardous environment (even if it’s only potentially hazardous), it’s essential you are using the right type of equipment. Check the ATEX zone classification, understand all your obligations, and speak to a specialist supplier of lifting equipment who can advise you in full. If you need ATEX explosion-proof chain hoists for your working environment, we will be happy to advise you further and work consultatively with you to find the right lifting solution. Please get in touch for further information.