This article details the main industries at risk of explosions and fires in their facilities. All of them will have classified areas, as explained in the Atex Zone Classification

1. Chemical industry

In the chemical industry, flammable gases, liquids and solids are processed and used in many processes. Explosive mixtures may form in these processes.

  • Plants for the production and handling of sulfur.
  • Work, handling and storage areas.
  • Places where flammable volatile liquids are transferred from one container to another.
  • Premises with open or openable flammable liquid deposits.
  • Pump or compressor rooms for gases or flammable liquids.
  • Installations where flammable gases are produced, manipulated, stored or consumed.

2. Landfills

Flammable gases may form in landfills. In order to prevent them from escaping uncontrollably and may come on, important technical measures are required. In poorly ventilated tunnels, basements, etc. Flammable gases from a variety of sources may accumulate. Municipal solid waste generates explosive dust.

3. Power plants

With transportation, grinding and drying of carbons cut, non-explosive because of their size, they generate coal powders that can form explosive dust / air mixtures. Biomass and other solid fuels are explosive. Cooling with H2 of the alternators implies a risk of explosion.

4. Wastewater treatment companies

Digestion gases generated in sewage treatment in wastewater treatment plants may form explosive gas / air mixtures. Dry sludge is also explosive.

5. Gas supply companies

Explosive gas / air mixtures may be formed in case of natural gas leaks or similar leaks.

6. Woodworking industry

In the work of wood pieces, wood dust is generated which can form explosive dust / air mixtures in filters or in silos.

7. Painting and enamelling workshops

Spray mist that forms in the glazing of surfaces with paint spray guns in lacquer cabins, as well as the solvent vapors released, can cause an explosive atmosphere in contact with the air. Powdery pigments can be very explosive.

8. Manufacture of light metal parts and metalworking workshops

In the manufacture of metal parts, surface treatment (grinding) can generate explosive metal deposits, especially in the case of light metals (Aluminum, Titanium, Magnesium, etc.).

These metal powders can cause explosion risks in separators and other operations.

9. Agricultural facilities

Biogas generation facilities are used on some farms. In case of leakage, explosive biogas / air mixtures may be formed. Forage dehydrators, almond husks and similar facilities generate explosive atmospheres.

10. Repair of vehicles

Usually the quantities of flammable products are reduced and confinement and ventilation make sorting unnecessary. However, in general, the possibility of explosive atmospheres should be considered if there are significant quantities of flammable substances.

11. Laundries and dry cleaners

Laundry and dry cleaning areas with flammable liquids

12. Food industry

The transport and storage of flour, grains and derivatives can generate explosive powders. If these are sucked in and separated into filters, an explosive atmosphere may appear in the filter.

  • Locations of extraction of fats and oils that use inflammable solvents.
  • Dryers of material with flammable solvents.
  • Work, handling and storage areas.
  • Among combustible powders we have flour and derivatives, starch, sugar, cocoa, milk and egg powder, spices, etc.
  • Breadmaking flour factories.
  • Manufacture of bread and bakery products.

13. Pharmaceutical industry

In pharmaceutical production alcohols are often employed as solvents. Active solid and explosive auxiliaries, for example lactose, vitamins, paracetamol, etc. may also be used.

14. Refineries

The hydrocarbons handled in the refineries are all flammable and, according to their flash point, can cause explosive atmospheres even at room temperature. The environment of oil processing equipment is almost always considered a hazardous area.

15. Waste recycling industries

The treatment of recyclable waste may entail the risk of explosion by containers not completely emptied of their flammable gas or liquid contents or by paper or plastic powders.

16. Textile and related industries

  • Warehouses and shipping piers (sacks or containers)
  • Textile treatment areas, such as cotton.
  • Plants of manufacture and processing of fibers.
  • Cotton ginning plants.
  • Flax processing plants.
  • Tailoring workshops.

17. Locations of use of flammable chemicals

  • Places where flammable volatile liquids are transferred from one container to another.
  • Premises with open or openable flammable liquid deposits.
  • Pump or compressor rooms for gases or flammable liquids.
  • Facilities where they handle, store or consume flammable gases.

18. Agricultural industries

  • Manufacture of compound feedingstuffs.
  • Preparation of vitamin-mineral correctors.
  • Grain storage silos. Among the combustible powders we have cereals, grains and derivatives, starch and hay.
  • Drying of cereals and alfalfa dehydrators.

19. Forestry and Related Industries

  • Wood sawmills.
  • Manufacture of paper and cellulose.
  • Work, handling and storage areas.

In view of this diversity of activities in which the ATEX risk is present, and of its harmful consequences that may result in personal injury, fire and destruction of plants, loss of equipment, production stoppages with loss of sales and Market, loss of corporate image, etc., a continuous disclosure of the procedures for the correct implementation of the preventive action in the legislation is necessary.