EX area signage

What is an EX area?

Areas where there is a potential explosion risk because of the presence of gases or substance are known as EX areas. Safety is extremely important in locations where work is being done with flammable materials. You are only permitted to enter an EX area if you observe the various safety procedures. Legislation and regulations are in force to cover this in most countries, for instance the European directive 1999/92/EC (ATEX 153, previously also known as ATEX 137).

What does ATEX stand for? ATEX is an abbreviation of “ATmosphères EXplosibles”, the French for explosive atmospheres.

Why do EX areas need to be marked?

Marking areas out is an important part of safety signage. It is explanatory, giving people a proper picture of the location of the EX areas on a site.

1999/92/EC, Article 7, paragraph 3

“Where necessary, places where explosive atmospheres may occur in such quantities as to endanger the health and safety of workers shall be marked with signs at their points of entry […]”

Blomsma Signs & Safety provides safety signage in the form of multiple signs, EX area impression signs, road and floormarking and demarcation to inform employees, contractors and visitors where the EX areas on a site are located.

Implementing EX zone signage

Blomsma Signs & Safety implements complete EX area projects; planning the area signs and indications through a survey, followed by design, production and installation on site.

Signs for indicating EX areas are designed in such a way that everyone understands the message. They are made of durable material, of appropriate dimensions for recognizability and they will retain their colour for a period of at least 10 to 15 years.

The strength of marking out EX or ATEX areas is in the combination of strategically placed signage plus clear use of safety symbols, all combined with floor markings and demarcations in complex surroundings. A signage plan can be used to generate content in the preparatory phase in a structured way.

Multiple signs for EX areas

We often use multiple signs when marking EX areas. Whenever anyone enters and EX area, there will in most cases be other hazards, prohibitions and mandatory actions that needs to be highlighted. Examples of these are safety symbols that forbid or prescribe the use of specific equipment such as radio equipment, mobile phones or the use of an explosimeter. It is even possible to combine traffic symbols on multiple signs – traffic instructions such as no vehicular entry or a maximum height (for example where a pipe rack crosses a road). There are variants of multiple signs in various materials, self-adhesive labels (for use on cabinets, enclosures and storage locations), flat signs that can be installed on a wall or aluminium signs with double folded edges that can be fitted to standard sign poles.

In addition, road and floormarkings and demarcations can be applied to mark out the limit of the area clearly and to avoid unauthorized traffic flows in those areas.

EX area impression signs

In order to optimize the transfer of information, we manufacture EX area signage as photo signs or as 2-D or 3-D impression signs. Our specific design ensures that the message is communicated to the target group in the best possible way. Situations on site are clearly indicated on the signs by drawings, photos and illustrations. Using 2-D and 3-D drawings, bird’s-eye views of situations or simple graphical illustrations lets us make clear where the explosion hazardous areas are located. Three-dimensional drawings and photographs are easier to ‘understand’ and therefore clearer than two-dimensional drawings. The EX area impression signs also have the legally required safety symbols.